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Des Moines, Iowa
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The Story of ISUtoBig10.com (or, we put up a site that received 12k unique visitors in 7 days!)

Geoff Wood

Early last week the news broke that the Big XII conference was sure to collapse and that Iowa State, along with Kansas, Kansas State, and Baylor had nowhere to go. Nebraska was set to go to the Big Ten (which happened) as was Mizzou (which didn't happen). Colorado was set for Pac 10 (which happened) as was the rest of the South Division (which didn't happen).

As an Iowa State fan, this did not make me happy. I was up late on Tuesday night reading news about the conference realignment fiasco and found that someone had started a list of reasons why Iowa State was a logical fit for the Big Ten. Iowa State wasn't on anyone's radar as a candidate, really because Iowa is small TV market state and the Hawkeyes had already claimed it for the conference (a/k/a this whole thing was motivated by money alone).

Anyway, it dawned on me that if that list of reasons why Iowa State makes a logical fit in the Big Ten only existed on a membership site for Cyclone fans than it wasn't helping to educate anyone. Around Midnight, I emailed my friend Travis and asked him if he'd be up for putting a site together. He was game, so long as I wrote the content, and started on it right away. I sent him a bunch of posts that night and about 3 AM he sent me an email that ISUtoBig10.com was live.

The next morning I posted a link to the new site on Cyclone Report with a paragraph explaining the idea, offering the members of that site to continue to generate other ideas, and then we basically left it alone.

The site went viral pretty quickly after that, generating the interest of more 12,000 unique visitors in just seven days. It's hard to put that into context but that's a lot of traffic for a site that literally went up overnight.

The news this week is that the Big XII will stay together as a ten team league which makes our site no longer necessary nor newsworthy. The outcome is satisfying, Iowa State is in a power conference, even though it's not the Big Ten (and we had nothing to do with it).

It was a neat experiment and I didn't think it would generate nearly that much interest. Unfortunately, we came up with the idea so quickly that we didn't put any monetization strategy into place. Oh well, at least it was fun.