Even thought it was almost 7 years ago, I can still remember the most exciting day in my web mastering career like it was yesterday. The thrill, the excitement – the high of the first time watching a sudden, giant flood of visitors to my website. It felt so good and it was over too quick!
Back in those days, before most people had even heard about Facebook, Myspace was “it”. Grownupgeek.com had become moderately popular by helping people with their Myspace issues, and had a quite large contingent of members that were constantly searching for ways to view Myspace pages and photos posted as “private”. A subject very popular with ex-boyfriends and girlfriends, stalkers, etc. These little hacks were nothing more than simple loopholes in Myspace’s atrocious lack of any security, usually consisting of nothing more than a simple URL manipulation. These “Myspace hacks” would usually be published by a mainstream website, would shoot around the internet overnight, and Myspace would fix the hole within a week or two. Our members were great at finding and re-sharing those little loopholes, but they were always just that, “re shares”.
One night a member posted what she said was a previously unknown little Myspace hack that would let anybody easily see all of the “private” comments on any Myspace page. We did our usual 10 minutes of research and could not find it on any other websites, so we knew that we had a great scoop.
Does anyone remember Digg.com?
We shared this unknown Myspace hack as usual, but knowing that so many people both loved and hated Myspace, we also posted it to Digg.com with the salacious headline “Simple myspace hack lets you view all comments on a private myspace” (Google that term and you can still see it resonating across the internet). Back in those days people actually used Digg.com and if your website got “Dugg”, (making it to the front page of Digg.com), it meant instant fame and fortune. Myself and pretty much every other webmaster on the internet had made many submissions to Digg, but it’s tough to get any traction. I think the most Diggs we ever received prior to this was 10 or 20.
I shared the page on Digg, and after a few minutes it had received several “Diggs”.. I watched the Digg-counter rise with a quickly beating heart and sweaty palms and by the time I went to bed that night the page had received over 50 Diggs, which was a new record for us.
The next morning I woke up and checked the website as usual. I had a website-visitor widget that showed the active user count and normally at that time I would expect to see about 30 active visitors which would average around 3,000 visitors per day. What greeted me that morning was an active-user count of over 3,000! I did it, I had hit the front page of Digg.com! I don’t think I left the computer all day – nearly 50,000 visitors (that day) if I recall, thousands of comments posted – it was thrilling, exhilarating, and it felt good!
In the end we received around 3,500 “Diggs”, over 200,000 visitors to that page over the next weeks and months, hundreds of back links, and hundreds of new members. That page continued to receive a few thousands hits each month from Digg.com for at least the next 2 years.
How good was your first?
Can you remember the most exciting moment of your blogging or webmastering career? Post a comment and share it! If you haven’t had “your first” yet, then share your fantasy of how you would like it to be.