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Politics, Tasers and Videotape. Are You Prepared for Your Next You Tube Moment? Print E-mail

September 20, 2007 

When a student at a John Kerry political forum was tasered by police this week at the University of Florida, a Gainesville Sun videographer was on the spot, capturing more than six minutes of continuous footage. The result? The busiest single day for web traffic on the Sun’s site in months, thanks to awesome multimedia coverage.

The Gainesville Sun is part of the New York Times Regional Media Group (NYTRMG) , a longstanding customer of ours. Besides providing the web publishing framework for the group, we are entrusted with hosting all of their sites, an area over the years that we’ve gotten pretty darn good at. We frequently engage in discussions with media people about the importance of investing in high performance, scalable web hosting. It’s days like Tuesday that help make our case.

What are the options? Well, it’s still pretty common to run into folks who want to manage their own boxes on site, at their place. From a pure cost perspective, this may seem like the cheap way to go.  And if you are staffed – around the clock – with people skilled in running web servers and managing networks, maybe you win for a little while going it on your own.

But stop and ask: Is your online business going to grow? Ok, that’s a stupid question. Sorry. But seriously, at what point in your digital business lifecycle does it make sense for you to turn over the highly specialized job to a managed hosting provider? Or to put it another way, are you prepared for the biggest news day of your year?

Tuesday was not the first time that NYTRMG had a banner day on the web. In fact, the Gainesville site has seen its share of Drudge traffic. Not to mention the Gator Sports site they operate, which attracts a loyal nationwide audience thanks in part to a national championship or two (or three).

As a media company’s digital offerings mature, you can expect to see spikes in traffic. Some bigger. And some off the charts. That’s all good. As long as you have the infrastructure in place to grow.

We wrote up a case study on this topic not too long ago. It holds true now, more than ever.

Posted by Paul Harris

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