When Pen.io first launched, it was covered by Techcrunch, TheNextWeb and a bunch of other blogs. Predictably traffic at the time was very good and I thought this was an "insane" amount of traffic. It sent through a burst of users (aka a spike) and then started to settle down into a nice number of daily users.
Then I attended the Launch Conference. I was chosen to present on stage, and the app was exposed to a whole new group of press, bloggers, and early adopters. The traffic once again spiked and then settled nicely above where it previously was and continued to grow.
Now on the graph above, things look flat during the period between the Launch Conference and March 12th. But thats only because of the "insane" amount of traffic the app has been getting in the past few days. So what's driving this craziness - its not the press. Its the users.
Much of the traffic is coming from Facebook, Google, Reddit and Hacker News, but even more exciting is the traffic being generated offline. In the past couple of days, there has been a surge of pages in the education sector - whole classes of students are using the app to publish their work online. Each of these pages is being read by parents and other students and the odd piece is getting picked up and shared virally. And this in turn results in a bunch of new pages being created.
Another noticeable trend is the number of event pages being created has dramatically increased - pen.io seems to be the perfect place for quick and easy event invitations. And these event pages have the same viral effect.
So although Techcrunch got the site off to an amazing start, its the users who are pushing the chart through the roof. I would like to say that I knew this would happen - but I just created the tool, put it out there for the world to see, and the users did the rest and in doing so surprised the hell out of me.
Some Pen.io Pages that Rocked my World
Until I finish building a tag based discovery mechanism on Pen.io (coming real soon), I'm the only one who gets to see the popular pages being shared on Pen.io. Here are some of the pages that made me smile this past week:
What Else Can I Say (poetry) - Before Pen.io I never read any poetry, but now I find myself coming across creative pieces everyday on Pen.io and I must admit that I'm kind of hooked. This is one great example.
Winning an Unfair Game - A Googler /Youtuber posted this problem online. One day I'll get around to figuring it out.
Twittergate - So Twitter apparently removed their groups post on 3rd Party Clients. Someone mirrored it here.
The Art of Intelligent Trolling - A great read. Slightly ironic that its almost impossible to troll on Pen.io due to the current lack of social features.
I Have No Idea - I have no idea what this page from Japan is about. All I do know is that there is what looks like a picture of some meat with animals and people living on it with a giraffe in the background. I'm sure someone will eventually explain it to me and it will all make sense.
Japan's Nuclear Situation - The debate on the internet about the nuclear situation spilled over onto many Pen.io pages. Here was one. (i have no idea if the info is correct, im just happy people are debating it).
Bristol Cake Sale of Japan - An example of an event page.
How to Survive an Apocalypse on $20 - This page was created right after the Tsunami in Japan with San Francisco in mind. It was widely shared and as a result updated with some user suggestions.
Seaworld - A great example of one of the many random, funny, snippets of text posted online.
Most pages are created in languages other than English. Pen.io is big in Germany, Japan, Portugal and Mexico. And even with Google Translate, most page get lost in translation.