Digg Effect - the day after

…So it turns out that my last article appeared on Digg homepage.
This was quite a pleasant surprise: I didn't expect that an article submitted to my own site could make it that far! I thought you'd need a relatively well-known website, mafia's support, some divine intervention and a terrific amount of luck, but it seems that sometimes an interesting article about an interesting subject can be enough. I'll probably write a more detailed report of what happened soon, in another article rather than a blog post, but for now I just wanted to post a short summary here.

Two days ago I decided to write a roundup of the six Rails-inspired PHP frameworks, CakePHP, Symfony, PHP on Trax, Code Igniter, Biscuit and Pipeline. The reason for this was that I couldn't find anything comparing all of them and such comparison could have been useful for some new bakers_. OK, I confess, when I started writing the article I thought I'd submit it to Digg and see what happens: I saw that another roundup made it to the first page and people were quoting it everywhere on the net. It's a nice article, but – in my humble opinion – not too exhaustive.
Then I read a comment by someone to the digg
of the latest Cake release stating:

Yes, they are similar – both were inspired by Rails, but Cake has gone further to differentiate themselves. Here's a decent (but not great) overview of some frameworks: http://www.phpit.net/article/ten-different-php-frameworks/

At that point, I thought that another round up, perhaps more Cake-centric, was in order. The other reason was that in one of my recent blog posts I tried to compare CakePHP and Symfony, but obviously my emotions got in the way and in the end I noticed I was kinda attacking Symfony. That was a blog post though, and that's half-allowed, but I felt that I should have written a slightly more objective article mentioning also all the other competitors.

Anyhow, right when I went to submit my article to Digg, it turns out that another guy wrote a similar round up, which made it to Digg's homepage. That was an annoying cohincidence, but in the end things didn't go too bad: his roundup was more generic, while mine was more specific and detailed.

After submitting my article the reaction wasn't instantaneous… 5, 7, 10, 13 diggs in the first two hours. Then shortly I made it to 30 and when the 40th visitor dugg it my article was moved to the first page!
I immediately noticed it when I refreshed my stats page: a minute before my girlfriend was here telling me “oh look, over 400 visitors… not too bad”. Then I refreshed the page and it said 539, I refreshed again and said 600-something… eeep… Digg effect!

A special praise goes to my new hosting company, BlueHost: the server didn't go down and it managed the extra traffic fine! A good test for CakePHP as well, since I built this site with it.

So here I am… over 5000 visitors read my article, about 600 people dugg it, nearly 40 people commented it on digg.com and 20 directly on my site. And – except for the usual Rails-is-better-than-anything-else comments – they were generally positive. Over 250 people bookmarked on del.icio.us and many blogs mentioned it in many different countries.

Money? Didn't make much with adsense at all: programmers don't click on ads!
Bandwidth? About 1GB was gone in the first five hours, now is obviously slowing down: oh well, I still have another 398GB available till the end of the month :P