Sandy, which has been downgraded from a hurricane, is no respecter of person, place, or thing, as the giant news organization Huffington Post recently experienced. As the storm continues its march through the east coast a cluster of media companies centered in New York all fell prey to its destructive nature. Specifically, Huffington Post, Gawker and Buzzfeed were all taken down by the storms limitless reach.
Presently, Buzzfeed’s site and story page are back online thanks to a Content Delivery Network called Akamai which hosts the content at servers around the world. However, the Huffington Post website is still down as of Tuesday morning, along with all the Gawker sites and Daily Kos.
BuzzFeed was up and down Monday evening, as teams shifted publishing to social platforms including Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook. While most major news websites in New Jersey and New York continued to publish as planned, others did not fare as well once water began pouring in and pockets of the city lost power due to Sandy.
Buzzfeed was previously live in read-only mode. Spokeswoman Ashley McCollum issued this statement last night: “We’re having hurricane related issues both with our servers and our CDN, and are working on it. The social web is alive and well and our staff will continue to create shareable content for Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.”
The unprecedented simultaneous crash of these sites has led some in the media to point out that If Hurricane Sandy wasn’t scary enough, just take a look at its newest victims. The implication suggests the blogosphere was given a powerful wake call and reality check, making sure it knew that no place, no person and no thing was except from the clutches of this mammoth storm.
With New Jersey and New York City is in the storm’s path, and any data centers that are stationed there had to know there was a good chance they’d be affected. Big data warehouses usually have multiple failsafe systems in place, but it looks like they were no match for the fury that Hurricane Sandy brought and is still bringing.
Datagram, the internet service provider in Manhattan whose servers host Gawker, Buzzfeed and The Huffington Post, lost power last night.
“Basement flooded, fuel pump off-line – we got people working on it now. 5 feet of water now”, an official said in a text message to the website Techcrunch.
The New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ both remain closed.
The only people in the east that may have momentarily flashed a tiny smirk were perhaps celebrities with a predilection for getting caught with your pants down. There fear of Huffington, Gawker, and BuzzFeed could feasibly grab a seat and take a brief rest until engineers sort out their problems.
Though Sandy is primarily responsible, official say that the floods drowned Gawker’s entire network of eight blogs as both its main data center and backup were taken offline at the peak of the storm. Meanwhile, the Huffington Post and BuzzFeed websites also experienced blips, although these were restored and went back online fairly soon, only to find the fix short lived.
At the time of this published report, Huffington Post was intermittently going up and down and when it was up, the website was not at 100% its usability
Contributor D. Chandler