This week I experienced something that hasn't happened in this site's nearly 8 year history. The post and photo series I did on the Earl Kitchener School renovation - specifically the reveal of the new private residence that it's been turned into - went viral in Medicine Hat, Alberta.
I've photographed hundreds of locations in the last few years, and many of my Around the Hat photo sets have thousands of views themselves. They've all been moderately popular, and to this day continue to attract hits. What was different this time is that it literally happened overnight.
On Tuesday my post went live at 8am. I was out the door for an all day shoot and was cut off from updates until I got home at 5pm that night. I sat down at my computer and immediately noticed the flood of messages and updates in my inbox. I then checked my latest post and practically did a double take when I realized that 5,000 people had already viewed it.
In 24 hours that number was over 10,000 - not counting the thousands of other views for my previous posts on Earl Kitchener and the other photo sets I'd done of Medicine Hat that people were drawn to. It was a bit surreal to see my website flooding my facebook newsfeed. Hundreds of people were sharing it and drawing in thousands of visitors to Editing Luke each hour. Everyone from the mayor to the contractors who did the project to former students of the school were sharing it. It turns out I had the exclusive on the reveal.
Here we are 3 days later and that Earl Kitchener post has nearly 15,000 hits (plus 2100+ facebook likes) and has contributed to nearly 25,000 page views on my site in the same time. Those are some pretty good numbers for only 3 days! I'm just blown away by how quickly it all happened. As I joked on my facebook page, It seems everyone else was just as curious as I was about what the home looked like inside.
To all of those new followers that were introduced to my work, website, and photo series as a result, I want to say welcome! The Earl Kitchener post was just a small piece of a much larger project known as Around the Hat. View the complete list of locations and highlights from the project here. I hope you continue to explore the Hat with me.