Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

LeBron James and the Giant Twitter Link

What happens when a really popular person posts a Web link on Twitter? They make a lot of traffic! So what happens when LeBron James posts a Web link on Twitter?

He makes a lot of traffic–and that traffic doesn’t go away.

While some of you (all of you?) wait for James’s ESPN non-news conference tonight, here’s some data to chew on, courtesy of, the Web link shortening folks, and betaworks,’s Web incubator parent.

Betaworks’ Isaac Greenbaum has spent the past day analyzing this link––that James posted yesterday via Twitter. Here’s what the traffic from that link, which takes you to James’s personal Web site, looked like in the first hour after he posted it (click image to enlarge):

The big spike isn’t unusual for a popular link. The impressive part, Greenbaum says, is how much traffic the link continued to generate after the first rush. Even now, he says, a day after the posting, the link is generating some 50 clicks a minute. That’s a torrent for a day-old link.

More data (click to enlarge):

What’s really interesting here is that while James is big on Twitter, he isn’t that big–he’s just under 320,000 followers for now. That’s in part because he just went on a couple of days ago, and in part because he never got the “Suggested User List” nod from Twitter that generates those crazy one million-plus follower numbers.

But most of the people who do get on that list eventually figure out that no one really has that many people reading their tweets–they just have a lot of people following their account. And most of them aren’t really “following” at all. Big difference.

So Greenbaum’s real takeaway is that all of James’ Twitter followers are really, really interested in what he has to say. Yep!

But here’s my own prediction, made without the benefit of any analytics at all: People will start becoming a lot less interested in what James has to say in a few hours.

[Image credit: Craig Hatfield]

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus