Overnight Success on Reddit, 10 Years in the Making

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On Thursday evening, my pals Sachin and Brad alerted me to a new section on Reddit. It’s called IamA as in “I am a…”. Basically you submit a post telling your special story and people just ask you anything. They strongly recommended that I go on there and post. They were sure I was going to be a big hit there.

I tried to come up with a pretty eye catching sensational title that was true. I posted “I am Raiden from the Mortal Kombat video games. – AMAA”. AMAA stands for Ask me almost anything.

Since creating that post a bit over 24 hours ago, it was front paged on the IamA section, upvoted over 280 times, downvoted over 120 times, and received over 390 comments. People have even blogged about it. It’s been pretty amazing.

It’s been very interesting to see the kinds of questions that come up. People were excited to find out that Raiden is a web developer. The Reddit crowd I’m sure probably skews towards that. The reception’s been great. People ask really funny questions. There were some really hardcore MK fans. Or maybe I just really don’t know much about MK.

I’ve actually had an account on Reddit and have submitted articles and upvoted posts. However I’ve long since forgotten my login and password so I created a new account and named it more appropriately for this one post.

I think my takeaway from this is that there really is no overnight success. My instant hit on Reddit was a confluence of many variables. Most importantly it was due to the fact that I did martial arts for 10 freaking years and did the moves for a very popular video game franchise. That is all.

Another reason is that it was the right social network. I’ve been on Twitter for over a year and I can’t say that I’ve found the engagement on there that I’ve found in 15 minutes on Reddit. I think on Twitter there’s more marketers and other types of people – not as many video game geeks.

If you’re interested in reading the full transcript, here it is:

Popularity: 3% [?]

Using Twitter to Promote an Event Last Minute + Results

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This evening I gave a talk for the Chicago Interactive Designers and Developers Meetup. I’ve been so busy lately that I did not think to promote it well in advance. As a result I didn’t get the word out about it until late in the afternoon today.

With tools like Twitter search and bit.ly, I was able to track all the chatter leading up to it and as well as during the talk. I was so excited to see all this data that I felt like I had to share this experience for people who doubt the utility of Twitter.

3:00PM – I send out my first Tweet about my talk. Mind you my talk is at 6PM. A few moments later I send out another Tweet about it.

In about 2 hours, I count 10 tweets regarding the event, using a quick search for my name or the talk. I also track the amount of times that people click on the link to the talk page. By 5PM there are over 50 clicks to the page. At this point I’m pretty giddy. I’m no David Armano or Frank Ze so 10 tweets and 50 click-throughs is huge.

I wanted to see if people would tweet about the talk during the talk or afterwards. This was what I did to foster that. Once the talk begins I start off by telling people to use the hash tag #chiixdd (for Chicago Interactive Designers & Developers). Judi the organizer also tells people to use #cidd. On the front page of my presentation I also give my Twitter username.

A quick search on my name right after the talk yielded this – around 13 tweets.

Digging a little deeper I found other mentions:

What’s cool is Roundarch (the company that puts food on the table for me) got mentioned and so did Merapi, the Flash Java Bridge created by by Adam Flater, another Roundarcher.

Another interesting measure is to look at the number of followers that each person who tweeted your message has. Essentially that is the number of people who heard your message. I counted up all followers and it came to 4314. So the key in Twitter’s utility is other people spreading your message. If it was just up to me, only 629 people would hear my message but because other people have passed my message along, my reach has increased 4 fold in this instance. And I’m some super no name guy. Imagine if you had 20,000 followers and thousands of people who retweeted your message.

Did I also tell you bit.ly is the bomb? Before if you pasted a link on Twitter, you’d have no way of knowing how many people clicked on that link if it wasn’t your own site. A quick look at the bitly page for the meetup page that I tweeted tells me over 100 people have clicked on the page at the time of this writing.

So for all you Twitter haters or people who think that there is no use to Twitter, think again. In a very short amount of time (3 hrs), a no name speaker such as myself is able to broaden his reach in getting people to know about his talk. About 70 people RSVPed and about 40 people showed up. I’m told that it’s a pretty decent turnout and that the ratio is usually about 50%.

If anyone has great Twitter stories, I’d love to hear them as well.

Popularity: 3% [?]

Blast Your Links To All Your Social Networking Sites in 1 Second


There are so many social networking sites right now that I can’t even keep track of them all. Not only that, but they all have adopted the status feature which lets you post a short message. Twitter’s whole service offering is just the status update. This is a great marketing tool that you can leverage to drive traffic to your site. However updating them all can be a huge pain. I for example have accounts for Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, and the list goes on and on. Different people in my different social circle interact with me only through certain social networks. If I wanted to share a link with them, I can choose to do it through all the services and waste tons of time or pick my battles and decide what social network I want to put my energy in.

This is where Ping.fm comes in. It’s a great service which consolidates the updating of all your social networks in one very easy to use site. With Ping.fm, I can update my status there once, and it blasts it to all my social networks I have set up in Ping.fm.

I’ve been using Ping.fm for a while now, and although it’s great, I still have to go to the site and log into it. With all that I have going on, that’s just not convenient enough.

Enter txtful. Txtful is a service that hooks your instant messenger account or phone to Web 2.0 services. To put it into concrete terms, I can hook Netflix to my txtful account and send an SMS to add movies to my queue. I can also do it from my IM account. I add do@txtful.com as a contact and then I can tell it to refill my prescription without having to talk to a pharmacist.

This brings me back to my post. Txtful has a shortcut to ping.fm. With that, I just send do@txtful.com a status update and it pipes the instructions to ping which blasts it to all my social networks. The reason I like txtful is because my IM client is ALWAYS on when I am on. I don’t need to go to another website; I just do it right from my IM client. It saves me an extra step.

ping.fm + txtful = uber efficient social media whore

Give these 2 services a shot.

Popularity: 7% [?]

Samsung Gets Social Media

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I just recently stumbled on this video on youtube. This video probably would never have been made 5 years ago. It’s got a very low budget homemade feel. It’s candid in its admission that Samsung hired them to showcase how awesome SSDs (solid state drive) are. But looking at the number of views (1.5M+) on youtube along, I’d say it’s a pretty successful campaign so far.

Being a geek, it was totally impressed by this video. It appealed to me. I could relate to it even though I would never hook up 24 SSDs in a RAID configuration.

I think we’ll start seeing more and more of these types of tactics done by big brands as they get more comfortable with the idea of putting themselves out there outside of traditional advertising.

Popularity: 2% [?]

Chris Brogan Thinks I’m a Rockstar

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Marketing and Social Media guru Chris Brogan lists me as a Rockstar. Rather, I shamelessly promoted myself on his blog in his Rockstars section. You can submit your own name and blog into his list, but it’s at his sole discretion whether or not you appear on the list. I suspect my episodes of messing with the cat have something to do with this. Actually to be honest, I haven’t seen any traffic through this list, so I think you’d be better off leaving comments on his blogs and trying to foster a real relationship instead of being lazy and just link dropping if you wanted some traffic.

Popularity: 1% [?]

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