Mac360 began as a simple web site to share reviews and commentary with new Mac users and experienced Mac users.
What happens when everyone visits Mac360 at the same time? The Digg Effect.
Digg is a community web site where members search for sites with interesting information in various categories and share the link with other Digg readers.
If a site that shows up on Digg’s site has popular content, it gets voted to the top, and more Digg readers will visit that site.
Did I say “more?” Yes, as in tens of thousands of readers, in some cases, all converging on a web site to read the article, many at the same time.
There are so many Digg readers worldwide that a site which appears on the Digg listing can be overwhelmed by visitors.
Web servers hosting a site which appears on Digg’s listings are known to stop dead in their tracks.
That event is known as the Digg Effect (sometimes known as the SlashDot effect for the site SlashDot) and it happened to Mac360. Again.
Regular Mac360 readers would agree that our’ article on The Top 7 Free Utilities To Maintain A Mac was rather typical. I like free. I like lists. Mac users like both.
The article was a straightforward listing of the most popular and capable utilities which perform maintenance and unlock hidden features on Mac OS X.
A few days after the article appeared on Mac360, readers and voters pushed it high on the Digg list of Apple articles.
The Digg Effect began and almost swamped Mac360 for much of the day.
A popular article on Mac360 might be read by 2,000 readers over the course of a few days.
The Digg Effect caused 15,000 additional visitors to Mac360 in one day, most of whom came to read the article on Mac maintenace utilities.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the simple grapic above tells the story for the first few hours of a Digg Effect.
Looking at the graphic above can you guess when the Digg Effect began?
Mac360 is different than many web sites, even sites about Macs. We serve our web pages on a Mac; a PowerMac G5 using Mac OS X Server.
Let it be noted that the Mac performed wonderfully during the Digg
, uh, effect of thousands of visitors per hour.
If Mac360’s pages were a bit slow in loading on your computer it’s because the internet connection to our server was maxed out.
Maxed. Maxed as in full. Peaked. Topped out. But the Mac ran fine.
As the day continued, other articles on other sites topped the Digg listings, and the number of visitors to Mac360 slowly declined, though well above normal daily levels.
An interesting side note to the large number of new visitors is browser usage. On a normal day, nearly 55-percent of Mac360 users visit the site with Safari.
Digg readers seem to prefer Firefox as their browser of choice. Over 45-percent of Mac360’s visitors during the Digg Effect were using Safari.
There are limits to the capabilities of our modern telecommunication technology.
For example, the telephone system is designed and built in such a way as to handle most peak periods, but everyone can’t get on the telephone at the same time without clogging the system.
That’s not the case with terrestrial television and radio. It’s one signal that everyone with a TV or radio can tune in to at the same time.
For the most part, cable TV works the same way. It’s one to many, but not two way.
Two way services, such as the telephone, cell phone service, and internet web sites have finite thresh holds; limits to the number of people who can connect to and use a service at one time.
We’re pleased that our Mac server managed to work fine and handle a heavy load through a Digg Effect. We’d like to be able to afford more bandwidth, but that must wait for a later time.
In the meantime, click on a few of our ad links, and visit the Mac360 Store. It’s only nickels and dimes, here and there, but it adds up.