Web traffic over death of Diana slows Newsworld site to a crawl
from CBC.ca archives | Sun, 31 Aug 1997
“It was just before one in the afternoon, Eastern Time, on Sept. 5, 1997, that the CBC’s online news service (then Newsworld Online, barely a year old) really realized the big difference between broadcasting broadcasting — where the signal goes out to the world — and online news, where the world comes to you,” remembers Robin Rowland of CBC.ca News.
“If much of that world arrives at the same time, all wanting the same story, then that could overload the server, jam the system and stop those people from getting the story they want.
In the early days, the small staff at Newsworld Online could tell instantly when a breaking story was attracting a huge public demand. The system slowed to a crawl. And that’s what happened at Newsworld Online the week Diana, Princes of Wales, died in a traffic accident.”