Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Attack of the (non-killer) bots

Call it the Attack of the (non-killer) Bots … or Battle of the Bots …
For those of us who post to our company website, it’s been frustrating the last few days as glitches at the network end of our provider have tested our patience.

We could have the most incredible, amazing, dynamic, earth-shattering news story to excitedly share with our Web audience but we couldn’t guarantee we could have it posted as quickly as we would like.

We’ve struggled. We’ve torn out our hair. We’ve cursed. We felt cursed.

We wasted valuable time that could have been spent cheering for our OSU Beavers baseball team at the NCAA baseball championship in Omaha.

We’ve been told that even after the network problem was fixed, “we began being attacked by bots which is overloading the servers.”

I guess bots can be good and bad. Bots (think robots) are computer programs that automatically enter websites searching for new information to add to search engine indexes. For example Google bots enter our website, find our new stories we posted on say, immigration, and next thing you know it sends out automatically to people internationally — through Google Alerts — a note that they can find our immigration stories through a link provided by Google.

The good thing is more people find out about what we have posted on our website. The bad thing is, they can throw off statistics of how many hits a website gets, or — as our latest adventure has shown us — they can attack our sites to the point where it can affect the job we try to do and leave us almost weeping miserably. Or maybe we were weeping over that loss of hair …

For anyone with a good imagination, the images of these attacking bots is right up there with bad horror movies like the Blob, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes and … well, name your favorite bad horror or horribly bad movie here.

We thank people for their patience as we continue to work on getting breaking news and news updates posted as soon as possible on our website.

And by the way, Go Beavers!

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