CyberNotes Free For All Friday

An article making the front page of Digg and the effects on the website it came from is jaw-dropping to say the least. It effects everything from the obvious such as traffic to the not so obvious like new RSS subscribers and dedicated readers. From July 1st-July 10th, CyberNet News had 4 articles make the front page of Digg. For those that may be unfamiliar with Digg, (although chances are if you’re reading this, you’ve heard of Digg) it is a ‘user driven social content website.’ Users submit cool articles they find and the community of Digg votes on the articles they like. The articles that get enough Diggs end up on the front page where the masses come to get the latest cool news. This is essentially an analysis on the 4X Digg effect we experienced complete with crazy graphs that speak for themselves on the powerfulness that Digg can have.


–Visitors/Traffic– The obvious effect on a website after a front page Digg article is the huge increase in visitors and traffic. The four articles that made the front page of Digg were:

  1. Firefox 2.0 Gets Undo Close Tab & Scrolling Tabs (July 1st)
  2. 9 Screenshots Of Firefox 2.0’s New Preferences (July 7th)
  3. Firefox 2.0 Beta 1 Candidate Now Available (July 8th)
  4. How To Tweak Firefox 2.0 Beta 1 (July 9th)

Get the trend? All four articles were regarding Firefox which tells us a lot right there! We keep track of our stats with a free program Google has called Google Analytics. They provide you with every statistic imaginable, and display them in useful graphs.

Graph 1

Above you can see the huge jump in traffic almost instantly after article #1 hit the front page. It literally makes it appear as though we had no traffic all day, which wasn’t the case. Article one peaked with about 2,500 visits for the hour, however traffic remained pretty steady afterwards and thus far has attracted 24,000+ pageviews. Pageviews combined for all four articles have totaled nearly 150,000!

Graph 2

To the right is another graph that nearly speaks for itself. The blue section of the graph represents Digg. Nearly 87% of our visitors on July 1st came to us because of our Digg article. Absolutely Insane.Typically our graph looks like a well balanced pie chart with pretty equal portions. Not so on “Digg Days.”


–Bandwidth– Of course with an increase in traffic comes an increase in bandwidth, especially on a ‘Digg Day’ when there is a sharp sudden increase in traffic.As a side note, a Digg Day really could turn into a D-Day (a.k.a Doom’s Day) if you’re not running on a reliable server! The picture below depicts this so well, really there’s no need for an explanation!
Graph 3
However, here are a few details about what’s going on in the graph. This depicts article number 2 which made it to the front page on July 7th. This ended up being a short lived article on Digg as enough people labeled this as “lame” (hey, it wasn’t that lame now was it?) and it was removed from the front page– one of the effects of users controlling the content. The graph does a good job of showing just how quickly the bandwidth spikes to all time highs and then returns to a steady flow. The article contained 9 large screeshots which is why it peaked so high.


–Browsers/Operating Systems–

Graph 4

With 4 articles all regarding Firefox making it to the front page of Digg, it’s not hard to figure out which browser was most prevalent during our ‘Digg Days.’ You guessed it, Firefox with about 75% of the users and Internet Explorer next with around 12%. Both Safari and Opera had about 4% of the share. As a funny side note, one of the browsers listed in the statistics was named ‘I am using a browser and OS so new and innovative that you will never have heard of it proof that someone altered their browser with a new identity’ you know who you are, identify yourself and this ‘innovative’ browser you’ve got. Yes, Google Analytics really does give you every statistic imaginable.
Graph 5

The operating system graph looks very similar to the web browser graph with 80% of visitors using Windows. Around 12% were Mac users and 7% were Linux users. Somewhat surprising, this shows that people are still more comfortable with open source software versus an open source operating system.


–Overview– The ‘Digg Effect’ as it’s called, really does affect a website in more ways than one. Each time an article makes the front page of Digg we end up with more RSS subscribers and dedicated readers something that any blog such as CyberNet strives for. It also makes for some good entertainment after all is said and done and you’re left with roller coaster appearing stats and graphs. Case in point below


Graph 6


Graph 7

And of course, if you liked this analysis, Digg it!

We also forgot to mention that the graph above that plots all of the Digg articles has a large dip because we switched hosting providers. As a result we were down for a few days.