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Friday, June 22nd, 2007...10:31 am

My Digg Debacle

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Have you ever made it to the front page of If you have you, than you know what sort of traffic this can bring. Writing a post about the Ultimate Office Items set in motion what I now call My Digg Debacle

I was sitting at work in my standard cubicle with a little free time on my hands. So I started browsing sites like ThinkGeek and thought about a post I could write, The Ultimate Office Items. After finding what I needed, I got my post together and showed some friends… and eventually it spread to some one who digged it. At first I saw one or two digg’s, then 10 , then 15… and before I knew it, I hit front page. Mind you I was on a very shitty hosting plan, a simple shared hosting plan, after all I was only getting a few hundred visitors at most a day. With in minutes my site was down. I expected this, but I figured I’d buy some more bandwidth and get the site back up. I THOUGHT, it would be that easy. I contacted my webhost and told them my issue and basically they told me they would get back to me… This is what they came back with:


My aplogies for not getting back to you sooner. Your site caused a massive failure on the shared server it resides resulting in 3.5 hours of downtime for 200+ sites on that server. Rather than charging you for this downtime (See: I thought it would be best to part company. Alternatively, if you would like to pay for the repair time ($350.00) and assuming the code can be repaired, we can get you back online. The downtime will likely cost us hundreds of dollars in SLA credits and an incalculable loss of “reputation”, which is why we charge for repair time.

Apparently the connection string or code used to communicate with the MySQL server resulted in corrput data being send to the MySQL server. The MySQL server rejected the incoming packs which triggered a repeated failure in the IIS DefaultAppPool and IIS shut down. I see that you are using WordPress which is common enough, but something caused those failures. Additionally, it seems that there was an unusual amount of high-voume requests for your site as well which contributed to the problem. We noted there were many (100’s) requests for “/index.php/2007/05/08/the-ultimate-office-items/” which is technically invalid. Likely this is for SEO reasons but we found no correpsonding folders to match either.

Please let me know if you prefer to pay or not. We certainly don’t want to loose a good customer but I think you will find the option not to pay better. I can provide you with FTP access to your sites and put a copy of your DB(s) in the FTP root of your site.

Thank you for your understanding.



My first reaction was… Shit my sites are down and my host is “firing” me. My second reaction was HELL YA I just crashed 200+ sites with my awesomeness … These idiots were trying to blame wordpress but I know for sure they were just not prepared to handle those sorta spikes. The best part was while I was on the phone with their tech support guy, he was amazed by the traffic I was able to bring in seconds. I think he knew, as well I as I did, that it was not my fault but theirs. I can’t help it if I’m awesome! I laughed it off and have since moved on to new and better hosting ( Thanks Dreamhost ). But what I can say for sure, if you plan on getting on the front page of Digg be ready for what could be coming your way, and sit back and enjoy the ride…

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