This server weathered its first Slashdotting last Friday, or at least the first I’ve noticed. But then, it was a mild one compared to some reports I’ve seen.
While writing up my commentary on IE dropping WGA last Thursday, I realized that the original story was perfect for Slashdot. It had Microsoft, anti-piracy methods with privacy concerns, Internet Explorer and browser marketshare. So I looked to see if the IE team’s post was on the Firehose already, didn’t see it, and wrote up a quick submission. I also realized that I had an opportunity to plug the Alternative Browser Alliance in the text of the submission—something that I hadn’t been able to do on previous stories I’d submitted. (This is my 6th Slashdot submission to be accepted.)
So I submitted it Thursday evening, got a couple of dozen hits from the Firehose, and it got accepted around 11:30 pm, local time. I took precautions in case the traffic spilled over onto the blog, like turning on WP-Cache and disabling a few plugins, then went to bed.
Slashdot posted the story, Internet Explorer Drops WGA Requirement, at around 4:30am, and the hits started coming in. When I woke up, I checked to see whether the story had run yet, what the general tone of the discussion looked like, and—most importantly—whether the site was still up. Everything was running smoothly. (Katie remarked that I sounded “almost disappointed.”)
Ultimately, the Alternative Browser Alliance got an extra ~4,200 visits on Friday, most of them during the first few hours after the story was posted, and an extra few hundred over the weekend. For a site that normally gets 100-200 visits/day, that’s a big jump. The highest rate was 26 visits/minute, just after the story went live. Far less than the hundreds-to-thousands of hits per minute that some sites report, and entirely manageable for a small static page with a stylesheet and a handful of images.
K2R, linked via my name, only pulled in about 10 hits directly from Slashdot that day, and another handful from the Alternative Browser Alliance’s About page. Hardly a blip, really. I can’t say it’s much of a surprise, since I’ve never seen much traffic from the link on my name the other times I’ve submitted stories.
I’ll admit, I’m curious to see how the server would stand up to a more serious case of the Slashdot effect, as well as how well other pages (larger or dynamic) would hold up…but I’m not in a hurry.