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I kind of fell on this story today – it wasn’t featured in any news programmes i watched, it wasn’t in any newspapers that I read, It was an RSS feed from the BBC’s tech pages that drew my attention to the fact that a European online library had managed to open and close within the blink of an eye and nearly pass me by completely.

monalisaApparently, the website will include images of paintings, photos, films, books and maps from 1000 museums across Europe. Unfortunately, so many people visited the picture of the Mona Lisa on the site last week that its servers crashed and took it off-line within hours of going live.

Clearly, it’s a pity that the system was not set up to deal with more than 10 million visitors at once. It’s not like we didn’t know that there are more than 10 million people in Europe with internet access, right? plus this site, being one the WORLD wide web, is actually open to anyone in the world who wanted to visit, and that’s DEFINATELY more than 10 million potential visitors…. however. There are two things that really astound me about this story:

1) Enough people knew about this site to crash it.

2) Even Americans knew about this site before me.

Am I just really culturally backwards, or was there no information or promotional activity in the UK to announce the imminent launch of this site? I’m a library member, there hasn’t even been any info in our local library about the site, as far as I could see. I mean, it’s just as well – imagine the chaos that would have occurred if more people had known about the site!

Anyway. I’d like to ask the developers of the Europeana website to get hold of some lottery money and appoint a UK PR company before they go live again in December, because I’m sure I’m not the only person who’d be interested in visiting. I imagine that there might be a student or two out there that would find it helpful for a start….


I know, I know, it’s not even December yet, I shouldn’t be talking about Christmas shopping yet, but I felt compelled to comment on a story I’ve just read on the BBC website. According to this story, Deloitte is ‘suggesting’ that consumers are “planning to spend 7% less this Christmas than they did last year”. 

I take issue with this story on a number of counts:

1) Bloody media and analysts and their bloody scaremongering are NOT helping the economy.

2) I don’t have the vaguest idea what I spent on Christmas pressies last year and

3) even if I did know, I’m certain I wouldn’t bother to sit down and work out how much 7% of that would be so that I could ‘plan’ to spend that much less! 

I expect I will, as usual, buy presents on impulse as and when I see things that I think people will like and pay absolutely no attention to how much I’m spending right up until the point where the cashpoint starts laughing at me…


Hurrah! deck the halls!

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