When I logged on Monday morning, traffic was
already hitting the new server hot and heavy. By night I figured
we'd be pulling fifty percent of the URL's North American traffic.
By the end of the week Mr. Hotshot Designer's server would look
like I-5 at 3 a.m., all bandwidth and no traffic. This poor palooka
wouldn't even see the knockout punch coming. I almost felt sorry
for him, but feelings don't get you far in this business. I leaned
back and admired the server logs.
He figured it out on Friday, around the time
Siberian ISPs had finished resolving to our San Jose server. He
came unglued fast, spitting psycho emails like a fire hose. I
hit the Delete key.
The orders started ticking in. I sat tight. When
the log charts showed I was walking on water, the client would
be ready for a hefty bill.
When it was time to pay my rent, I emailed the
log charts to the client. He was already excited from the action
at the till. First time he'd made money on the Web. But he wasn't
shy about spending it. He'd pronto lined up a buffet at the joint
around the corner from his store. Free meal. Why not. I typed
Except for the client I was the only one there
without a nose ring. Maybe I should have gotten a Mohawk on the
way over. It was pure buzz. This crowd had the web bug bad. One
of the kids dragged me into the corner and started floating kook
ideas on keyword-jacking. Great. Another Webmaster-in-21 days.
Last week he was sucking his thumb and asking how to config email.
They'll probably hire a branding manager next week. I hear colleges
are teaching that stuff. I feel my pain, for years to come.
I collected the check and left. At least it was
bigger than the designer's. As I closed the door I could hear
them singing, "Ooh la la, IPO!"
Who knows. Maybe they'll put my name in the lower
left of the home page, <font size="-3">. Hope
they remember to ship the customers' orders. My options could
depend on it.
I put my beater in gear and headed for the beach.
Much more staring at a computer screen and I'd look like Fred
the Mole. The cold fog would do me good.
about the author:
is a web analyst and developer. His primary work -- aside from
analyzing patterns of web use -- is setting strategy and specifications
for commercial websites in the U.S. and Canada, including traffic
sourcing plans, interface and usability design, and technical
specifications. A specialist in turning around unprofitable web
sites, he often works as project lead. His background is in programming,
project management, media, and marketing.
has had several business books published, as well as dozens of
articles on high technology and business, in newspapers ranging
from the Chicago Tribune to the Toronto Globe and Mail. His marketing
papers Mousetraps on the Web were widely praised for the application
of traditional direct marketing strategies to the new technologies
of the Internet..