im only 13, but i think if every one pulls together we could save the plantet! come on, there is no other world in the universe that has the stuff we have. So save the world it is the only place with chocolate!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ellie, 13.

This comment appears as one of the many comments made about Jane Genovese’s Combating Global Warming Mind Map.

Global Warming Mind Map by Jane and Sharon GenoveseJane (and her mother Sharon) created this mind map about 12 months ago, and the interest in it has been building and building.

If you search Google for images on global warming, you will see it up there on page 1.

And today the Digg community got involved. Jane’s mind map has over 800 Diggs and more than 300 comments – as more stories are hitting the front page, Jane’s map has moved on to page 3, but is still getting a lot of visits.

We’ve had big traffic events on our servers before, and have been staying ahead of these with capacity upgrades. But this morning’s event really hammered us. The server was at full capacity because of all the image serving – the server didn’t crash (we had plenty of memory and cpu), but responses were slow and it timed out on a significant number of pages for a few hours.

James and I implemented something we have been discussing recently, using Amazon S3 to increase the image serving performance. As soon as we got the mind Map onto S3, the problem just went away. It was pretty incredible to see the frequency of visits, even while it was on Page 2 of Digg.

Before we had increased the image serving performance, someone commented on Digg “if you can’t host it don’t post it”. I thought briefly that maybe he forgot what Digg was – Jane didn’t Digg her own mind map, other people did. But they had a point.

One of my objectives in launching OM4 is to make it easy for small businesses to get online and use the new tools of marketing. If you use Content Marketing as a strategy and are as effective as Jane, you will need to be able to cope with events like this – lots of traffic from StumbleUpon, Digg etc. You don’t want to be where James and I were this morning, in reaction mode.

Realistically, being able to deal with the technical issues involved in an event like this is not something a small business can easily do on its own. My objective is to make these kinds of issues as invisible to a business owner as possible. Running a business online has infrastructure requirements that aren’t always obvious at first. Just like an architect has to consider the potential for hurricanes/cyclones if they are building in a high risk area, so do we (the platform provider) have to consider the potential for large, one-off surges in traffic. And be able to deal with them.

Now Jane can get on with saving the world, thereby preserving the only known source of chocolate in the Universe.