Incidents on the Internet – Weekly summary

This is a weekly recurring post about noteworthy incidents on the Internet. This includes for example general network issues, ISP problems and downtime for well-known websites. It may be things that have been detected by us here at Pingdom, or written about by others.

As you perhaps noticed we didn’t have a summary post last week (due to time constraints here at Pingdom), so this time we will cover the last two weeks.

We are not going to be able to cover everything that happens out there, so if we omit anything that you feel is important, please feel free to add this information in the comments, preferably with a link to a source (such as a news article or service status page with relevant information).

Incidents between November 24 – December 7:
  • Free offer takes down Dr. Pepper website: If you decide to offer everyone in America a free soda and make the offer last just one day, and direct everyone to your website, you’re asking for trouble. This is exactly what Dr. Pepper did. (This happened on November 23, but we included it here anyway because we thought it was really interesting.)
  • Black Friday knocks out Though several online retailers had trouble with their websites, none had more trouble than on Black Friday (Nov. 28), forcing the site to put up a maintenance page large parts of the day. StorefrontBacktalk has a nice summary of the incidents on Black Friday.
  • Cyber Monday crashed Just as on Black Friday, Cyber Monday (Dec. 1) brought its share of performance issues and outages to online retailers. The standout this day was, which went down early in the day (though their problems were not quite as lengthy as those Sears experienced on Black Friday). Again, StorefrontBacktalk has a nice summary of the incidents on Cyber Monday.
  • Black Friday / Cyber Monday discussion: For those interested, there is a 30-minute podcast (MP3 link is at the bottom of that article) where Evan Schuman at StorefrontBacktalk leads a roundtable with Pingdom, Keynote, Gomez and Sitemorse to discuss the incidents and challenges that face the websites of online retailers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday (and other peak traffic periods).
  • Wikia Search website trouble: Between December 1 and December 3, the Wikia Search website had severe performance issues, where one in three requests were met with a “service unavailable” message.
  • Technorati blocks out the Internet: Technorati (mistakenly, we assume) refused access to all visitors for close to one hour on December 4, just responding with the standard Apache error message, “You don’t have permission to access / on this server”.

That’s it for this time! If you see anything you would like us to include in next week’s summary, please send us a tip.

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