Yesterday I wrote a quick post on Google VP Vic Gundotra’s gun-happy account of a recent scare he had at home. It was goofy fun, mostly, and got a bit of pickup. But looking at the referral stats, I noticed something curious: SFGate, the SF Chronicle’s website, was the largest non-social referrer to the story. This was odd, because the Chronicle hadn’t written a story about the post.
Here’s what happened: BusinessInsider reblogged, or aggregated, my original post. This has sent us about 60 of the story’s 10,000 visits so far. Then the Chronicle, which has a syndication deal with BusinessInsider, reposted the story. This version — a word-for-word reposting of an aggregation of my post — has sent through over 1,500 new visitors. Which is nice! Thanks, BI.
If there’s a lesson here, which there very well may not be, it’s this: Judging aggregation isn’t quite as simple as metering direct clickthroughs.