Thursday, November 20, 2008

Europeana suffers from typical shortsightedness

Like the tree of life that was done ~1/2 year ago, the European-launched crashed the same day it was launched:

The EU's new Europeana digital library, an online digest of Europe's cultural heritage, was forced to close temporarily on its launch Thursday after it was swamped by Internet users, a spokesman said.
"We had 10 million hits by the hour of interested Internet users across Europe and that led to the fact that at 11:30 am, we had to take temporarily the site down to double the computer capacity," spokesman Martin Selmayr said.
The site, which allows access to more than two million digital objects like films, paintings, photographs, sound recordings, maps, manuscripts, newspapers, documents and books had only been open a short time.
Selmayr said six computer servers, instead of three, were now in action.
"It is now up and running again," he said. "We hope we will be able to survive the next storm of interest."
With 14 staff members and at an annual cost put at around 2.5 million euros (3.15 million dollars), Europeana -- which can be found at -- currently has around two million digital items online.
By 2010, the date when Europeana is due to be fully operational, the aim is to have 10 million works available.
I wonder how much bandwidth they allotted, and how much is actually needed.... This seems to be something common... Why don't they just over-allocate, and then cut back when they recognize that there is less space required. Hell, if they knew that they were going to have this huge unveiling, why not - say - provide much more bandwidth than expected for everyday running. (Maybe they did, but merely under-estimated the popularity of European culture?) And maybe providing more than 14 staff members to take care of tech-related issues would have been a good idea too...

Anyway, I tried to access it today at 4:40PM Eastern time, and got the following:

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