Ok, with the help of Google’s cache and some info from my brother (who works at MSN), the mystery has been solved. The reason MyPunchbowl.com saw such a spike in traffic yesterday was because the “25 web sites to watch” PC World story was featured on the home page (msn.com) yesterday afternoon/evening.
As I wrote earlier, the fact that the story was on MSN has nothing to do with my brother. He pointed out to me today that those feature stories are coveted spots, and his stories from MSN Travel actually compete for placement with the stories from other channels (this story came from MSN Tech & Gadgets). So please don’t write emails to me claiming nepotism.
Through the magic of Google’s cache, I was able to grab a screenshot of the MSN homepage from yesterday. Look at that placement. No wonder we got so much traffic!