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Apache httpd log files have been analyzed to show the Slashdot Effect. This effect is known as the spontaneous high hit rate upon a web server due to an announcement on a high volume news web site. Three papers were published on the Internet and announced on the high volume news web sites of,, and The hit rate plots as a function of time are correlated with the announcement times on these web sites. These correlations clearly demonstrate the magnitude and significance of the Slashdot Effect.

Vertical lines are drawn on the above plot to indicate the time of the posting by the three web sites. The red lines indicate the announcements by Slashdot, the green lines by Linux Today, and the blue lines by Freshmeat. From this plot, one can see clear evidence of the Slashdot Effect. What follows is a closer examination of each one of these postings, since this full time view of the hit rate to the server hides some detail of the this effect.

In conclusion, the term Slashdot Effect has been referenced many times on sites around the Internet. With the publication of articles related to Linux and the Open Source movement, and the announcement of these articles to Linux related news web sites, one has a chance of documenting, in a controlled environment, this effect. The plots of the hit rate received by the hosting server clearly shows the existence of the Slashdot Effect. This effect varies in magnitude for different reasons. One reason being the interest of the readership in the content of the article being announced. Another reason being the form in which the article is announced. For example, the article titled "an Ode to Richard Stallman" was announced by Slashdot and Linux Today. Linux Today published the text of the article on their own web site, thus keeping many of the hits, by readers interested in this article, on their server. This strongly dampens the surge in hit rate to the system hosting the full article. On the other hand, Slashdot announced the article via a hyper link to the server hosting the full article and thus the local host received all the hits from Slashdot readers. The purpose of this article is just to document the existence of the Slashdot Effect and not to try and gauge which news web site has the predominant reader-ship.

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