Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Do I really want to be Dugg?

The Digg and/or Slashdot effect is intriguing, both in the exposure it brings and the performance considerations it introduces. Accurately referred to as:
"A roving random distributed denial of service attack before which web, network and systems administrators alike quake and have terrible nightmares about."
...it's both desired and feared by content managers. On several occasions I've considered adding the perfunctory "Digg this" text and/or graphical link to stories on my site, but always refrain, knowing that the limited-scope of the market we serve being a local news station in Guam likely won't refer that many, if any, articles of interest. I'm not going to go all out and be ridiculous like sites including the ASP.NET blogs and have Digg, Reddit and del.icio.us, turning a really cool and useful utility into overkill. And even several mainstream news sources have Digg well promoted, in the hopes their stories will, too.

But I digress - although I'd love for my site's stories to appear on Digg and get massive exposure...I'm scared as hell. I've got a really good host provider with ample bandwidth, but I don't know if it could take a really popular hit. I'm a believer in the oxymoron of controlled chaos. (I used the same cautiously optimistic mentality a few years back when refraining from registering my site's podcasts in the new iTunes Music Store.)

So how to most effectively combat this if you're not in possession of the type of bandwidth that the major news networks have? Don't openly invite people to Digg your site - let them do so voluntarily. Not that I don't encourage such behavior...it's cool as hell. Just take in the traffic that you'd get, but not by telling people to Digg every single story, because there are those that will.

Network effects, like most things in life, are best when taken in tastefully and sparingly.

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