My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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the problem with firehoses

In a bulletin on MySpace, Tom Anderson wrote a very simple message:

it’s interesting to see how people are using myspace to organize for political causes. 🙂
there was a report on NPR about it today

He pointed the flood to NPR. Two minutes later: is currently unavailable due to technical difficulties, but we are currently working to restore service.

I feel bad for the tech admins over at NPR. But i have to admit that it’s kinda funny how fast a MySpace link can destroy a big website.

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10 comments to the problem with firehoses

  • jeffery

    It’s only a matter of time before he becomes a verb.

  • B

    OK, so new house rule: Everyone is allowed to blog, chat or link whatever on the Internet EXCEPT Tom. Tom, now you MUST make a phone call to the manager of the site you are linking to. Yep, it’s unfair: but come on, you are going to have that new toy broken if you continue to befriend the whole planet. Rupert, Bill, Steve, Linus, Sergey and Larry, danah? Whatch out, too: you are next on the list.

  • Now, I’ve heard of a site being Slashdotted to death but never MySpaced to death… Too funny.

  • Its like, revolution. like the Incredible Hulk… ‘Youth SMASH!’

    surely this could be useful —Myspace the vote?

  • Slashdotted
    Digg Effect
    and now, introducing…

    Tommed? Myspaced?

    The long tail may be thin, but when it whips, it leaves a mark.

  • He’s like a modern day Sorcerer or “Webzard” if you will. I can see it now. Someday you will talk some trash about Tom and he will point his mighty link at your site.

    “Set link to stun.”

  • omar

    the sad thing is that this can sometimes be really serious.. after katrina, i think i remember that for a short while yahoo gave a link directly to the american red cross website off its homepage. the yahoo firehose caused the red cross site to fail and it couldn’t accept *any* donations for a little while!

  • Pretty hilarious… wonder how much this goes on with those myspacers that have like 130,000 friends.. prolly not too often considering they’re mostly just spammers

  • In all seriousness, sites like MySpace will certainly be used for political causes in the future and there are even social network sites specifically geared for this purpose, or specifically made for a certain political leaning. In the future, politicians are probably going to have to not only satisfy the media with answers, but also the internet. They will have to log on to social network sites and explain themselves, answer questions, and put forth their policies in a place where the public can question them directly (no longer needing journalists to represent us) and where politicians will have a closer link in with the public. There are definitely going to be some interesting times ahead in this area, I think.

  • Also, it’s really amazing how popular MySpace is nowadays that its content is even looked after to by big web sites. In fact, in the Affiliate Marketing sector most trusted affiliates come from MySpace community.