Dugg up – When old blog posts come back from the Dead

I am on the tail end of the effects of appearing on the front page of Digg. I hadn’t posted in a while (major new job, new church building, new home group, etc., etc.) so I was a bit off guard when I got an email from my shared hosting company, saying they had disabled my front page due to excessive CPU usage (load average of 70, mostly my fault).
Like a good programmer, my first thought was “What has changed?” quickly followed by the recollection that WordPress 2.6.3 had released a few days ago and I updated it last night.

I would now like to take a moment to ask for forgiveness from the anonymous WordPress developers who’s names I took in vain and accused of being far less talented than they actually are. I am deeply sorry and it won’t happen again. I hope…

It wasn’t until I got WP-Super-Cache installed and the site back up, that I took time to look at the stats. Over 8000 hit in a few hours and rising quickly!

A little more browsing with WordPress Stats and I determined it was mostly from a Digg against a 9 month old blog entry.
Now when I wrote it, I got a bunch of hits, mostly from StumbleUpon, got Dugg 136 times, and had a couple of 4000 hit days before it dwindled back to my normal 200-400 hits per day.

Then, out of nowhere, 14k hits ( just checked – 14,090 ) and Dugg 571 times with 140 comments !

Well, I am off of the front page (page 2 ATM) and hovering at number 2 in the Technology section under Linux/Unix, so I think I survived.

What did I learn?

  1. Don’t assume anything you write is dead and buried. It’s a little like a virus that seems to go away, but resides in a small pool of hosts, only to break out again when conditions are right. The couple hundred hits a day I was getting should have been a hint people are still reading my stuff and could Digg or Stumble or Slashdot me at any time.
  2. Be prepared – There are good caching tools for WordPress, use them. Don’t be caught off guard. It’s far easy to install safe guards before the sh*t hit the fan and the server is acting a slugglish
  3. Let you provider know what is happening. Hey, they read Digg and Slashdot just like the rest of us and usually think its cool ( and a bit of a headache ) when a customer get hit. Most support engineers take pride in being able to weather the storm.

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