Why The Web is Awesome

Just over a week ago, I launched this little app called Web Colour Data. This had been my baby for a few months, and I was getting to the point where I need to validate that I was going anywhere at all with this. Why put all that sweat into an app if no one finds it useful?

So I submitted it to Hacker News.

Once it passed 4 votes, it landed on the front page. It then passed the test of getting enough momentum with more people voting, so that it stayed on there for about 12 hours. Traffic got intense. I could see that the real time visitor traffic was jumping up from 40, to 80 to 120. I had to scale up my Heroku dynos up to 52 at one point.

As a side note, there were some major lessons learned about the importance of writing good code. As a designer, I focus most of my efforts on ensuring the quality of the UX and front end. If people can't access your site due to 500 errors because your app cant scale, none of that matters.

Out of curiosity, I did a search on Twitter. There were people tweeting about the app every couple of minutes. There were people tweeting about it from Japan, Spain, Korea.

I just did a search for webcolourdata.com on Google. I found even more people linking and writing about it.

Something about this clicked with me. If you create good content on the web, people will write about it, unprompted. This is why Google rankings algorithms work the way they do. This is why black hat SEO techniques and those who try to artificially inflate their content and muddy search results ruin the web for the rest of us. I don't want to find link farm landing pages when I search for something. I want good content.

A week on, I'm approaching 30k in visitors.

What's astounding is that something I made could be posted to one site and in hours have been in front of thousands of people. Some of those people will then feel motivated enough to share my creation with their network. Not because I asked them, but because they thought what I made was worth sharing. That is why the web is awesome.