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What’s the impact of hackerporn?

A commenter asked, what is the long-term impact of getting HackerNews-ed? This was asked on the post about how I lost my virginity and now became an amateur entreporn star. That is, whether there is a measurable increase in residual traffic from those hackerporn articles and whether there is an actual impact to my products’ sales?

After my third episode of hackerporn, I can confidently conclude that there is no impact whatsoever. The “baseline load” of this blog is about 30-ish unique visitors per day and after a day or two of hackerporn fame, the traffic returns to the way it was before.

You’re surprised? Want proof? Here are some Google Analytics excerpts.

Cubic-MTraffic9Mar-8Apr2011-2011-04-9-10-09.png

The image above shows the three episode of my hackerporn fame.

  • Lifestyle Business – my overly-critical opinion about what VCs think of cottage software shops.
  • Entreporn – how I became an amateur entreporn star.
  • Dilbert’s JIRA – an old post about actual corporate Dilbert-ness I recently submit to HackerNews.

As you can see from all three events, after all the fanfare the traffic goes back to normal.

The sudden influx of readers really came from HackerNews. The following shows how the Dilbert’s JIRA post got its traffic at its peak time. As you can see for yourself, 94.96% exits looking for the next hackerporn flick.

ContentDetail_-GoogleAnalytics-2011-04-9-10-09.png

One interesting trivia is that there is no significant difference between the number of Mac and Windows users that enjoy this particular hackerporn. Interestingly, it looks like the Linux crowd also enjoy these kind of posts. The graph below shows the OS distribution for that day and that post only.

Dilbert%27sJIRAvisitorsbyOS-2011-04-9-10-09.png

Conclusion? Writing hackerporn materials is only good for kicks and won’t contribute to your long-term traffic nor sales. Unless you’re actually selling paid hackerporn stuff and you’re posting teasers to promote them. After these three episodes, I definitely agree with Rob Walling that a link from a famous-tech-site will not make a difference in your sales.




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