cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by habeebee

The high water marks of success in ds106 are sometimes the ones that breaks the server. Last Spring, Jim write about what happened when a graphic by former ds106 student Andrew Allingham went big on reddit. The impact of this reddit effect is pushing a lot of traffic to your web host (reddit never hits the content, they link to the sources), and in Andrew’s case, it was so much, his web host suspended his account.

Maybe not quite at the insane levels Andrew’s post generated (which to me is still a ds106 classic on its own, reddit or not), we just experienced the reddit effect on a post by one of my students.

The problem arose because in reviewing Amber’s last posts, I noted a few days ago this student’s blog was not running. I checked the admin dashboard for DOmain of One’s Own, and saw that it had been suspended for going over 10 Gb of data transfer in a day. Tim Ownes helped in identifying one post that was generating a lot of traffic and also how to re-activate the blog. The plesk system automatically suspends sites when they exceed some threshold of traffic.

It was early in the semester when Amber made her first animated GIF, based on the movie Mean Girls (wow, students just love using this movie, maybe I need to watch it?).

The stats for the day showed 97% of the traffic coming from a reddit that is well, of pretty low taste. Viewer beware.


The GIF had over 100 upvotes

A dubious honor (?).

Maybe not one to pin to the fridge or tell Mom.

but it is a mark of … I dont want to say “success”, but in having some play in internet culture, and quite unintentionally, something a student created.

To put a kibosh on the situation (we do not want excessive traffic affecting other student blogs), I added a bit of code to the htaccess file for Amber’s site to prevent external hotlinking of images (i used an htaccess generator to get the right syntax)

To me, even if it does lift a bit of the cover of the seamy underbelly of the web, it makes me a bit proud.

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. I would pin it to the fridge. She tapped into the matrix, the idea of culture in that redditt is actually quite playful, right down to the bus in the header. The fact that it was just for fun, and others caught on to it is always the coolest thing about the web, it isn’t intentional in the way we imagine it, it’s even more so.

  2. And here I thought “surely 10GB of traffic per user should be more than enough” when I setup the server. Figures I’d be proven wrong by ds106 in the first semester. Haha! Has me thinking maybe hard limits on traffic aren’t entirely necessary (we had way more available to make up for the long tail of other sites traffic).

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