Internet Survives Election!
Among last night's surprises, you can count this one: Some of the Internet's most popular sites avoided melting down.
After we'd had a good two years to get used to following every twist in this long campaign online--news stories, blog posts, YouTube clips, photo galleries, Twitter updates, Facebook comments and so on. I expected that millions of people would rush to the Web to engage in the digital equivalents of a) jumping up and down and pouring champagne on each other or b) punching the locker-room wall. And I had no doubt that many of these Web destinations would crumple on the big day, much as they have during other, less significant news events.
Somehow, that didn't happen. Twitter responded as usual the entire night (though it apparently had issues publishing updates sent from mobile phones), and Facebook stayed its normal self as well. (My colleague Sara Goo, however, couldn't log into the site at one point last night.) I didn't see any major news sites or blogs conk out either, aside from a few slow-loading animated election maps.
(The paper edition of this morning's Post, however, seems to have sold out. It's nice to see that some events still warrant keeping a copy of the front page!)
The only real exceptions to this fortunate pattern were a few state-government sites that couldn't cope with so many people looking up election results. Virginia's State Board of Elections results pages, for example, often required repeated hits of the "refresh" key to get the latest returns to appear, and I had the same problem at times with California's election-results site. (Not that I'm asking any states to spend extra taxpayer dollars preparing for such an unusual scenario; sometimes there's nothing to be done about this kind of problem... if you can call unprecedented interest by citizens in their vote a "problem.")
How did you follow yesterday's extraordinary news online?
November 5, 2008; 11:26 AM ET
Categories: Digital culture , The Web
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