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How linkrdr went semi-viral

I was a bit under the weather this past weekend, but it turns out I wasn't the only thing to go viral. Below is a brief story of how linkrdr enjoyed it's first encounter with virality.


Before Saturday, linkrdr had about 10 users, who had figured out a way to sign up without me really providing one. Sometime Thursday evening, I believe, I slapped a 'Beta' sticker on the front page, cleaned some stuff up, and declared linkrdr open for business. Come the weekend, I was under the weather and not feeling like working on anything, so I didn't check any of my sites until Monday at 4pm. I cruised over to my Clicky dashboard and took a look at the stats for this blog. Then something caught my eye...

{% img linkrdr visits per day%}

"Uh oh"

The graph for linkrdr, which is usually totally flat, had suddenly shot up almost vertically. I quickly checked the number of users via the django console and felt a pit in my stomach: 720 users had signed up in the past 24 hours. I caught my breath, then checked how many total links linkrdr was managing. I read the number three times. I couldn't believe it: 109,214 links across about 3,700 feeds. I fired up my browser to see if the site had melted down. To my surprise, it was pretty responsive. After clicking around more and convincing myself the server wasn't on fire, I did a little Clicky style investigating.

It became clear rather quickly that most of my links were coming from two sources: startupsea.com, a new startup-roundup type site I hadn't heard of, and scripting.com. When I saw the second site, my heart skipped a beat. I'm very familiar with scripting.com, the blog of Dave Winer. I checked out scripting.com and sitting there on his list of links was a link to linkrdr. He had also tweeted about it to his 75,000 followers. Between the two sites, linkrdr had gone mini-viral.


I quickly decided that I needed to bullet-proof the site (how I did so will be the topic of my next post). I was proud that the site could handle the drastic uptick in flow, but I wasn't going to leave anything to chance. Over the past 18 hours, I've been adding features that users have been clamoring for (OPML import has been added, for one), fixing bugs, and generally cleaning things up. It's still too early to tell if this was just a one-off blip, as the US public had Monday off of work. Tuesday morning will be an interesting one. Let's hope linkrdr gets more viral-love!

Questions or comments on How linkrdr Went Semi-Viral? Let me know in the comments below. Also, follow me on Twitter to see all of my blog posts and updates.

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