It’s amazing what a little picture will do for your web site. Especially when you ride on the coattails of a cultural 15 minutes of fame. Those fifteen minutes were really a minute and a half of Miss Teen South Carolina opening her mouth and letting random topical buzzwords fall out where they may.
We didn’t watch Miss Teen USA on television but we saw the aftermath and that’s all we needed. The more I listened to her rambling the more I laughed and the more I got confused. Just by chance I thought it might be funny to map her ramblings. My first thought was to have random pictures with arrows. Then the idea of a subway map came into my head. Probably because of all the information architecture and design sites I go to – their impression finally came through.
So on a whim late one night I made a subway map of the topics Miss SC blurted out. I added to the post Jen wrote that included the YouTube of her speech and didn’t think anything of it. I figured it would be seen and enjoyed by the dozen or so people that regularly visit The Toast. Oh but no, it had to go and become popular.
Popular for just about two days to be exact. Prior to the post my little corner of the web garnered around 200 pageviews a day. Far from stellar and certainly not worth bragging about, but then again, the purpose of my site is not to get pageviews or click-thrus, but to act more as a sandbox where I can play and braindump. But after about 36 hours my web site pageviews skyrocketed to 12,000 and there lasted for two days.
During those two days I managed to dig up and find my subway map scattered all over the place. Mostly on random blogs and message boards, but it got picked up by Boing Boing – a popular link portal – and the from there got Digg’ed…and the rest is history…well, two days of history. If you care to see where the map ended up, I did my best to track it on the forum.
My web stats also suggest that the map, or at least the link, got it’s share of chain mail forwards as well. A lot of incoming sources were Yahoo Mails, AOL Mails, and the likes. So almost literally overnight my site went from empty hole to popular smirk destination. I was honestly flattered and amazed that something I made had some impact on people. As much as I’ve tried in the past at making things people can enjoy and have fun with, this wee little map made in 20 minutes has done more than anything else. Wow.
And then it was over. Poofta. From 12,000 pageviews down to around 900. Now, 900 compared to the 200 that was the norm is still a HUGE improvement, but if trends are any indication, that 900 will soon become 300 and then back to normal. With any luck, I may have picked up some almost-regular new visitors that will stop by and read my ramblings from time to time, but I think that’s the best I can hope for.
I feel that my 15 minutes of web fame have now come and gone. It was fun and it was exciting to watch. Thanks internet.