The Oprah-Scoble-HARO-You-Name-It Effect

From Z. Kelly Queijo:

In the world of celebrity endorsement, it's pretty well known that if Oprah likes you or your product, then you've hit the jackpot. On a television special by CNBC, "The Oprah Effect" is defined as when "web sites crash and sales soar."

Celeb mentions were made for cloud computing.

Here in Blacksburg, Virginia, the impact of "The Scoble Effect" was felt on Monday, June 2, 2009 when the number of page views to the post on Handshake 2.0, "Reading Up on Robert Scoble," accordingly to, jumped from a dozen, to hundreds, to over 2000 in minutes thanks to a retweet by Scoble himself. A quick tweet from @handshake20 to Typepad included the phrase, "We've been Scobleized."

Cloud computing handles traffic spikes and protects against a server crash. When riding the crest of the wave that's going to result in exposure for a business that's of tsunami proportions, what's definitely not wanted is a server crash. Peter Shankman, founder of The Geek Factory and HARO (Help a Reporter Out), emphasizes that companies really need to talk with their webmasters before even thinking about advertising on his site. “We crash servers all the time because people aren't ready for all the web traffic we generate.”

Amy Africa, owner of Eight by Eight, who advertised the launch of her new blog (Amy Africa's QLOG) in the morning edition of HARO, reports her ROI resulted in a sale within the first 13 minutes, plus a terrific media lead. That first sale was more than ten times the cost of the ad. 

The value in promotion, whether through paid advertising or mention by a celeb, will be completely lost if a web site can't handle the traffic. In the recent series on Handshake 2.0 about cloud computing, topics ranged from what is a cloud to how cloud computing maximizes server resources.

Managing the “You-Name-It” effect is a perfect example of when web sites must be set up to tap available resources and prevent that wave of traffic from crashing a site. So, before advertising on a site on HARO, going on Oprah, or engaging with Scoble, a to-be-celeb is well-advised to take Peter's advice and talk with the webmaster. The most important question to ask?  "Are we in The Cloud?”


Feel free to read more about The Cloud in Handshake 2.0's series on cloud computing.


Z. Kelly Queijo writes about business and technology, people and their passions.  She is a frequent contributor to Handshake 2.0. You're invited to follow her on Twitter at @zkellyq.

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