It's not often that a hiring announcement knocks a web site offline. But the blogosphere is abuzz with the news that Microsoft blogger Robert Scoble is leaving to take a position at a video blogging start-up. The news has triggered a burst of traffic to Scoble's new employer, PodTech, whose web site is struggling to handle all that link love. The Podtech.net web site was unavailable early Sunday and offline again this morning. A dynamically updating chart showing podtech.net's web site performance this morning is available.
"PodTech’s site crashed this morning under *massive* traffic surge under the Scoble-effect," the company said Sunday when its site returned to service (but before today's outage). "Slashdot wasn’t a factor, since it didn’t carry a link to PodTech. The site crash was all from massive blog traffic." To date few blogstorms have invited comparison to the Slashdot effect in their ability to overwhelm sites with traffic. Slashdot reported on Scoble's departure, but linked to the announcement on the Scobleizer blog (which will continue, as it is hosted at Wordpress.com rather than Microsoft).
PodTech is developing a news network loosely described as "the NPR (National Public Radio) of podcasting," witha focus on Silicon Valley newsmakers. The company was started last year as series of podcasts by John Furrier, and has received $5.5 million in venture backing from venture capital firms.
Netcraft offers a web site performance monitoring service that provides similar charts, along with e-mail alerts when an outage occurs.