Re: 11.5 Million-Hit-Traffic Crashes the New Encyclopedia of Life Website on Its First Day
- From: Florida <demeter547opine@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2008 07:20:30 -0800 (PST)
On Feb 27, 1:37 pm, Rumpelstiltskin
On Wed, 27 Feb 2008 06:20:51 -0800 (PST), Florida
Life encyclopedia: too popular to live
By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer
Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:04 PM ET
The concept of a comprehensive encyclopedia of life on the Internet
proved too popular. Its computers were overwhelmed and couldn't keep
it alive when it debuted Tuesday.
The encyclopedia, which eventually will have more than 1 million pages
devoted to different species of life on Earth, quickly crashed on its
first day of a public unveiling, organizers said.
Scientists at the Encyclopedia of Life sought help from experts at
Wikipedia for keeping their fledgling Web site going despite massive --
and anticipated -- interest. The site went back up Tuesday afternoon,
but with expectations of more problems, although only temporary ones.
"We've been overwhelmed by traffic," encyclopedia founding chairman
Jesse Ausubel said. "We're thrilled."
The encyclopedia's Web site logged 11.5 million hits over 5 1/2 hours,
including two hours of down time, according to organizers.
Tuesday's unveilin included limited Web pages for 30,000 species.
There are also "exemplar pages" that go into more depth with photos,
video, scientific references, maps and text of 25 species ranging from
the common potato to the majestic peregrine falcon to a relatively
newly discovered obscure marine single celled organism called
Cafeteria roenbergensis. Eventually, planners hope to have all 1.8
million species on the Web and already have set up 1 million
The most popular of the species for Web searches is the poisonous
death cap mushroom, which may say something about people's homicidal
intentions, joked Ausubel.
All the pages have been made by scientists, but in a few months the
encyclopedia will start taking submissions from the public, like
On the Net:
(c) 2008 The Associated Press
Thanks for the tip. I hadn't even heard of it. When I checked in,
I saw that due to the phenomenal load they got on their servers at
launch, they had temporarily reverted to a few saved pages, but
would resume "momentarily". I tried again a few seconds later, and
they still hadn't resumed though, so perhaps they were using the
word "momentarily" in a geological context. Or perhaps they just
meant "momentarily" in the sense of "fleeting", in which case I
may have missed the resumption during the few seconds between
A few small details still need working out, such as dedicating
half the resources of the net to this project. My experience has been
the same as yours, an endless busy signal. Obvioustly those of us who
care about the natural world care enough to keep overloading the
servers, a classic resource competition.
If only I could just get online to EoL and look that up.
I shouldn't be such a language Nazi, especially now that William
F. Buckley is dead, though.
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