Monday, October 17, 2005


Recently, both Dax Montana and Velociman were first-time recipients of Hat Tips from The Professor. The result, of course, is the fabled Instalanche - a humongous short-term traffic spike.

The good Professor, you see, is one of the Exalted Ones of the Bloggy-Sphere, with his daily Link- and Screed-Fest averaging close to 150,000 hits per day (per Sitemeter). A link on the Instapundit index page will easily throw off traffic of 1,000-3,000 hits, depending on how the post is worded. Even a tiny percentage of click-throughs generates what for most Bloggity People is a humongous surge in the number of visitors.

We Jawja Bloggers are also familiar with the related phenomenon of the Acidbath. A link on Rob Smith’s index page will throw off a few hundred extra hits - about 10% of his normal daily traffic of 2,500-3,000 visits. The first time Rob threw me a link, I saw a Major Spike in my hit-count - and a quick peek at the referrer log told me what had happened.

Instalanches are serious bidnis. I have had a Grand Total of one, so far - the result of hosting a Carnival of the Cats back in June. Here’s what it did to my traffic:

See if you can spot the Instalanche.

The first clue I had that something was different was the little doomaflitchie on my sidebar that tracks the number of visitors currently on the site. Instead of the usual two or three - or the eight I’ll get during an Acidbath - I was seeing thirty or so. Woo-Hoo!

Last week, though, I saw a new phenomenon: the Instalanche-by-Proxy, AKA the Fuming Acidbath.

Rob had linked one of my posts containing pictures from the recent Ice Cream Social in Helen. This generated an Acidbath...but a couple of days later, it looked like there was another Acidbath going on, with my hit count up and the referrer logs all pointing to Gut Rumbles. But there was no new link - just an old one, close to the bottom of Rob’s index page. Wha’ hoppen?

Acidbath, followed by an Instalanche-by-Proxy.

Simple. Rob was in the midst of an Instalanche, and his traffic had jumped from ~3,500 daily hits to over 13,000. The overflow was being flushed through his Link-Matrix, and I was seeing an Instalanche-Once-Removed. Whodathunkit?

Now, lest you think that it’s All About the Visitor Stats, let me make it very clear that visitor statistics and hit counts - fun as they might be - are completely meaningless, unless you’re trying to scratch out a living selling Bloggy Advertisements.


Sure, it’s a nice Ego Stroke to get a Heapin’ Shitwad of Traffic. But really, as far as I am concerned, I’m a lot more interested in the folks who come back for More of My Bullcrap, again and again. The ones who, in a burst of Wretched Thinking, have stuck me on their blogrolls or RSS subscription lists. My regular commenters, who actually have to take the time to sit down and type something. People who actually read what I write on this, my Exercise in Self-Aggrandizement and Time-Wastage.

You, my Esteemed Readers, are the ones I care about. By themselves, hits don’t mean shits.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go check my Sitemeter...

[Update: The estimable Laurence Simon reminds us that just as we have the Instalanche and the Acidbath, so also we have the Crapalanche, the result of a link at This Blog Is Full Of Crap. Got a nice ring to it, too!]

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