The Stumble Upon effect

Last last night while doing some site chores – getting rid of trapped comment spam, backing up the database, etc – I noticed there had been an enormous amount of inbound traffic during the day to one particular post.

That post was the one I wrote about Jing, the neat audio-visual screen capture tool from TechSmith.

All the traffic was coming via Stumble Upon, the site which features people-recommended content from around the web. Someone had marked my post and so loads of stumblers were coming along to have a look.

The post includes a link to the video I’d produced about Jing which is located at Clearly everyone had clicked on the link to see the video.

Probably the first couple of hundred visitors saw that video. Very soon, though, subsequent visitors would have been unable to see it.

When I checked my account, I got a screen with this message:


The bandwidth limit on a free account is one gigabyte for a month. I uploaded the 3-meg video there on Thursday so by Friday night – just over 24 hours later – that whole one-month allowance had been consumed.

I could always purchase more bandwidth at but I’m not inclined to do that.

So I quickly put up a link to the video on my own server so any visitor can still see it if they want to. Checking the bandwidth consumption there just now, it’s up but nothing I’m concerned about. For the moment, anyway. DreamHost provides me with loads of bandwidth!

I’m pretty sure traffic will subside quite quickly once the initial curiosity factor has been satisfied.

The worst thing is when you visit a site, click on something and either get an error or a 404 (which is what you get now if you click on the link to the video at

What I’m noting from this is the simple fact that if you make available something for sharing on the net, don’t be surprised if it gets discovered and loads of people come flocking just to take a look. If that overloads a service you’re using, as in this case, be ready to take quick action to provide an alternative solution.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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