Slashdotting, not what it used to be

Yesterday I was linked from Slashdot in an article about the launch of Veropedia, a project that I did some development work for. I will admit to being happy about it; I’ve been reading Slashdot regularly for at least seven years, and I always wanted to get on the front page. I tried my hand at submitting some stories, and even got one published in the Gaming section, but I never made the front page. I gave up on that and eventually moved onto Wikipedia and then blogging. I was hoping one day something I wrote would end up being linked from a high-profile site like Slashdot or Digg; doesn’t every author want to be read? But of course, the web is entirely unpredictable, and I didn’t end up getting linked to for the kind of post I would have expected.

Slashdotting just isn’t what it used to be. Sites linked from Slashdot used to go down hard and fast. But over time, the ability of computers has grown exponentially (and web server software has improved), while Slashdot’s traffic has stayed relatively steady. Traffic from Slashdot used to be like a visit from a shark to a small pond. Now it’s more like a visit from a shark to the ocean. You don’t notice it much. Admittedly, this site isn’t very high traffic, so yesterday’s visit numbers were quadruple the daily average. But my hosting service, HostMonster, didn’t even blink, giving me no problems whatsoever with network slowness or the dreaded “CPU usage quota exceeded”. So for the price and the level of service they provide, I would highly recommend them (and why yes, that is a referral link).

Now keep in mind I was the third and last link in the article, so I didn’t get quite the level of traffic as the first link, Veropedia. Veropedia was having some issues loading. Ironically, that was the fault of the Amazon affiliate ad, which couldn’t handle the traffic (and since it was near the top of the page, prevented the rest of the page from loading). I got an urgent message from Danny in the middle of the day, so I logged into the server and temporarily excised the ad, and that fixed all of the problems. My web hosting with HostMonster is standard “many sites on one box”, whereas we’re hosting Veropedia on a dedicated server. So if this blog can handle the traffic, then Veropedia certainly could. It just stumbled a bit because of that damn ad.

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