Civil Serf: the Spartacus effect

I was curious. In an idle moment on the train home on Monday night, I wondered how easy it could have been for Civil Serf to delete all trace of her now legendary blog. So I went to the site she used, and set about registering my own blog with them. When it asked me what username I wanted, just for a laugh, I tried ‘civilserf’. Would it let me have it? Astonishingly, the answer was ‘yes’.
And so, with the clock ticking towards 10pm, I took ownership of Britain’s most famous blog. I quickly bashed out an initial post, as I knew the story was going to feature in Radio 4’s The World Tonight, and on BBC2’s Newsnight, within the hour. By the power of Google, my post was indexed within a few minutes, and sat proudly atop the search results for ‘civil serf’.
And the traffic began to come. In the first hour, I received 60+ referrals to my own website; I don’t know about the various other bloggers I highlighted. Bear in mind, this is hardly peak time for web surfing. (Well, maybe not this kind of web surfing.)
Opportunities like this don’t come round very often. I can’t help feeling we should make something of it. Anyone?
Oh, and by the way… yes, there is a big ‘delete’ button on the control panel. But I’m certainly not planning on pressing it, to see what it does. I’ve had another dozen hits since I started writing this piece.

13 thoughts on “Civil Serf: the Spartacus effect”

  1. I’d be interested to see a published stats counter on the site – so we can track the experiment. I use
    My first notes at the url above. More tomorrow.

  2. Good thinking that man. I’d also be interested to see how many CivilSerf hits go on to read puffbox…
    Can’t help but feel this will all lead to some cripplingly dull guidance for Civil Service bloggers appearing in 6 months time. It’s a shame to lose one of the most human of the public sector blogs.

  3. had similar numbers. many thanks for the link. always good to have something to compare with. the delayed reaction and everything else just shows how technically inept most MSM journos are (harrumph!) – more power to us ;]

  4. Matt wanted to know about traffic to the Civil Serf site… here’s what I’ve got.
    I took possession of the URL late on Monday. So let’s take the first full day of ownership. On Tuesday, there were 1922 visitors and 3472 page views. For a one-page website? OK, so those look a bit dubious.
    What I can say with certainty is that it’s the busiest few days’ blogging I’ve personally ever had, by some considerable margin. I had nigh-on 600 visitors to this site, solely as referrals from the Civil Serf one-pager, and I did 1500+ page views. Let’s just say, that’s well above average. And I know from some of the others I linked to from the Civil Serf one-pager, they’ve seen plenty of clickthroughs too.

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