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May 24th, 2001

When Bandwidth Goes Awry

My second favorite discussion site, behind the Ping, is MetaFilter. It’s been run by a fellow named Matt Haughey. I’ve never met him, though I would guess he’s a real person. He was featured on a recent cover of Brill’s Content. Though that person could be an actor. Anyway.

MeFi was one of the keys in exposing the entire Kaycee Nicole hoax, which has made its way to MSNBC (it had to have been a slow news day). MeFi fostered an outpouring of discussion, speculation, and eventually evidence – and is to be commended. I just laughed when I saw it on TV – here was a story broken by a few individual bloggers, discussed by several hundred people, and bam, it’s national news.

Over time, MeFi has become a very vibrant community, one that attempts to recapture the Olde Days of the web and just plain being online. That said, MeFi is down and will remain down for the foreseeable future. The T1 it was utilizing is gone due to a restructuring from the bandwidth provider. For sites like MeFi, that attract just 9 more visitors than the Ping, this is a fairly large deal. What happens when your favorite method of communicating with people goes away, and isn’t 100% certain to return?

There are only a few people providing bandwidth and stuff with no apparent strings, but these are the minority. For it’s not the company that controls the browser, the plugin, the content management system, the IA system, or anything else. It’s the company that controls the bandwidth. -pm

Posted in Technology

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