Over the past few decades, the Internet has blossomed from a technical curiosity to an integral part of many people's lives. It's the road by which we communicate, work, relax and remain informed. If the Internet is the road, then Web sites are the destinations, and, just like in the real world, when too many people use the same road to get to the same place, congestion occurs, causing traffic to slow or even stop. So when a Web site is overrun with visitors, there may be a delay, but if its servers become overloaded, the site will crash completely.
In particular, the popular micro-blogging Web site Twitter has had problems managing its traffic, and there've been many occasions when the site's services slowed significantly or crashed altogether. It's not necessarily Twitter's fault. The Web site has barely been able to keep up with demand. Twitter grew 1,375 percent between February 2008 and February 2009, expanding from 475,000 registered users to more than 7 million [source Nielsen]. Given those numbers, it's not surprising when a few too many tweets bring the site crashing down.
Everything from Steve Jobs' appearance at MacWorld to Barbara Walters explaining Twitter's services on "The View" has brought Twitter to a grinding halt. And, despite vast improvements to its user capacity, it's inevitable that future events will bring the site down again. So what events are most likely to crash the much-beloved service in the future? Let's take a look at five possibilities.