I decided to write a small blog post about one of my pet peeves – that people say they “believe in evolution” (and nitpickers on word “believe”, please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belief#Belief-in). Evolution is a scientific theory and as such does not require believing in it.
So I wrote a small, couple of hundred words essay about it – and had Mich review it for grammar and ideas, thank you! And posted it, despite being somewhat unhappy with the last sentence – originally “Evolution is a proven theory. And it does not require belief.” I edited it a bit later, to say “Evolution has been proven. And it does not require belief.”
I expected the post would get a couple of dozen views from my friends and acquaintances, same as always. I thought it might be interesting for others, too, so I posted it to /r/atheism – to improve the world, one person at a time. I figured it would get about five upvotes and then be buried by dozens of downvotes, same as all my reddit submissions. You’ll need a rage comic or cat picture to get the upvotes…
But no. It got a dozen upvotes. And then a dozen more. And then even more. Long story short, I ended up at 2nd place in /r/atheism/ – subreddit with almost 700 000 followers – and that also meant I was in frontpage of reddit!!!
That all was kind of freaky. My small blog has usually 2..3 people online, but now there were up to 5700 at the same time! There were hundreds of views every minute! And people started sharing the post in Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere. WordPress actually got a kind of sluggish.
It was amusing to see how in /r/atheism I had 90+% upvote rate, but once the submission hit the frontpage, there were more and more downvotes – currently just at lowly 58%. Also, then the first fundies started commenting in both reddit and the blog – my very first personal experience with such nutcases. It is just insane how they don’t understand even the basics of evolution and yet comment on it as experts.
And the number of comments! 421 in reddit, 137 for the blog post. Now I know how PZ Myers must feel every morning.
And so I hit 146 801 views that day. Insane, considering I had started the day with just 244 000 views all-time, since my first blog post in 2006-12-21. As I am writing this, the blog has 468 749 all-time views – second day the evolution post had 76 670 and today it looks I might have “just” around 5000 visitors – that is a bit more that my blog gets usually in a month.
As you can see, my regular days with 200..300 views don’t even show up in the graph…