Amazing outpouring against Booth Babes

Date September 6, 2011

Right now, the most-read article on this website is my Nagios Configuration HOWTO. It was published on July 20, 2009, and at some point in time, it got picked up by the Nagios Community Site, and now I get a steady stream of people looking at it. So many that in a couple of years, it's had, as of this morning, 28,062 pageviews. That's a lot, and more than twice the next most popular post.

Or at least it was last Thursday. On Friday, I wrote Seriously, Stop With the Booth Babes and then everything got turned on its head. In the previous five days, that post has been around twitter (multiple times, actually), it's spent a day on the first page at Hacker News (and actually still is there, as of this writing - vote it up if you have an account), it's been linked on Facebook...in other words, it's gone viral. And I've had to learn some things.

First, I'm really lucky that I implemented CloudFlare last week. That made sure that the site functioned AT ALL, because I sure wasn't set up to serve anything close to 50,000 pageviews (and over 600,000 total requests!) in a weekend.

Second, my WP Super Cache wasn't working. I ended up scrapping it and going with the arguably simpler W3TC plugin that seems to be doing a better job.

Third, that once things calm down (assuming things calm down), I'm going to need to switch off of Apache. I currently use prefork, but last night I tried switching to worker, and that nearly crashed the machine. The performance on my VPS just isn't keeping up. I'm going to work on getting my site running on NGinX, which has a much lower footprint and resource utilization. I'd love to run Varnish, but I don't have the spare memory, I think. I've got another VPS that I bought for a month that I'm going to be staging things on (and maybe switching to, if it ends up performing better).

So yeah, I thought it was crazy when I got hit by Slashdot in 2008, but I was still hosted by blogger then - it's a little different on a tiny VPS!

Thanks for reading and sticking around. I appreciate the fact that people like you continue to read and find value in what I write (assuming you do, of course). I'll work to keep the blog running and to keep writing on it. And in the meantime, comment if you have any specific questions!

  • mel

    As a female sysadmin i applaud your article. Too many times i have been looked past by colleagues or treated as a receptionist of the IT department, many moons ago in tech support people used to hang up when hearing a female voice on the line. Ive had my personal details stolen out of a Dubai datacentre and endured sexually harassing phone calls at 3am for months on end, ive been ridiculed and sexualised by a number of HP server engineers, and put down in interviews and i think worst of all, passed over as 'someones girlfriend along for the ride' at tech conferences. And most tellingly; at vendor booths the marketing driods make a beeline for your male colleague and you may as well not exist.

    As a female, attractive, sysadmin with good social skills sometimes i feel i have to work ten times as hard as a guy to prove myself, and booth babes make it even harder for me to make my voice heard. As you point out, geeky men sometimes dont parse girls as technical and therefore cut us out, making us have to work even harder to be heard, which is disheartening.

    Its not that difficult to work in IT, women can have dervish dedication ( its called passion! i have it in spades ) and i am not a sociological study and i know many women who would resent that. You dont have to be a guy to work in IT, and its exactly that kind of attitude we need to overhaul.

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