What happens when your app hits the frontpage of reddit

Never thought I’d see this

TL;DR version:

  • You’re probably going to get 1,000,000+ unique visitors.
  • Your site will get a lot of media coverage.

Here are quick and important tips:

  • You should implement a CDN like cloud flare will help prevent the hug of death.
  • Definitely make your site mobile compatible.
  • Define and implement your call to action before launching.
  • Get ready to take action; you only have a 48 hour window where the majority of traffic will come from.

The Story

I knew I built something kinda clever and kinda cool at the end of the 48-hour hackathon, but I didn’t think it was anything too great.  “A 60-second meditation tool for stress relief” — overall, people seemed to like pixelthoughts.co.  I wanted to fix up a few bugs before putting it on reddit, but I was so busy with other projects, it was shelved.

Reddit — where all things go viral

Fast forward a month, I dusted off pixelthoughts, slapped on a few bug fixes, registered the pixelthoughts.co domain, and created a cloudflare account just in case it got popular.

I uploaded pixelthoughts.co to /r/internetisbeautiful and thought it might get a hit thousand hits.

I refreshed the page every few minutes, and quickly saw that there was no movement.  In fact, /r/internetisbeautiful had given it 2 downvotes, and 1 upvote.

‘Ah well, there’s always the next project’ and left for lunch to grab some indian food.  Returning about 45 minutes later, I checked the status and saw that I suddenly had 21 upvotes and 3 downvotes.  5 minutes went by and the post now had 28 upvotes and 3 downvotes.  Pixelthoughts.co was now on the ‘hot’ page on /r/internetisbeautiful – I thought ‘well, this is going a lot better than anticipated’.

Little did I know that 2 hours later, I’d be on the front page of reddit with over 7700+ concurrent connections.


Woah… that’s a lot of concurrent connections

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I partied with my web browsers!

I just moved to SF just over a two weeks ago, and don’t have any friends! Oh so lonely — who will party with me? Well, since I’ve been hanging out a lot with my web browsers recently, why not invite them to party!


hmmm, who to invite?

I wrote a little script with recursion, and bam instant party!

Click here to party: 

Drag this Link to your bookmark bar for future party use! It will turn ANY SITE into a party!

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