The Oprah Effect: Equal to Slashdot or Digg?

For consumer web site, a mention on Oprah Winfrey's show - being Ophrah'd - is the equivalent of the Slashdot Effect.

Data Center Knowledge

March 31, 2008

1 Min Read
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The popularity of Oprah Winfrey tested the limits of Internet streaming video in March, when the debut of Oprah's webcast attracted 500,000 simultaneous users, causing capacity-related performance problems. It turns out Oprah is also wreaking havoc with web sites for companies mentioned on her syndicated talk show.

Phil Wainewright reports that being "Oprah'd" is a web traffic event on the equivalent of the Slashdot Effect or a TechCrunch-led blogstorm or front-page Digging. Phil says he's heard several independent accounts of consumer web sites getting slowed or knocked offline after being mentioned on Oprah. Shaklee reports that one mention generated up to "ten months' worth of average daily volume in one day."

Sounds like an opportunity for someone selling scalability. From Wainewright's ZDNet blog:

It turns out that the ability to handle the peak traffic loads that hit when a consumer brand gets Oprah'd is a big selling point for cloud computing and on-demand application providers, because they have the infrastructure in place to cope with the peaks. Rod Boothby, VP of platform evangelism for cloud computing vendor Joyent told me later in the week that one of its customers had come on board just to be ready for the expected traffic surge after an upcoming feature on CNN and in the New York Times.

For consumer product web sites, those Oprah visitors represent prospective buyers responding to an endorsement from a trusted source, a particularly high-conversion scenario. Thus, getting Oprah'd is costlier downtime than a blog getting KO'd by Slashdot.

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Data Center Knowledge

Data Center Knowledge, a sister site to ITPro Today, is a leading online source of daily news and analysis about the data center industry. Areas of coverage include power and cooling technology, processor and server architecture, networks, storage, the colocation industry, data center company stocks, cloud, the modern hyper-scale data center space, edge computing, infrastructure for machine learning, and virtual and augmented reality. Each month, hundreds of thousands of data center professionals (C-level, business, IT and facilities decision-makers) turn to DCK to help them develop data center strategies and/or design, build and manage world-class data centers. These buyers and decision-makers rely on DCK as a trusted source of breaking news and expertise on these specialized facilities.

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