Last Friday I put up a post that seemed to be nothing special. Nonetheless it ended up crashing China Expat. It was questioning whether the hype around China’s booming economic, and potential to take over the international economy, was similar to that surrounding Japan in the late 1980s. The idea was not very original, as I pointed out, and yet something crazy happened.
A few people voted for it on the social networking site Digg.com. For those of you unfamiliar with it, the idea is to create a way for people to find out about interesting articles. The more votes you get, the more prominent your position is. At a certain point you get elevated to the front page. Given that Digg is the buy steroids online
g=none&page=2″>111th most popular site in the world, this means a ton of people try to click through all at once.
China Expat has decent server capacity, but showing up on the front page of Digg means you are going to crash unless you are a seriously big site. We are not that big, and we went down within 20 minutes. We immediately rebooted our servers, but that helped little, as we only lasted 5 more minutes before going down again. It became clear at that point we had to wait it out, and three hours later we were back in business.
As of this writing, that post managed to get472 Digg votes and registered 173 comments on their site. Oddly there are only 8 comments on our site, which makes me wonder about a lot of thing.
Anyway, thanks Digg. You’ve been a blessing and a curse.