Emily Heil, in her column Under the Dome in The Hill newspaper, uncovers the reason why Senate Web sites were down throughout the Senate last Friday morning.From her column:
Internet surfers trying to access the Senate’s website on Friday (oh, c’mon, you know you were) might have encountered a bit of a delay. For part of the day, all of the Senate’s Web pages, including senators’ personal pages and committee sites, were down.
The culprits? Two oft-blamed scourges: DrudgeReport.com and global warming. Well, sort of.
Traffic to a blog posted by Republicans on the Environment and Public Works Committee was so heavy Friday, thanks to a link posted on DrudgeReport.com, that the Senate site got bogged down. The blog entry that caused the stir was critical of the Weather Channel’s call for decertification of meteorologists who are skeptical of global warming.
An e-mail sent to Senate offices by the Sergeant at Arms, whose office was scrambling to fix the problem on Friday, read in part, “Drudgereport.com established a link on their web site to a press release on a Senate committee Web site. This link was creating 30-50,000 queries per hour to senate.gov, which in turn was generating a query to the Press Application for each of those hits.”
EPW ranking member Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) started the blog in December.
Hmm, now if only the Senate could generate that kind of readership for such scintillating online features as “The Senate’s First Decade on the Web.”