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Prepping for the Press Release
As an "old" web guy, I've long been aware of the potential for 'death by good press'. What I am referring to is the situation where a website can unexpectedly be mentioned on a very popular site which generates more traffic to the site than the web server can handle. The generic term for this is called "Slashdotted" or "The Slashdot Effect" in reference to the once uber-popular Slashdot website.

Now, if this mention is unexpected, that's one thing. However, if you've done something to generate publicity, that's quite another. If you've intentionally generated the publicity you had better ensure that your webserver can take the heat. Radio Rickshaw didn't do this.

Recently, Rickshaw Boy’s Radio Rickshaw web site went down due to technical problems. Unfortunately, the web site went down shortly after a major press release had been sent out. Now the site and PodCast feed are fully up and running again along with all of the rickshawboy.com and radiorickshaw.com e-mail addresses.

We've all heard the adage that it costs more to create a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. In essence, Radio Rickshaw attempted to create a bunch of new customers via a press release, and then lost most of them because their server went up in smoke. Fixing the problem and releasing another press release, while logical, still amounts to attempting to regain those lost customers from the first fiasco.

This situation is much more likely in podcasting than in normal web hosting. Podcast files are big and it takes an awful lot of server space and bandwidth to server them up. Don't be a Radio Rickshaw. Ensure that your server's robustness is on the list of things to check before launching any major marketing efforts.

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