It’s no secret that people who write these types of online journal thingies pay attention to our traffic. And occasionally an old post that we figured was long dead and buried rises out of the morass and gets a lot of traffic. In the last month, a post I wrote back on February 3 called “Harry Potter and The Gynormous Spoiler” has become our third most-visited page.
Because the piece itself is pretty much a trifle — it’s essentially me whinging about how I’m sure to be spoiled on Harry’s fate prior to actually finishing the book, poor me! — I’m surprised that it got any traffic at all. But I think that it just reflects the public’s appetite for and anticipation of the ending of these books, an appetite that has suddenly ramped up, and is just about to explode.
Our logs kind of bear that out. Most of the traffic has been coming from four search terms: “Harry Potter Spoilers,” “Harry Potter Spoiler,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Spoilers” and “Harry Potter 7 Spoilers,” and while the piece got normal-enough traffic back in February, it had very little traffic until May 14. On that day, the pageviews went up 50,000% from the day before, and ever since that first spike, the search traffic has remained consistently high, though there was another spike on June 18th.
Why did these things happen? I don’t know. Maybe we lucked into good placement on Google or Yahoo on those days, or maybe some other event on those days spurred a crazy-ass amount of searches, and we were the beneficiaries. You can drive yourself crazy by thinking too hard about these things, so I normally don’t. This one is interesting, because there is going to be nothing bigger in our pop culture this summer than how J.K. Rowling answers the question of Harry Potter’s fate.
Of course, just like the reaction to the ending of The Sopranos, no matter the answer, about 1/3 of the audience is going to be absolutely pissed, 1/3 of the audience is going to think that it’s totally fracking brilliant and 1/3 of the audience will be busy creating and posting their own parodies.
And that post? It will fade back to obscurity almost immediately, because everybody will know.