January 05, 2003
A Sensible Con Argument in the Linking Debate?

If you place an unprotected resource on the web, others should be free to link to it. This notion is so fundamental to the web that the digerati were completely flabbergasted when some groups and corporations had the audacity to suggest otherwise.

If you don't want a resource linked to on the web, don't put it on your web server. If you need to have the resource on the web, but don't want to the public at-large to see it, take appropriate steps to restrict access. Even NCSA HTTPd, the mother of all web servers, supports the ability to do this.

With all of this in mind, it was surprising to see this Kuro5hin Op-Ed piece making a sensible argument against linking, where links from large sites may send sudden, huge traffic spikes to smaller sites. It argues the ethics for linking should be different on large "meta" sites like Kuro5hin and Slashdot because they act like lightning rods for web traffic, which can take down underpowered web servers, or, worse yet, cause unexpected large bandwidth fees for small website operators.

Posted by Daniel C. Silverstein at January 05, 2003 07:01 PM
Comments

I disagree. Prohibiting linking in order to deal with slashdotting is not a sensible argument.

See:

Linking and Slashdotting: Ethics and Law

-Alex

PS Please enable TrackBack.

Posted by: Alexander Macgillivray on January 6, 2003 03:48 PM

The argument that slashdot and other big sites can act like "lightning rods for web traffic" that "can take down underpowered web servers, or, worse yet, cause unexpected large bandwidth fees for small website operators" is not a good argument against linking, IP, or anything more then a capacity problem akin to a restaurant reviewer from the NYT reviewing a 20-seat restaurant.

Small operators can easily set bandwidth limits with their providers to limit their costs and they can always take the page down if their site is getting too much traffic. Also, it seems like this issue is Slashdot specific. Slashdot has many users running webservers on their desktop machines or in their dorm rooms, etc (think: some programmer does a mod of his desktop and puts pictures up on his small little server for his friends to see). These users know that in using their desktops and spare machines as servers they run the risk of getting too much traffic. Also, the traffic is short lived... once the link passes off the top five or seven stories the traffic spike goes away.

This is a total non-issue and not really even related to the IP issues around deep linking (i.e. linking to someone's audio or video files so the consumer doesn't know where they came from).

Posted by: Jason McCabe Calacanis on January 8, 2003 07:56 AM

Good info on facility
management
and http://www.facilitymanagementinfo.com

Posted by: Facility management on August 17, 2005 03:31 AM
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