Why SF Weekly’s tech circle jerk story is a hit

The tech bloggers (Credit: SF Weekly)

Dan Mitchell says his SF Weekly piece about tech bloggers “really took off” after Kara Swisher tweeted it on Tuesday. “I don’t have any personal knowledge of traffic numbers, since I’m not on the staff,” he says in an email, “but in terms of tweets, this one drew many hundreds as counted by Twitter’s URL search, where normally I think I get anywhere between 10 and maybe 80, tops.”

SF Weekly online news editor Erin Sherbert tells me that Mitchell’s “Are People Finally Getting Bored with the Tech-Blog Circle Jerk?” piece has been the number one story on the site since Tuesday; as of about noon Thursday, it’s gooten 28,528 hits. “It’s been getting 200-plus active simultaneous users, when a good story usually gets 20.” For SF Weekly, “anything great would be 60-plus.”

Mitchell says of his piece about “tech circle-jerkers” Michael Arrington, Sarah Lacy, MG Siegler, and Paul Carr:

I don’t think it would have grown like that if I hadn’t tapped into a commonly held feeling. Much has been written about these people’s mercenary natures and their amorality when it comes to basic journalistic ethics, but there hasn’t been much focus on their outrageous — and rather hilarious — preening and self-regard. Because they’re so popular and have so many fans constantly praising them in their comments sections, I was really relieved to see that lots of people — most of them not journalists, but consumers of tech news — agreed with my assessment. The negative reaction to my piece was nearly zero, which surprised me. A lot of people actually thanked me for writing this.

* Are people finally getting bored with the tech blog circle jerk?

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2 comments
  1. Dan Mitchell said:

    That’s entirely possible, but the timing points to a sudden huge spike after the Swisher tweet. I don’t know when the HN post happened, but from what I could tell, it was getting better-than-average traffic until fairly late in the evening when the tweet came, whereupon it immediately went through the roof. Swisher has more than 800K followers, after all.