From Web Feed Entry to 186k Hits

By Susam Pal on 07 Apr 2024

Last Sunday, I published a tiny colour guessing game called Guess My RGB. I developed most of it the previous afternoon, took a break, and revisited it later that night for some final code cleanup. Around 02:00 UTC, I uploaded the game to my website. Since the entire game is contained in a single HTML file named myrgb.html, it was just a matter of uploading this file to my web server. Shortly after, I went to bed.

I had no intention of sharing this game with a wide audience yet, as it hadn't been sufficiently tested. However, when I woke up the next morning, I discovered that a Hacker News (HN) user had already found and shared the game on HN in this post:

Since I had not shared this game with anyone anywhere yet, I was quite surprised to wake up Sunday morning and find my game trending at the top of HN. I believe this is where maintaining an RSS feed on my website might have helped. Every new page that I publish on this website also appears as an entry in the RSS feed for this website. This feed can be found here: feed.xml. I have a few hundred subscribers to this feed. It is very likely that the HN user who shared this game on HN found it through this feed. Indeed my web server logs show that the feed was fetched by a feed reader just minutes before the game was posted on HN.

Ever since this game was shared on HN, my website has received a large number of hits. In the last seven days, this game has received a total of 186850 hits. Not a staggering number but encouraging! The actual numbers for each day look like this:

Date Hits
31 Mar 2024 95467
01 Apr 2024 48330
02 Apr 2024 22305
03 Apr 2024 10189
04 Apr 2024 4685
05 Apr 2024 2101
06 Mar 2024 3773

So the next time someone tells you that RSS is dead, remember how an RSS feed entry helped my little game get discovered. It took only one entry in my web feed, one kind feed subscriber, and a few kind HN upvoters to reach a large audience! It is a testament to the enduring value of simple, open web technologies that can amplify your content and connect you with a passionate audience.

To all visitors of this website who played this game and shared this game with others, thank you! Crafting tiny software tools like this is a creative outlet for me. To know that there are others out there who enjoyed this game brings me joy!

To play this game, go to myrgb.html now and guess some colours!

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