Friday, May 20, 2011

The Virtual Zombie Apocalypse

Caption: A CDC information systems administrator awaits the next Internet onslaught. Is she prepared?

Image credit: Centers for Disease Control

No doubt inspired by all the hoopla about the world ending, someone at the Centers for Diseases Control was inspired to write this cute little article about emergency preparedness:
There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.

Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse
Given how things work on the Internet, you almost had to expect this:
WASHINGTON, May 19 (Reuters) - A blog post by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that mentions a "zombie apocalypse" as a lighthearted way to get Americans to read about preparing for hurricanes drove so much traffic that it crashed the website, the agency said on Thursday.
Daigle said that a typical CDC blog post might get between 1,000 and 3,000 hits. The most traffic on record had been a post that saw around 10,000 visits.

By the end of Wednesday, with servers down, the page had 60,000. By Thursday, it was a trending topic on Twitter.

'Zombie Apocalypse' Campaign Crashes CDC Website
A site that's probably used to having a few hundred people a day visit it all of a sudden gets tens of thousands, and things don't work so well. Hmmm. This might be one reason:
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: Microsoft-IIS/6.0

If you're a website administrator who wants to survive the next zombie apocalypse, you might want to go here, and here's a checklist you might want to keep handy.

(h/t to Mary at The Left Coaster)

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