Reddit’s general manager, Erik Martin, recently published a blog post about Ureddit. Here is the data from sitting on the universal front page.
For a detailed analysis of how our project host was able to quickly scale and accommodate Ureddit for the influx of traffic, view Anastas’ blog post.
On Monday, August 20, the University of Reddit (Ureddit) was featured on the official reddit blog, which then resulted in the blog post sitting on the universal front page of every user that accessed the site over a 2 day period. For a bit of perspective, during the month of December 2011 reddit had almost 35 million unique visitors with the average time on site sitting at 16 minutes per user (that’s a long for a website). That would mean around 1.1 million users a day come to reddit and first see the front page. Ureddit was on the front page of reddit for two days, and stood out further due to the admin tag on the submission. Needless to say we had some interesting results, and Anastas, LLC (Ureddit project host) had to quickly adjust to the influx of traffic.
The Blog, the Front Page of Reddit, and the Data
Prior to the post, Ureddit would get anywhere from 550-800 visitors to the site, but the day of the blog post we topped out at 84,996 unique visitors. Needless to say with that amount of traffic variation there was a lot of stress on our server, but Anastas was able to get everything back to working order (all while at his first week into his doctorate program mind you). The blog post submission received 2,850 upvotes and had 689 comments on it. Below are some of the results of the submission and being on the universal front page of reddit:
- Our subreddit more than doubled over 2 days. We had 24,000 subscribers and moved to more than 51,000
- There were 55,982 unique visitors to our subbredit the day of the post, and 22,363 of the subscribed to it
- We had over 200 new requests and offers for classes
- Various forums had their own discussions about starting their own classes , or discussing Ureddit in general 
- Hours of lost sleep from Anastas and I = Too many to count
Viral Side Effects
Now before we get into the data let’s clarify one thing: Viral in this situation is considered to be anything that increased, but was not the subject or highlight of the blog post or Ureddit specifically.
On twitter the specific term “University of Reddit” was used more than 370 times after the blog post was shared, and the specific term “ureddit” was used another 400 times. As seen from the data chart below, there was also a noticeable jump in mentions of “uofreddit” that signifies new classes being created, teachers communicating with their students, and customer support or engagement coming from our twitter feed @uofreddit.
Two other items we were tracking for traffic also had boosts to them as well:
Our cheesy how-to teach a class on the University of Reddit YouTube video went from single digits to 320 views (listed on the subreddit sidebar)
Our class calendar page saw more than 8,800 unique visitors (listed on the subreddit sidebar)
We were also found that one of the sources of traffic to Ureddit was a podcast discussing one of our classes (around 3:16)
From the massive attention we also received a few different results from external parties that were interested in Ureddit. We received several requests for interviews from the press, businesses asking for partnerships, and even the potential to work with a few universities on building out their potential use of an online higher education platform (more on that in the future).
Not everything was a positive result though, as Ureddit is community based there were some common growing pains that occurred. Trolls; so many trolls. At the time we were pretty lax on how our social media accounts were attached to the Ureddit system, so a few trolls realized that they could produce classes with titles that insulted people and it would come out of our Twitter feed.
Anastas to the rescue again! He put in some new measures that increased the moderation of new classes, and I put in an alert system so whenever anything came out of our feed from an automated source I would instantly see it on my phone. So far it has helped us remove any offending classes within 2 minutes of being created. We also added some new community support by adding additional subreddit moderators, and are building out new plans to work more closely with teachers.
So Now What?
We grow! Anastas and I are currently looking at all the great feedback we have received from the community and will be starting to implement them. We have some other things in the works, so stay tuned. If you are interested in working with Ureddit, just let us know. Ureddit is open sourced as well, and there is always room for additional development assistance. To get in touch, email Anastas – [anastas at ureddit dot com]