We recently had a Digg submission go Hot. This is the first one that I was personally involved with. Given that I didn't have anything better to do on a Sunday afternoon, I thought that it might be fun to Chart the # of Diggs and resulting traffic to see if we could draw any interesting conclusions.
Here is what I saw…
A friend submitted the Digg article. It got a few Diggs however I didn't really pay too much attention. I knew that it was really good content but I didn't want to get my hopes up.
1:00 The next day I logon and check Digg, OMG it's JUST gone HOT! (23 hrs and 18 minutes after the submission). We're at 116 Diggs and 2,500 visits to the site.
1:40 p.m. – I check both Digg and the site traffic again. Wow! In 40 minutes it's gotten 127 more Diggs and 1,415 more visits. I am truly amazed at how quickly this is taking off. It is at this time that I realize that we have a unique Learning Opportunity here.
We have access to the site's analytics and happen to be around when it took off! I decided to set up a test to monitor the number of Diggs and resulting traffic. I decided on 20 minute intervals and faithfully recorded the # of Diggs, the site traffic and the position on Digg i.e. #1 on the First Page, #8 on the First Page, #5 on the Second Page, etc.
The site ended up getting just under 1,000 Diggs. This resulted in 17,212 Unique Visitors in 2 days. On top of this, the story got 73 Comments on Digg and there were 6 Blog Postings from the Story Source.
First let me just give the usual disclaimer "this is based on a limited sample set and additional data may impact the results" (people can be so touchy about these things).
I was expecting the vast majority of the Digg traffic to come from the United States (and it did). What surprised me though, was the amount of traffic that came from other countries, 114 countries in total. Here is a graph of the top 5 countries
Another interesting thing that I noticed was that for every person who dug the piece, there were about 15 people who just read it. This was REALLY cool to me because I've often wondered just how much traffic Diggs generate. Of course this is just a Ball Park of what to expect and many factors can impact it.
The story averaged more than 3 Diggs per minute (the pulse of the story baby) when it first went HOT. Two hours later, although it was still hot (lukewarm maybe???) 1st page positioning began to drop and so did the Diggs per minute. The piece stayed on the 1st page for 3 hrs. We noticed that when it moved to page two the pulse slowed quite a bit. By this point it was gaining fewer than 1 Digg per minute and slowing considerably.
In the end, the site ended up getting additional residual Diggs (and traffic) for about 2 days. In any case, I felt really fortunate to be a part of this experience. I will definitely be looking for further opportunities to utilize Digg.
Footnote: I did get permission from the site owner to share this information with all of you :)!