I started a Tumblr blog to collect stories of violence committed against women who refused men’s advances (full background story here), and 24 hours into this project, we’ve received some incredible sets of traffic and engagement numbers. Put your nerd pants on, kids, we’re going for a ride.
Really don’t think I’ve ever participated in a project that got this sheer kind of volume right away.
Also notable is that the session duration is quite long– people are staying and reading.
Here’s our referral traffic:
Twitter is the #1, by a long shot, but Jezebel and Think Progress combined send just about the same amount. Facebook (#4, #5 & #8) are pretty distant behind Twitter. Tumblr doesn’t make it into the top ten for direct referrals because Google Analytics treats each Tumblr blog as a separate site, but else in the Social Network analysis, it says around 5,000 hits have come from the Tumblr community, which would put them just above Feministing.
I like looking at how long users referred from different places stayed on site: Fusion and Think Progress folks stayed the longest out of the top ten, while Reddit users bounced pretty quickly (SHOCKING NO ONE, haha).
Also notable: almost no traffic is coming in from searches. No one’s searching for something and landing here by mistake.
Here’s our most popular content:
Just like with Planned Parenthood Saved Me: people wanted more once they scrolled through the first page. It helps that the theme we had for the first 24 hours automatically loaded the second page, so that may account for the high number for page 2. But, filed under Things That Never Happen on the Internet, 12.7% of the users made it to page 3 loading, which means they kept scrolling. I’m attributing this now to the sheer shock value of seeing so many stories, a seemingly endless supply.
The first tweet mentioning the site was me at about 7pm ET on Monday, May 27. In the 24 hours that ensued, we saw 2,181 mentions of the site, which works out to be about 7.6 tweets per minute. (!) In there, there were 2,030 unique people tweeting. HOLY SCHAMOLY.
Again, I’ve never experienced that kind of explosive growth in following on Tumblr before.
I’m a big fan of demystifying content that seemingly
goes viral explodes, so that others can learn how to spread critical information in a moment like this. First, we had a highly emotional moment that crossed many social boundaries working for us, and a hashtag (#YesAllWomen, which had been used over a million times since Saturday) that was already super active. In many ways, all of the elements were in place. Second, we are providing what is for many shocking information, which automatically makes it easily shareable. Those two factors are worth a million Internet dollars when it comes to spread.
But second, I didn’t just create the Tumblr and post it to my Facebook/Twitter, hoping for the best. I reached out to people who were having these conversations in my network, and let them know it was happening. I asked directly for folks’ help in spreading the word. I’m lucky in that I’m connected to a lot of influential people– note, not necessarily people with a bazillion followers, but who are influential in moving their networks to action– which is why cultivating your relationships with digital tools is an ongoing necessity for social changers.
The other thing I did was reach out immediately for a support team to help me make it work, via the TechLady Mafia. 4 wondrous souls jumped right in, and having that kind of team is what makes a project both survivable (when it’s this kind of emotional content), sometimes fun (we had a singalong and many palette-cleansing gifs have been shared via email), and even more successful than one person could have imagined.