A few lessons learned
Last night I made something that got Techcrunched in a matter of hours. Here are some things I learned that you may find useful.
1. Do something
It all started with me making a Top Twitter Clients list, based on number of tweets per client. I twittered about this, around 7:55pm last night.
2. Listen to feedback
One of my followers Joost de Valk responded at about 8:45 by asking if this list could also be made per unique user, and then mention the number of tweets per client. This would show something about the usage of those clients.
3. Respond to that feedback right away
I respect Joost a lot and think he's one of the smartest people I follow. So I made that list. I'm an old-fashioned 'fake programmer' so I hack everything in Perl and PHP. I made a second version of my logging script, and made a Perl script that calculated the ranking based on unique users. I believe in Perl and static files, it's very easy to add or change things quickly.
4. Show that you listened
And I twittered about this, at 9:18 so this took me about half an hour. I think it is crucial that I did this quickly. If I responded the next day, it would have been out of the mind of Joost de Valk, or he might have missed my tweet because he wasn't online. Joost sent a tweet to his 2500 followers about this new list at 9:24. He liked the fact that I made this new version so quickly, so he promoted me.
5. Be ready for a snowball effect
This promotion by Joost got me a lot of traffic via Stumbleupon, and at around 10:45 an article appeared on Techcrunch about this study. Since it linked to just a static file, my server held up fine.
6. Have a good site
And then: nothing. On the very simple list page, there is no navigation to other parts of my site. So besides the visitors, I really didn't get any value from this. The Twitstat site has very poor navigation, so this traffic is nice but pretty much lost for my 'business' of making people use the Twitstat Mobile client.
Hope this helps you. Let me know in the comments.