One of the things a lot of people get wrong is user spikes. Whether it's spike in downloads of a product, or a spike in traffic, a lot of people will tout the sudden increase as if it matters. In reality, as this post makes clear, it usually doesn't:
Josh Kopelman has a perfect post up today called 53,651. This is the number of RSS subscribers to Michael Arrington’s great TechCruch blog, and is exactly at the core of the “first 25,000 user” issue. Since there are 53,651 RSS subscribers of TechCrunch (at least as of 5/12/06) , if something gets reviewed there, it’s likely to get 5,000 to 10,000 users in the next 24 hours “just to try it out.” As so many traffic graphs of these “TechCrunched” products show, there is a huge spike in use for a day or two, and then it goes right back down to where things were before they were TechCrunched.
There's a nice chart that goes with that; follow the first link to see it. As most of you know, a post I made last week hit Digg, Reddit, and Slashdot - and gave me a sudden flood of traffic. That flood didn't last - it's not as if every reader of those sites suddenly became fascinated by Smalltalk :) I know plenty of marketing people who would make sure to include that spike in a report on traffic averages thoug, in order to make themselves look better. It's no more real than the initial spike in users described above.
If you're trying to build a new business, those mentions help, but they won't put you into "lie on the couch and wait for the orders" mode...