Question: What is the Slashdot Effect?

Share this Article


A valuable reader asks in response to the previous post:

What about the fark effect or slashdot effect ? Are all of these same or
different .. And how system admins handle these kinds of effects ?

Well, I’ll try to add my two cents here. Everyone is welcome to add their own insights to this (esp from Sys Admin side). Trekker: How would you suggest handling any traffic Netscape creates for sites?

The Fark effect or Slashdot effect I think is similar in nature to being highlighted by any major newspaper or journalist — if your product gets on the New York Times or CNN or something, you are bound to get a spike in traffic.

Maybe the iRecord people can share some actual stats from this since they were recently highlighted.

In a very interesting talk by the YouTube founder Jawed Karim given at his alma mater (you should be able to find that in YouTube) Jawed mentions that there wasn’t enough momentum on YouTube until the website was highlighted on Slashdot as “the flickr for videos”, and that “the traffic never really went down since”.

What is special indeed about Slashdot is the cult following it has among technical people and gadget fans.

I personally think it provides this satisfaction and insurance and trust to its reader by directly addressing their thirst for all things cool, without the added noise of whether or not it makes business sense.

I could be wrong on that though (not a big Slashdot person) so if you’re in the know with Slashdot please correct me.

How do System Admins handle these effects?

Again, our larger readers and audience are the best people to answer this. I am really no expert in system management, but here’s my take.

I think the servers that go down depends on what your hosting arrangement is. If you are a large site you will likely have your own mini data-center with a load balancer anyway. If you are a smaller site, you will have a hosting contract for either shared, virtual or dedicated hosting.

The problem naturally is that the incoming traffic crosses the peak of what your allocated web server(s) can handle.

If you are hosting from a contracter, you might be able to immediately call them and negotiate a deal where they can provision an additional server and assign a load balancer to you for the 3-4 days that one of these effects lasts.

Alternatively, you could set up mirrors of the website and set up a proxy that can automatically redirect to the mirror site if your main site goes down.

Most feasibly, however, you can try to look for Grid or Clustered hosting solutions. This would be particularly true if your website is part of a federation or collection of complementary sites (such as Green & White is part of the larger WordPress umbrella).

WordPress can provide the large uptime because it will cluster all the blogs across all the servers in the data center. As soon as one or two spike, they can transparently provision additional computer resources, and then unprovision them when the spike fades away — all of this without the blog ever finding out.

If you want to do that yourself, take a look at Linux Virtual Server (LVS). Otherwise, you can look for cutting-edge hosting providers that provide similar technology.

Gee, I didn’t know how much of a geek I can be.

Facebook comments:

1 Comment

Leave a Reply


Recent Posts

  • Events General Mobile Apps Container Run a continuation of politically motivated apps

    Container Run a continuation of politically motivated apps

    First we had Angry Imran which brought smiles and some short lived fun for us during the election campaign. Then came Gullu Butt following the incident of Model Town Lahore, which stayed on top of charts (Pakistan play store) for quite some while. Also Gullu Butt made an update with having the famous “Aam Khaiyga” quote form Aamir Liaqat in which a character resembling Aamir Liaqt throws mangoes and the Gullu Butt character tries to catch them. Gullu butt currently has more than 100,000 Installs

    And now during this extremely politically tense situation which had the whole nation on its toes on 14th August we have another app continuing the …

    Read more →
  • Announcements Featured Startup General aims to help student make better decision regarding their future. aims to help student make better decision regarding their future. aims to solve an age old problem for our students, where to go next?

    If you have just completed your primary school which college to pick, if you have completed your college which university to pick. There has always been lack of information or rather consolidated information regarding these questions. The best source till now has always been relatives and friends (mostly of your parents). So some uncle did CA and made a good living you should talk to him and decide, or daughter of my sister completed her medical and is practicing follow that career.

