I didn’t expect that post to reach the top spot on HN, let alone stay there. It would’ve been neat just to ping around on the front page for a bit before falling to obscurity. I’m glad you’re curious about it too.
Now I’m curious about you : ).
A few numbers from the first ~hour: If you reached this page, you’re in a select ~2% of HN readers who clicked elsewhere on the site. 4.3% of hits now arrive from Twitter. 0.2% from Facebook. From 9-11 PM Pacific on a Friday, the top spot gets ~3,000 hits/hr.
If you want to make a splash on HN, it must be done on the landing page; readers don’t look elsewhere.
I wanted to invert the HN ranking system and discover its exponent; these data are a necessary step along the way: (Edit: after 840 minutes, it’s now at 109 points and at position 20. I suspect it will fall off the front page within a few hours?)
Edit: 10/14/2012 – The upward modding slowed after the first few hours; corresponding with when I began to make corrections to the page. After exactly two days, it’s in position 103, with 121 points. It’s extremely clear that the linear plot made a much larger impression than the log plot. Any admission of an error in the first few lines was also lethal to upward modding. Edits I made early yesterday morning helped regenerate interest, but not the pull the post originally had. Traffic has slowed to a comparative crawl.
Doing momentarily well on HN generated a huge upward launch in Google’s search rankings on every term I can think of related to my blog.
The HN ranking system is elegant, merciless, and effective.
Total hits – ~30,000.
140 countries! Even someone from Syria checked in! (U.S. had 13k, U.K 2.4k, meaning half the visitors are from elsewhere.)