Writing, life, politics

My Monopoly Post Is Still Getting Traffic

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that at the end of July, my Campaign For Real Monopoly article from issue 10 of Critical Miss went viral, being read by something like 40,000 people in just a few days. In total, it was viewed 75,015 times during the month of July.

I don’t know quite where it started from. I think a lot of people found out about it from this post in Ezra Klein’s Washington Post blog:


That wasn’t the first mention of it though. It was mentioned by various people on Twitter, but the oldest mention I found was this one on a computer gaming forum called NeoGAF. And the most recent was probably this one on Inside Gaming (found via Josh Wein on the Critical Miss Facebook page).

I’ve just checked out the server logs today, and it seems that while things have quietened down quite a bit, there is still a good trickle of people coming in: in August, that one article’s had 15,646 views. To put that in context, in June, the highest rating article was one about “Semi-Sentient Bipedal Pack Animals” with 310 views, with the entire site itself getting 2073 unique visitors (which is itself not bad considering that the site hasn’t been updated for more than five years).

I don’t think this article going viral’s likely to make much difference to me in the long term. Most people coming to read it will be coming simply to read an article someone’s linked to. They’ll probably not even notice the site it’s on, let alone who wrote it. (Although if anyone is reading this having found me via this article, I’d love it if you could let me know).

So what does it look like when a post goes viral? Well a bit like this:

And this:


  1. Anton

    75,000 page views in one month?!

    Now, if only that page had had a blurb at the bottom, along the lines of:

    “If you enjoyed this article by Jonny Nexus, you may also enjoy his game-related novel, Game Night, available at…”

    Just sayin’…

    • Jonny Nexus

      Yeah, that’s a fair point. I did edit the article to try and point people at my Facebook and Twitter.

      I think the reasons why I didn’t put an explicit Game Night ad at the bottom (there is one at the top) were:

      a) Most of the peak came and went before I realised it (it all happened in a few days). I figured that I’d missed the boat, and traffic would soon drop back to a near-zero level. I was surprised when, a few days ago, I checked it, and found that it was still getting a fair bit of traffic (albeit nothing like as high as at the peak).

      b) I’m not sure how effective it would be. People coming there have come to read that article only. There’s a big jump from an article that relies on people’s common, cultural knowledge of Monopoly, to a humour fantasy book (a notoriously difficult sell – and that’s before you add the RPG element to it).

      c) It’s very hard to sell anything anyway. I paid for hundreds and thousands (and perhaps even *millions*) of banner add impressions on RPGNet and ENWorld (i.e. squarely in the target market) and I think that might have got me perhaps a 100 or 200 sales. (I didn’t really noticed jumps in sales between when the ads were running and when they weren’t).

      d) I don’t want to make people less likely to link to the page. Perhaps it’s best to leave it as it is.

      But having said that, I will think again, and thanks for the suggestion. It really has got me thinking. (Should also point out, I have got a big mention for Game Night in the forthcoming issue 11 of Critical Miss, which I think is must more targetted sell).

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