I don’t actively monitor referrers to this site, so I was oblivious to this until a few days afterward. Aware of the Slashdot Effect, I thought I should set up some free tools to remind me to log in and check the site’s health if it happens again:
Hacker News RSS feeds
Hacker news does not publish it’s own RSS feeds, so I had to use a third-party service. I found a URL that would feed me the feed to the latest articles off this site, by searching the “url” attribute:
This URL gives an RSS feed, as you might expect:
To save me installing and checking a local reader, I set up IFTTT to send me an email when new articles are published to this feed.
The “RSS feed to email” applet is perfect for this kind of consumer-grade automation.
I set it up with the URL, and well, nothing interesting happens. Only new articles are emailed, so this is expected.
Since I also use this IFTTT applet to get notifications for other RSS feeds, I do know that it works. Within an hour or two of a new article appearing in the feed, the applet gives you an email from
RSS Feed via IFTTT <email@example.com>:
It’s not exactly a real-time notification, but it’s a good start. At this point, I know when my posts are being linked from a specific high-traffic site, which is a good start.
For any site bigger than a personal blog, you might be interested in handling extra traffic rather than just be vaguely aware of it, but I’ll save that for a future post.