Aside: a case study in “reach”

Back in February 2012, I posted a one-page screed on the Old Fashioned cocktail (http://oldfashioned101.com). Within a few weeks, that little page had garnered attention in the New York Times (twice) and on kottke.org, bringing thousands of visitors across a couple weeks. After that initial burst of activity, the site settled into a long, even stretch of just being there.

For the first year, Old Fashioned 101 drew about 50 visitors per day. By 2014, those numbers had quietly grown to around 200 per day, give or take 100. Not bad for an obscure bit of cultural esoterica!

Then, on Friday, December 26, 2014—out of the blue—popular blogger John Gruber somehow came across Old Fashioned 101, enjoyed it, and posted about it on his blog.

Given that Mr. Gruber primarily blogs about timely things related to Apple Inc., a two-year old screed about the Old Fashioned cocktail is an outlier for his audience. Consequently, I immediately realized this event would be an intriguing case study in “reach”. Enter Google Analytics!

Here’s how traffic to oldfashioned101.com was affected:

graph

Visitation peaked on the 26th at nearly 13,000, and then declined. To-date, this composite “media event” has brought around 37,000 new eyeballs—the area under that curve—to Old Fashioned 101.

Of those, about 13,000 have been direct referrals from Mr. Gruber’s post on daringfireball.net:

table

Most of the other referrals—the ones I drew red boxes around—are probably parroting Mr. Gruber’s post. (I received zero referrals from any of those sources prior to the 26th.)

If I filter the referrals just to those from daringfireball.net, here’s what it looks like:
graph2

(The area under that curve comprises the 13,213 visitors from the above table.)

Fun! Anyway, that’s “reach”. Hopefully, at least a few of those 37,000 folks have now made themselves a proper Old Fashioned!