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Posted by on Nov 11th, 2011 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Happy Birthday to us! And what a birthday it is. 26,000 of you stopped by last month to revel in Head Chef’s Halloween Countdown, in which he posted a new slice of scary pie every single day of the month. A herculean effort, bless him, that bought us an entire new audience, and I’d like to thank every single one of you for popping by.

So what made the difference, beyond the sheer number of posts? Why was this October over four times more popular than the last? I can only blame Stumbleupon and Reddit, two netsurfing tools that apparently exist to spread the love among creative blogs worldwide and which I used, for the first time, last month. Whenever we wrote a post it was just ‘submitted’ to both sites, and they did the rest.

20 million people regularly ‘Stumble’ around the net, the desktop or mobile app cherry picking the best pages for you as defined by your ’likes’ and ‘dislikes’. The more you Stumble, the more you ‘like’ (or otherwise) the more the app knows what you want to see. Start by selecting a few favourite catagories – movies, music, etc – and away you go. Occasionally they can even select blog pages you haven’t submitted if your site’s getting traffic, and that can throw up the odd weird stat spike, but mostly it gives consistent results: a quick rise in views that just as quickly falls off, followed by an irregular trickle. Three years ago my daily background traffic - i.e. how many people were on the site when there was nothing new to see – would struggle to make double figures. Now I’m disappointed if it’s under 200.

If there’s a problem, it’s that Stumbleupon & Reddit don’t function to foster interest in your site alone. It’s not there to build your community. You read it, ‘like’ it, and then you Stumble on. Stumbleupon itself is the community, so I wasn’t exactly surprised that we were’t getting any comments, because that’s how I use it myself. My ‘Like’ is my comment, and I find myself ‘Stumbling’ more & more. No other app better demonstrates the true breadth of everyday human creativity.

And the future for The Roomyverse? Well, last month proved what could be achieved if we were to write everyday aiming for a tight niche, but it just can’t be done on such a regular basis. We all have dayjobs, and I’m not interested in just writing about any single subject. What I will do, though, is fulfill this website’s original function and finish my first podcast in three years – I promise you that.

Many thanks, again, to every one of our readers, and to Head Chef and Johanna for contributing such great pieces everyone’s really loved.

Happy Birthday one and all.

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