BusinessWeek Online has an article by Olga Kharif questioning whether the Slashdot Effect has, well, lost its effect. Basically, sites that used to see a significant jump in traffic when linked on Slashdot now see much smaller increases in traffic. One example given is TomsHardware.com which used to see a 30% increase in traffic when slashdotted, but now only sees a 5-10% increase in traffic.
Slashdot probably has more readers than ever, but they’re going out into a far larger Internet news world. While their impact on the Web as a whole is still significant, the effect on individual sites or even particular stories is a lot less than it used to be.
What seems to be missing in the article is how much the traffic of sites mentioned has changed. I’m assuming TomsHardware.com had fewer viewers two or three years ago. It’s much easier for a slashdotting to account for a 30% jump in traffic for a small site as opposed to a 30% increase for a site that has a large readership. Seems like basic math to me.