An early Christmas present or homework for the holidays?
A yay or nay from world-renowned film critic Roger Ebert (of Siskel & Ebert fame) carries alot of clout in the media world (both old and new). Once dubbed “the most powerful pundit in America” by Forbes Magazine in 2007, the full might of this almighty power was felt by our servers as they grinded to a halt on a staggering 200 Gigs of traffic in a little over an hour on December 8th, 2010.
A screenshot of our server stats below shows the extent of the traffic spike (almost 2500 unique visitors in the first hour):
Roger Ebert's backlink kicked our server's a$%
(UPDATE: Fortunately, our generous web hosts at HostOnNet were able to boost our maximum traffic and with a few tweaks, everything was back to normal.)
Ebert recently took on a bold experiment by moving a large amount of content from his popular movie critiquing section at the Chicago Sun-Times behind a pay wall. Meanwhile, the basic blog itself will remain free. Despite many “critical” reviews of this decision including his own, he has continued to have an extremely loyal fan-following, with active members – who he has gone so far as to call “family” – eager to pay for the premium content such as advanced trailers, deeper review archives, festival tickets, weekly newsletters, discussion boards and membership in an exclusive community established at the “Ebert Club“.
The link in question was a December 8th post on the eBert Club, so if anyone knows which video was embedded or which specific content was linked to, please let us know so we can make sure it gets added to our all-new “To Mirror” list! While perhaps not as globally significant as a WikiLeaks and certainly not as far-reaching as a YouTube or flickr, still, it doesn’t hurt to make sure our services stay up and available… nobody likes to see ugly error screens.
In any case, this is a clear case for us to spend some time revisiting our approaches to video statistics record keeping and click-tracking to make sure this doesn’t happen again! Next time we get this kind of back-link, we need to be in a position to scale along with the excess and erratic traffic. Chalk it up as a lesson learned in the hard road of trying to compete as a small organization in a web world dominated by giants and/or extremely well-funded teams of highly skilled, hungry developers. In the future, we will be ready using simple tools already at our disposal like Cloud Computing services for spill-over of excess bandwidth requirements, and NoSQL for an even more resilient approach to storage.
Which brings us to our last item before breaking for the holidays:
“BCmoney” development is officially being folded into a new technology subsidiary, which will be focused on re-working the entire code-base from the ground up to be more agile and flexible. Stay tuned for an announcement on that in the New Year!
In the meantime, we want to thank Roger Ebert and/or whoever posted the link from the eBert Club to our site, and we sincerely apologize to anyone who was disappointed by a nasty 509 error when they arrived. In the next generation, we will certainly avoid such issues.
Have a happy holiday and a happy new year everyone!
« previous post
Image via Wikipedia
The official release of one of the most useful (yet hackish, a...
next post »
The Server-Side Proxy
The Server Side Proxy... oh how I despise thee.
It's a technique which we wouldn't ...
No post with similar tags yet.
- IFTTT finally releases its own API, sort of, with “Maker channel” triggers
IFTTT finally just released its own API (sort of) when it announced the introduction of its new "Maker" Channel which may very well be the closest we ever get to a true API. It offers HTTP-based activation of Actions to carry our when invoked or Triggers which can be combined with another service.
The Maker Channel...
- Dusting off my 2008 cover letter to RIM on BlackBerry’s future, rejected job application
While backing up some files to an external hard drive from my older one, I recently came across an old Cover Letter which had accompanied my resume in a job application I sent to Research In Motion (RIM) back in Summer of 2008.
It's interesting to look back at, because I recall back then being very...
- NB Hackathon – NoSQL, BigData and Linked Open Data for Government
This month, I participated in the NB Hackathon, an event that aims to bring developers in Atlantic Canada (particularly NB) together for the purpose of hacking on some interestling Linked Open Data and traditional (i.e. Microsoft Excel) Government Data sets which is being made publicly available for the first time.
- The Internet of Things – If this then what?
The "Internet of Things" (or IoT) is an evolution of microprocessor engineering, sensor innovations, wireless communications technologies, and of course the Internet itself. An IoT "thing" could be any natural or man-made object that can be assigned an IP address and provided with the ability to transfer data over a network. For example, inanimate objects...
- LayerPlayer released for SkipSearch
Announcing the availability of SkipSearch's new Layer Player ALPHA version. This is still early days even though its a multi-year project for me, as I continue to work on this in my very rare spare time. This new feature will much more readily bring to light the capabilities of the recommendation engine built under the...
- Working with LimeSurvey’s RemoteControl2 JSON-RPC API in PHP
Recently, I needed to switch away from SurveyMonkey, which, while still a useful free service for quickly collecting some basic Survey results, leaves much to be desired in terms of what they offer in their basic version. Of course the fully paid versions offer significantly more functionality, but the upper-end of the pricing schemes that...
- The biggest Open Source Software acquisitions ever
Open Source Software (and more recently, even Open Source Hardware) have become not just rising trends but the de fact standard for true technology innovation. Open Source accelarates innovation due to the way it fosters a creative, cooperative environment and is usually (especially when compared to traditional IT) much more inclusive of ideas from people...
- A Look Behind The Curtain of Loyalty and Rewards Programs
Loyalty Cards, Rewards Programs, Points Incentives, Bonus Offers and Repeat-purchase punch cards, oh how I despise thee. You've probably been there too. You drop your wallet and have to spend the next 10 minutes embarrassingly picking up all your various credit cards, debit cards, loyalty cards, etc; or, maybe you've been in line to pay...
- The News Industry’s Dirty Little Secret
Ever felt like you couldn't quite put your finger on it, but that something seemed to be "wrong with the world" and the way things are? What if things are the way they are for a reason? What if the institutions the people have setup are no longer serving the interests of the people but...
- The Most Meaningful Use of EHR in Health Care
I've been thinking a lot about ways that Health Care and the medical system in general can be improved through the use of IT. In the United States right now, we are over 1 year into the so-called "Meaningful Use" guidelines established by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of...