Protocol Snow

The aftermath of my iPad ban story

with 8 comments

Whew, the past two weeks have been crazy! What started as just a funny story I wanted to share with my brother and friends shockingly went global. When the flood of visitors first hit, I panicked as my site was mercilessly trampled. It took me over 10 minutes just to log into my FTP server. Triple that to upload WP Super Cache, a band-aid solution I hoped would ease the traffic stress. Luckily it seemed to work fairly well.

Harajuku Tokyo frenzy rush people crowd
The floodgates have opened…

Now that the frenzy has mostly died down, here’s some miscellaneous notes on the whole adventure.

— Social media networks are so powerful. Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Reddit — these and others were the engines spear-heading the madness. Out of these four, the only one I use is Twitter. Hilariously enough, my original tweet about the story was unnoticed. But boy, every time a power user tweeted a link to my site, the retweets were incessant.

— Some of the articles that drove traffic my way: PC World, Consumerist, Ars Technica, Gawker, The Register. And that’s just Day 1, I stopped tracking after that.

— I was contacted by writers from newspaper organizations and magazines who wanted to publish articles about the story. They all requested phone interviews. I was actually considering entertaining the first interview offer I received. But as my article truly went viral and some people were misinterpreting what I thought was a fairly clear-cut story, I realized how easily words could be twisted. Suddenly the wild spontaneous realm of the phone interview, where I didn’t have a lot of time to shape my responses, was much less enticing. I rejected all the phone interview offers. Nobody was interested in an e-mail interview or Q&A.

— A major tech blog was interested in the exclusive rights to re-publish my story in full on their site. I didn’t realize a practice like this even existed. I declined the offer.

— I received a few dozen e-mails from writers for big-time websites, not to request interviews, but just to pat me on the back for a well-written story or to ask a question or two for curiosity’s sake. I definitely appreciate the gesture.

If you haven’t guessed already, I am fascinated by all the attention my site got in the past two weeks. Let’s face it, this is just a tiny personal blog that exists quietly in a corner of the Internet, known to only a very small few.

But surprisingly, the crazy traffic rush wore out its welcome fairly quickly. Want to know the biggest lesson I’ve learned from this experience? All these visitors and big-time traffic numbers mean nothing to me if they’re just people who click-through once and never return again. To my regular readers, thanks for sticking with me and I hope whatever attracted you to Protocol Snow in the first place keeps you coming back. To the new readers who like my content, some who have e-mailed saying you would never have discovered my site if it wasn’t for the iPad story, welcome!

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Written by Protocol Snow

May 4th, 2010 at 9:34 pm

  • EatTravelEat

    Crazy of course! I could definitely see it from the amounts of comments :). Forums are powerful too. Sometimes I link my posts on forums to help people with their hotel picking (Las Vegas, generally), and that can bring quite a lot of visits! Agree on the regular visitors issue, as they are definitely the ones who are the most important in terms of traffic.

  • Charles

    That was a funny article. I loved it. It does seem these days that anything written about an Apple products gets bombarded. . . especially if it isn't straight up puff.

    You also learned something I thought a while ago when I was looking at SEO and everyone kept saying, use social marketing. I thought, I don't think that will help for what I'm doing. I don't just need a bunch of people from all over the world clicking on my site. I need people that want what I have to offer. However, sometimes having a bunch of people click through is just what you need because a few will stay ;)

    • Protocol Snow

      Very true. The traffic rush honestly became a hassle because I had to control myself from constantly correcting assumptions and misinformed opinions, not just by people leaving comments here but also bloggers who wanted to add their own 2 cents on their sites. I didn't even look at any of the forums and social media networks that were talking about it since… well, we all know what madhouses those can be. But overall it was all worth it for the new fans!

      It's funny — before I started this site, I authored a blog for a big gaming website called GameDaily which had millions of unique visitors a month. The audience was guaranteed. It was quite a huge transition moving from that to my own brand-new site. I used to miss the big traffic, but now I have a different perspective. And in reality, I work in the medical field. Unlike some other bloggers, I do not need to promote myself or any products/projects. This is all purely for fun.

  • ahbing

    There's a huge spike in the Alexa ranking… I mean HUGE You get new readers like me! :)

  • Protocol Snow

    By the way, the photo I included in this post was intended to illustrate a rush of people. I don't think it's that clear. Just in case anybody was wondering why I put up a random photo of Harajuku, Tokyo =P

  • Jérôme Sadou

    I clicked from a big site to read this iPad story and then suddenly I realized…hey! I already know this blog :-)

  • andre

    i guess if i wanna drive traffic to my blog i should write an apple story? :P

  • Linda Michelle

    I've read the Apple saga, and consequently this latest blog. Ironically I found it by using the keywords “I'm just here to give you some good love in bad times”, the lyrics to an R&B song….your blog was number 7 on the top list…hilarious!! I am a virtual Concierge, and your story interests me in that, from time to time, we receive such requests for purchases and reserving forthcoming products. Apple should be very happy that it was you, and not me; I am not so agreeable with bad service. I have to give 'white glove' service in my work, and guess what? I expect it from other establishments.