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Posted 30 Apr 2001   For week ended April 20, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 19Apr01

By Kent Larsen

Demand for LDS-Compliled Data Swamps Ellis Island Site

NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- The 22 million record database compiled by 12,000 LDS volunteers is in such demand that the website was all but unavailable its first day. News reports claim that an estimated 10 million people tried to access the site, located at and by mid-day Wednesday, it was serving a page with a message that read, "Due to unprecedented demand we are limiting the number of users to our site. Please visit us again in a few days." The demand was reminiscent of the launch of the LDS Church's, which was also swamped on its first day, May 24, 1999.

After extensive publicity about the site and the opening of Ellis Island's American Family Immigration History Center got the website and database mentioned in thousands of US newspapers, radio stations and television news reports, literally millions of people tried to access the data. One report says that in the first four hours after the site went live Tuesday night it recorded 50 million hits. And by Wednesday, only one in seven people was getting to access the data."We certainly anticipated a big response, but we didn't expect it to be this big," said Stephen Briganti, president of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. "It has been extraordinary."

"They thought they were ready, but they weren't," said Kerri Driver, spokeswoman for the center's web host, Hostcentric. "They're victims of their own success. Clearly there's a huge among of interest. No one would have imagined you'd have 10 million hits the first day." According to Driver, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation contracted with her company for 10 servers to handle the database, but Driver says, "if you were going to handle all of that, you'd have to have 40 servers." But Driver admits that the interest won't be sustained and contracting for 40 servers wouldn't be worth it.

A number of high-profile website launches have faced the same problem, including the LDS Church's FamilySearch, which attracted hundreds of millions of hits its first day. While the website, built by Massachusetts-based LavaStorm, was prepared for a larger audience, it also was swamped and had to limit access at first. Traffic has since settled down to about 9.5 million hits a day.


Ellis Island Web Site overwhelmed
MSNBC 18Apr01 I6
By Lisa Napoli

Ancestor hunt jams Ellis Island site
Chicago IL Sun-Times 19Apr01 I6
By Dave Newbart: Staff Reporter

Site's first day brings befuddled masses
Ft Lauderdale FL Sun-Sentinel 19Apr01 N6
By Jonathon King: Staff Writer

See also:
SETI@home, FamilySearch hit gridlock


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