Well, today I was fully slashdotted. The Tyranny of Email seems to have struck a chord in the blogosphere. Sorry if you had trouble getting in, you were competing with over 10,000 new visitors, who generated over 100,000 hits. (I don't know the exact numbers because for several hours I turned off logging in self-defense!) To put that in perspective, my previous daily highs were 97 new visitors, and 2,228 hits. Wow.
My day started with ten minutes of wild excitement ("I'm on slashdot!"), followed by four hours of frantic webmastering ("I'm down!"). Of course I happen to be out of town, so I could not physically do anything to the poor little server, and I couldn't SSH in because of all the traffic. Finally I talked my wife through reconfiguring another router (yay, Shirley) and I had a back door into the site. From there it was a cram course in mod_throttle, followed by tweaking (get rid of all images, put CSS inline, turn of logs, etc.) and by mid-afternoon I was steadily serving visitors at a rate of about 2 hits per second. In the public interest I'll post everything I did as soon as I catch my breath.
This whole experience has been really thought provoking. I post this little article with a semi-catchy title (the tiny pebble), email links to a few colleagues and friends (including Dave Winer, the big boulder), then a bunch of his visitors come by (rocks start flying), then Jason Kottke posts a link (another big boulder), then his visitors start coming by (serious rockage), then poof, I show up on blogdex (wind howls), then popdex (it starts snowing), then daypop (snow dumping down), then technorati (gravel whipping through the air), and finally slashdot (avalanche). All in two days. The internet is just amazing.
Really the coolest part in all the coolness is the goldmine of referer links. A bunch of people all over the world read the article and then linked it from their sites. That in turn inspired more traffic as their visitors followed links back to me. I'm guessing over 1,000 sites have me linked right now, all over the world. Just an amazing demonstration of the blogosphere in action. I'll have more to say on this later, after I collect my thoughts...