Super Smart Experiment – Surviving the Digg Effect

Definitely one of the smarter experiments I have seen these days. This site tries to promote 1 story with 9 different hosting companies loaded up in Iframes. That way, each site gets the exact same amount of traffic from the exact users. Then he just pings them to check which are still up.

I absolutely love this kind of attitude of bootstrap experimentation, especially when it is crafted in a way that makes it really accurate. I have seen stories before where they just pound 1 host, but not one where they can really compare multiple hosts at the same time. Kudos!

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  1. Barbara Jones
    Jun 18, 2007


    Jun 22, 2007

    It’s a great idea, but I’m not sure this tells us very much. There are too many variables that have not been controlled in this experiment. At host X they could be on a newly provisioned server with very few shared accounts on it (that will fill up as host X continues to sell more accounts) and at host Y they could be placed on the busiest shared server host Y has. It may be that some other site on the shared server is outgrowing the shared space and will be moved to a new server soon; however, you can’t tell any of that from this study. My experience has been that many hosts have servers that vary significantly in performance just based on the accounts that end up on each shared server. One server at host X may easily handle a digging while another server at host X may struggle.

  3. jh
    Jul 6, 2007

    Would have been nicer had you not been at the center of the whole thing, wouldn’t it?

    Nice try, though. Why did you use something connected to your real name to post the digg and reddit articles? You could have gotten away with this if you paid off some college kids.

    Edit: Exactly. Why in the hell would I run a viral campaign for a client and submit it with the RussVirante account? Why would I then go in the comments and say that I did it? Why would I then post about it on my blog (albeit without attribution?). It blows my mind that the same author who says that I “Fooled the Web” thinks I was doubly stupid enough to publicly expose myself and my authorship.

  4. Franz Shnitzel
    Jul 6, 2007

    So you’re not RussVirante? I mean, just for the record. A simple yes or no will suffice.

    Of course I am russvirante

  5. Jamie
    Aug 7, 2007

    When this first ran, BurtonHosting came out on top. Around that time my site ( was hit by the Digg effect and I needed a new provider. I went with BurtonHosting and the service has been excellent. My new host has so far survived a further two digg effects and 3 reddit effects.

  6. Jamie
    Oct 24, 2007

    I would like to elaborate on my previous comment – two months later my site is experiencing daily downtime, the support number is not answered, and I have migrated from my original shared hosting plan to a $150 dedicated server. As far as I can tell, the server is only dedicated to going down. I have sought out a new provider and plan to change to them as soon as possible. Note as well – my site is only 3-4 months old – a site that young should not be killing a host when running on a dedicated server.


  1. - Surviving the Digg Effect Experiment... Many of you know what the Digg Effect is for those that don't know…

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