Happy 1st Birthday, Sphinn!

Filed in Social Media by Matt McGee on July 10, 2008 7 Comments

“It’s our first day, and we’re thrilled to have you try the site.”

That’s how Danny Sullivan announced the launch of Sphinn one year ago tomorrow: July 11, 2007. He also explained how the new site works and — no less important — how to say the darn name! Who knew that, one little year later, Sphinn would become a daily must read for online marketers everywhere? Not me, that’s for sure. But I gave it a try on the first day, and was immediately hooked.

Happy Birthday, Sphinn

As an early adopter, I wrote about the Sphinn effect — the bump in traffic I saw when my first submission hit the home page. More recently, I’ve written from my moderator’s chair about how to tell when you’re spamming Sphinn. In this post, let’s take a look at …

Sphinn’s Early Days

While Danny’s Welcome to Sphinn story is considered the first post on Sphinn, it wasn’t the first one to go hot. If you go all the way back to the first page of published stories (i.e., stuff that hit the home page), you’ll see two posts that went hot during the private beta testing — one from Danny, and one from Gord Hotchkiss:

Sphinn hot stories

The first story to hit the home page after launch? That was Danny’s Sphinn Feature Wishlist discussion, which was no doubt pushed to the home page on launch since it still only has 12 votes.

The first “regular user” story to hit the home page after launch? That honor belongs to Everett Sizemore’s story about affiliate programs and reputation management.

First regular Sphinn hot story

Well done, Everett!

Sphinn’s stories are numerically ordered when you submit, and we’re fast approaching 60,000 right now (although that’s not the actual number of submits). Still, did you know that the second story ever submitted to Sphinn, during the private beta testing, eventually hit the home page after the public launch? Yep. Props to Barry Schwartz for that story about Google Adwords’ Quality Score.

And you can still see story #001, which was on the receiving end of some strange bug in the Pligg software on at least one occasion. Weird.

So, that’s a look at the early days of Sphinn on its first birthday. Hmmmm. Let me find a couple other things quickly….

Sphinn and Small Business SEM

The first article from this blog to ever hit the Sphinn home page was How to SEO Your Site in 60 Minutes, which was submitted by Tamar and still ranks as one of Sphinn’s greatest hits. To this day, I still love the irony of these two headlines going hot just a minute apart:

Sphinn Irony


What about stuff I’ve submitted? The first one to hit the home page was Yes, Virginia, There ARE Followed Wikipedia Links. I think that was pretty much the start of what’s almost become an addiction.

Everyone knows I think Sphinn rocks, and I don’t mind spending lots of time there as a user and moderator. It’s fun, usually educational, and only mildly frustrating (spam). Plus, like any good social media site, the more you give, the more you get: Sphinn is one of the five biggest sources of traffic to this blog, bringing more than 4,000 visits so far in 2008.

Sphinn traffic

So, thanks Sphinn! Hope you have a great birthday.

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Sites That Link to this Post

  1. [Vote 4 Me] Blog Vibrations | July 10, 2008
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  1. Matt thanks for reinforcing my need to work Yahoo answers a little more – I may have blocked out the other traffic sources

  2. Streko says:

    ahh it seems like just yesterday Sphinn was being attacked by hundreds of “blogrush” posts.

  3. David Mihm says:

    Sphinn has changed my life. Seriously. It’s consistently in my top 4-5 referral sources and has helped me get visibility from folks I never would have dreamed would find me after just a year (+/-) of blogging. And I’ve also read articles that have helped me become a better SEO, from Sphinn, that I never would have found otherwise.

    Thanks to you and the rest of the moderators for all the hard work you put in.

  4. Thanks for the post Matt. One year old!!! Happy Birthday Sphinn.com. Hopefully this next year will be just as good if not better.

  5. Paul says:

    Sphinn is still going strong. HAppy Birthday! 🙂

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