I was looking at the traffic on UMW Blogs on this beautiful Fall morning during my day off—I can’t help myself. Looks like last Sunday we had a traffic anomaly of epic proportions. On average we get 8 to 10 thousand page views a day, but this past Sunday we got a whopping 27,000 hits. What in the wide, wide world of web sports went down? With a little digging in Google Analytics I discovered (under Audience–>Technology–>Network and switched Primary Dimension by Hostname) that 20,000 page views were hitting a three year old physical chemistry post featuring the phase diagram.
Here is a look at the post:
Which begged the questions, what site sent 20,000 people to a diagram on UMW Blogs about chemical properties of carbon? I discovered (under Audience–>Technology–>Network–>Hostname and filtered by the secondary dimension Social Network) that it was Reddit of course 🙂
In particular, the traffic came from the AskScience Discussion thread posing the question “Does every material have a solid, liquid, and gas state?” One of the comments links people to the post/diagram on UMW Blogs as a way to demonstrate Carbon has a liquid phase (which we all know thanks to Hans Solo’s being frozen in liquid carbon in Empire Strikes Back).
Moral of the story? I’ve been saying it for years, but educational institutions publishing to an open web makes the commons greater and open resources ubiquitous. I can;t get enough of these stories, and with a work horse like UMW Blogs that is well into it’s seventh year, it should be no surprise anymore. But it’s always worth repeating lest we forget how powerful these open publishing platforms can be to share information at a scale far beyond our wildest imaginations.