The Slashdot Effect is the sudden, relatively temporary surge in traffic to a Web site that occurs when a high-traffic Web site or other source posts a story that refers visitors to another Web site. The effect gets its name from the Slashdot Web site, a discussion forum originally about Linux and related software, but increasingly about any technology-related subject. The Slashdot Effect can be perceived when any large Web site posts a high-interest, widely-publicized story about another site. The effect is obviously much more noticeable on smaller sites and the surge in traffic sometimes will slow a site down or make it impossible to reach.
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Slashdot, the Web site, is named, according to Slashdot originator Jeff "Hemos" Bates, as "a play on how terrible it is to say domain names out loud." In this case: h-t-t-p-colon-slash-slash-slash-dot-dot-o-r-g