Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My fling with Stephen Fry

A celebration of Fry Days

I suppose it was meant to be. We were each minding our own business, never imagining how the stars were about to align. And then ... it happened.

Stephen Fry used his Twitter account to mention something that was completely and entirely unrelated to me. And promptly set off a stampede to my blog.

You will understand, I hope, that when I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less. Therefore, when I say “stampede,”, I intend it in the rather limited sense of (drum roll) a thousand hits in one day.

Let's face it. That's quite a red-letter day for an nth-tier blog. And I hardly even noticed. I was having a very nice weekend fussing over personal projects and enjoying the days just before the start of fall semester. Then I noticed that my Sitemeter widget was indicating a total of 300,000 hits (since 2005, when I launched Halfway There; my first-ever post was uploaded on August 27 of that year, so we have a birthday coming up). The run-up to 300,000 had occurred several days earlier than I had been expecting. I soon found out that Stephen Fry was responsible. It was all his doing!

So what did Stephen do that was so special? He tweeted a mildly obscure remark from the movie War Games, sparking a rush to Google UK to discover the meaning of the string CPE1704TKS. It turns out (certainly to my surprise, and probably to the surprise of anyone else who's been paying any attention), my post on War Games is the No. 1 entry for searchers on Google UK. (Well, I'll be buggered!)

The twittering hordes are still coming to Halfway There in numbers well above my usual modest rate of traffic. Nevertheless, rush hour is clearly over. The numbers are ebbing and will soon be back to normal. I know, however, that I will never forget that magical weekend that I shared with Stephen Fry.

And he doesn't even know I exist! [sob!]

Say, I wonder what Hugh Laurie is doing these days?


Anonymous said...

If it's any consolation, I found you well before Colonel Fry did. (through Pharyngula, in point of fact.) You have at least one steady new visitor who's not here purely out of love for Fry & Laurie. :) -- Lauren Ipsum

Zeno said...

It most certainly is a consolation. Thank you!

Sili said...

Well ...

Fry rather infamously was celibate for a great many years.

So it could be a match made in heaven.

How does a Frying compare to a Pharyngulation?

Zeno said...

Pharyngulations are much more direct. The Frying in question was just an accident. With one exception, Halfway There gets its biggest traffic spikes when PZ deigns to shine his bearded visage upon us. The one exception was Daily Kos a couple of years ago. Now that was the spike that was!

Mike said...

I have a similar but much smaller thing happen with Resident Evil. I wrote a post ages ago about zombie movies, and I mentioned the RE films. To this day, I'm getting a ridiculous amount of hits from it; nothing on the scale of your befryment, but still impressive for a zombie-movie post written a year ago.

Kristjan Wager said...

The spikes one get from when PZ links are quite amazing, however I've found that the long term traffic comes from debunking facebook memes - there is a meme going around about a BBC book list which I wrote something about a couple of months ago; I still get at least 20 visits through google hits each day.

Joshua said...

Pharyngula does swamp a lot. (Only been linked to twice). I have noticed that Pharyngula readers seem less likely to leave comments compared to readers I get from other links but I don't have a good explanation for the phenomena.