The tech site Slashdot gets so many hits, that often when a page is linked from one of their posts the sudden increase in visitors can cause the server to fall over. This is known as Slashdotting or being Slashdotted.
If you ever get linked from there you'd better have plenty of bandwidth and a nice fast server
Yeah, a member here at SPF (Josh Pigford) got Slashdotted, and he said he has something like a dual P4 3ghz/2 gig of memory setup, and his site was still really slow durnig the slashdotting. It's pretty crazy.
There's a few ironic moments too. A few weeks ago, Slashdot had a news post about Google helping Wikipedia server-wise. Of course, they linked to Wikipedia, so all the slashdotters clicked it, and sent the wikipedia servers down.
Oh, a Slashdotting pays for itself (if you're running CPM ads), that's for sure. I was Slashdotted in 1999, and it absolutely crippled my server. However, I sure made a pretty penny while it struggled to survive!
I got "the /. effect" a couple weeks ago after submitting my press release and ultimately received about 45,000 visitors through them. After my host increased the database connection limit, the site went back up. It was rediculously slow, however, and I had to turn the landing pages into static pages to get things working. I also occasionally closed the vBulletin system to lighten the load. I was definitely up late that night, but in the long run it was great and I made a few weeks' worth of income in 24 hours.
I have been slashdotted. I was looking through stats and noticed I had 700 visits from the site. I checked out the page and realised my link was mentioned in a post below the actual article in slashdotted.
People get slashdoted because they use poor web server software. If you cant afford to buy more servers ditch Apache and use http server software with green threads(like Yaws) instead of a native threads one(apache).
Off course, if it is a bandwith problem then you need a better connection. But usually, from my experience slashdoting happens because of threads handled by the OS being to slow. That's why Yaws which is develop in Erlang - 10x slower than C - is actually faster than Apache which use native threads.
You know, it depends on how resource-intensive the page is which is slashdotted. I have not been slashdotted in the sense you are all referring to (just links people post in comments)... but I have had articles featured on the front page of Google News, Google News UK and Google News Canada which has gives a sudden increase in traffic. Along the lines of 3000-4000 unique vistors in a period of 20 minutes.
I keep my databases optimised and spend time making sure everything on the server is tuned for optimal performance. Apache / PHP / Mysql / Kernel / Network. No worries