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Managing demand

Steve Herrmann Steve Herrmann | 14:40 UK time, Thursday, 10 August 2006

One of our concerns in covering today's events has been to make sure traffic load to the News website doesn't cause problems for our users.

A graphic of the BBC News websiteSo far our technical team have successfully made sure it hasn't, but traffic certainly has been heavy. By lunchtime we'd already had about the same number of page views as we'd normally get across a whole 24 hours. The top story alone had over three million page views, several times more than on a normal day.

According to our traffic stats monitor, the second most read story so far has been our round-up of travel advice and information from all the main airports. We've given this a lot of prominence and had people dedicated to updating it all morning, helped by all the readers' on-the-spot accounts which we are getting - it looks like that has paid off as our users are clearly looking for this information.

UPDATE 1530: Anthony Sullivan, who helped develop our traffic stats monitor, adds that it has been showing traffic levels between 60% and 70% above average today - the largest volume since July 7th last year.

UPDATE, Friday morning: Yesterday turned out to be one of our two or three biggest days on record for traffic, with 6.8m unique users and 50m page views. The most read stories were the main writethrough on the terror alert, airport/travel info and pictures. Audio Video usage was also very high - particularly the live stream of News 24 coverage - and we received about 10,000 emails from users.


Just shows the reputation the BBC has worldwide, people want to read what they are reporting.

  • 2.
  • At 04:03 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Pete wrote:

Congratulations !

Didn't notice any drop in performance despite all the obvious interest in today's events.

I well remember all our office PCs grinding to a halt when 911 happened as the world tried to access the various news sites.

That's some heavy traffic flow. impressive that you have the infrastructure to be able to cope with it. The bbc should really branch out and host a flight-tracker in these times so that relatives and people can find out what flights departed and which have been cancelled.

I know around the same time i tried most airport websites and found them to be down. A quick check list for each airport would be a lifeline for those worried about relatives getting flights in and our of the country.

Try this, it integrates with Google Earth so you can track flights, or you can just watch the images on the screen.

But yes I've been extremely impressed with the stability of the sites in General and impressed with the site's stripped down architecture for the current period.

  • 5.
  • At 09:46 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • bill harrison wrote:

The BBC is doing a great job- but let's not forget the incredible work of the British Police and Intelligence Services. These heros have just saved an incredible number of lives, and performed a service for the world befitting of their legendary status. As an American, I can only hope that my own country's security services can perform similarly. Way to go Britain- you can truly be proud of your Civil Servants today

  • 6.
  • At 11:57 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Tom wrote:

The BBC news website is my default homepage.

It's good that the UK Government dislikes the Corporation (oh, yes they do!). You're doing precisely the job an impartial public service business should.

Somehow, from a Government controlled budget, the BBC has found ways of delivering content through ever advancing technologies.

As I type this I'm sure that people in war zones all over the world are looking to BBC URLs for news they can trust.

  • 7.
  • At 02:07 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Ed wrote:

I noticed you were broadcasting the News 24 live coverage at about 100kbps which wasn't very good quality, appart from that everthing seemed to go smoothly enough.

  • 8.
  • At 04:56 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Anandhi Gopinath wrote:

Thanks very much for the updates - with relatives in London unreacheable as the lines were just JAMMED (of courthi this has subsided)this was a great help to us all.

And also my kudos to making all your reports objective - blaming any specific race and religion right now, when little has actually been confirmed to the rest of the world, does us all no good.

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