- In purchasing the domain name üjs.com, I learned about Punycode. Basically, when you type üjs.com into the browser, the browser will translate it to the Punycode equivalent, which is http://xn--js-wka.com/. On one hand, this is what prevents you from buying göögle.com and creating a giant phishing scheme; on the other hand, because most users are unfamiliar with Punycode, going to a legitimate domain like üjs.com looks like a giant phishing scheme due to the rewrite.
- I only promoted üjs through three channels: Twitter, Hacker News, and Reddit. On Twitter, I discovered that using a Punycode domain as your punchline really limits its reach because instead of tweeting about üjs.com, many tweeted about xn--js-wka.com (because that's what you can copy from the location bar after you visit the site), or (somewhat ironically) a URL-shortened version of the domain. I suspect more people would have followed the shared link if they could see the original domain name.
- According to Google Analytics, just over half of my traffic (50.04%) on April 1 was from Hacker News (where I made it to the front page!). Another 9.89% was from Reddit. Analytics also claims that only 1.57% of my traffic came from Twitter, though 29.76% of my traffic was "direct," so I assume that was from Twitter, as well. On April 1, I had 3690 visits, and then another 443 on April 2 (presumably from the eastern hemisphere who woke up on Saturday to an aftermath of Internet April Fools' pranks).
- GoDaddy was not able to do a domain search for üjs.com, presumably due to the non-ASCII characters. It turned out that name.com was able to, so I ended up going with them. (Presumably if I understood Punycode well enough at the outset of this project, I could have registered xn--js-wka.com through their site.)
- I found a discount code for name.com, so my total cost out of pocket for this project was $8.75 (my hosting fees are a sunk cost).
- Not that it was a substantial investment, but I was hopeful/curious whether I could break even in some way. I felt that traditional ads would have been a little over the top, so instead I decided to include two Amazon Associates links. Although I produced 350 clicks to Amazon (!), I failed to generate any conversions, so I did not make any money off of my ads.
- Chartbeat is really, really cool. It made it much more fun to watch all of the web traffic to üjs.com during the day. (I wish that I generally had enough traffic to make it worth using Chartbeat all the time!) I believe that I had 144 simultaneous visitors during the peak of üjs, and I was amazed at how dispersed the traffic was from across the globe.
- One thing that I did not realize is that Chartbeat does not do aggregate statistics. Fortunately, I set up Google Analytics in addition to Chartbeat, so I had access to both types of data.
- Response times were about 1s on average during peak traffic times. At first, I thought that was horrendously slow, but then I realized that there were a large number of requests coming from outside the US, which increased the average. Most of the requests from the US loaded in the low hundreds of milliseconds, which made me feel good about my hosting choice (who really is excellent, btw).
- The n̈ in Spin̈al Tap is not a valid Unicode character. Instead, it is displayed by printing an n followed by an umlaut, and what I can only assume is the kerning makes the umlaut display over the previous character. (The umlaut does not display correctly on my Chrome 10 on Windows, but it's fine on Linux.) Other characters, such as ü are valid Unicode and can be displayed with a single code point. Wikipedia has a list of letters that "come with umlauts," so I used those characters whenever possible on üjs.com, but for others, I had to use the "letter followed by an umlaut" trick.
var \u00fc;is not.
- Initially, the GitHub badge on my page did not link to anything, as I just wanted to satirize the trend I've been seeing in open source lately. Though after a request from a coworker, I imported all of the files I used to create üjs into GitHub. (Incidentally, when I tried to name the GitHub project üjs, they replaced the ü with a hyphen, so I renamed it umlautjs).
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