It is a sad fact that I am already slightly obsessed with the viewing statistics for this website, despite having only 27 posts and 161 views in the 9 days since I started writing (or, more accurately, linking). These are the facts: almost everyone who has come here has come from Facebook, and the most clicked posts were Tennis and Jonathan Franzen (which was the only post attracting traffic not from Facebook).

So it was that I read this with some interest: what happens when a blog posting goes viral. Binary Bonsai is a relatively small blog by a web developer called Michael Heilemann. On Saturday 18th, he posted a lengthy essay about the design and creation of Chewbacca from Star Wars. The posting was referenced across a range of popular blogs and by the following Thursday traffic to Binary Bonsai had peaked at 100 times its normal level. He’s analysed the traffic (WordPress and other blogging platforms give you pretty detailed stats on which sites people arrive at your website from, what links they click, etc) to show timelines and volume of traffic arriving from all the different websites that linked to him, how long people stayed around after arriving from each origin, etc. He made some really nice graphs.

A significant chunk of the traffic came from Kottke and Boing Boing, sites listed in Other People’s Websites, but Google search also delivered a lot, implying that at any given moment, there are a lot of people out there Googling Chewbacca. People love the Star Wars.

Via – incidentally everyone else is now linking the stats post, which will keep Binary Bonsai’s traffic high for a while more; I imagine a second, lower peak to the original graph, like an aftershock.