    The fact that online presence of our existing universities are limited and not …

    Read more →
  • General Mobile Apps Eccentria Technologies launches an app which shoots to the top of the charts

    Eccentria Technologies launches an app which shoots to the top of the charts

    Whoa!! this was quick so Eccentia technologies launched an app a few days ago called “Ajj Kia Pakaen” or what to cook today and today it has reached the top of charts for Pakistani Stores on iTunes and google play store.

    “Ajj Kia Pakaen” is the most common question asked at every house hold in the morning. The ladies of the family have a hard time deciding what to cook for the day. The app has a fun interface and is simple to use, you fire it up, and it gives you an option of what to cook for the day, if you like the option you can check the …

    Read more →
  • Coffee Session General Marketing/Adv Rise of facebook marketing in Pakistan

    Rise of facebook marketing in Pakistan


    Until a few years back we used to have closed groups and forums, which gathered the like minded people and anyone targeting the online audience would tap into that forum and market his/her services. So PakGamers , PakPassion initially even PakWheels used to be driven by members talking about what they loved, people used to create marketing and sales opportunities from within those discussions (so you could get a good router cheap or a gaming PC etc).
    The advent of facebook changed all that, most of the forum goers moved to the new social media. It also made a very attractive market place for some one who does not …

    Read more →
  • General Getting back

    Getting back

    I  have been out of blogging for a long long long time, a lot of things happening on personal front (including a little startup I have ben doing my self). However during my absence I met a lot of people who had followed GreenWhite at its peak, read the articles regularly.

    I had hope there would be some one else who would come ahead and cover everything going on and around us in the local tech world. There are some guys doing a great job, but for some reason I still could not find one source where I can go and read about everything, so my routine usually is to …

    Read more →
  • General Mobile Apps Software & I.T. GeniTeam launches official app for Pakistan Idol

    GeniTeam launches official app for Pakistan Idol

    GeniITeam has successfully launched an official app for PakistanIdol. This is one of the first collaboration between a reality game show and a local app development company. I am sure a lot more would follow. Previously we have seen seenreport becoming the basis of mostly all channels citizen reporting system (Like Geo Dost). This is a healthy sign and with the advent of 3G round the corner it should become a business generator for our local firms.

    App allows you to follow the contestants that you like, promote them, comment on live feedback on an episode. It offers official content from the show since it is developed with partnership with …

    Read more →
  • General 10Pearls and National Geographic Release A Geography Challenge App

    10Pearls and National Geographic Release A Geography Challenge App

    10Pearls, one of the leading Pakistani IT companies, has recently added another feather to its cap. This time, in partnership with National Geographic, 10Pearls has released the new and improved GeoBee Challenge App – an interactive app to challenge and grow the geographic knowledge of the users.

    Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The competition is designed to encourage geography in the classroom, ignite student interest in the world around them, and increase public awareness about geography. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging test …

    Read more →
  • General 10Pearls Spins Off Game Plan8

    10Pearls Spins Off Game Plan8

    It’s heartening to see that Pakistani IT companies have now started to diversify themselves into non traditional areas, and are competing with global players in areas such as gaming. We have received information that 10Pearls, one of the leading  mobile and enterprise web development services companies in Pakistan, has spun-off a separate entity focused solely on developing and publishing casual mobile games.  The new entity, Game Plan8, will focus on creating 2D and 3D games for the iOS, Google Android, Kindle, Facebook and other platforms. Details can be seen on the company’s official press release at


    Read more →
  • General Telecom CCP Gives Guidelines Against Telecom Companies’ Deceptive Marketing

    CCP Gives Guidelines Against Telecom Companies’ Deceptive Marketing

    If only were there two things when it comes to the law, firstly the fear of breaking it and by passing the legal authority, and secondly, implementation of the law given full dedication, there would have been less competency and dishonesty in business and society. However, keeping good faith, the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has put forward “Deceptive Marketing Guidelines” which will maintain the Section 10 of the Competition Act, 2010. In order to enforce this part of the law and stop anti-competitive conduct on part of the telecom companies in advertising, the guidelines have been shared with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and other concerned telecommunication sector members, in …

    Read more →