Wimbledon, that’s a lot of users 8.5 million

The wimbledon.org website that IBM runs with the AELTC is extremely popular. It is a 2 to 3 week event. In that period this year we have had Over 8.5 million unique users logged onto the Wimbledon Website , visiting the site over 40 million times! More statistics are here
Statistics are always ones to argue about but the rise has been dramatic again. I remember back to the early days in 1998 when used to count hits per minute. The world record at the time was 100,000 hits per min from nagano winter olympics. A few months later Wimbledon reached a peak of 144,000. We have stoppped counting those sorts of hits as caching and server management is around reducing hits, but making sure delivery of information is quicker to users. Hence being able to deliver points from court to web in less than 2 seconds.
I was often asked by people who popped along to the Second life Wimbledon why we did not advertize the second life location more.
My response was usually around the fact that if we did indeed put a link on the wimbledon.org homepage a sim that could holds 50-100 people, and a system such as second life which is just reaching 8 million accounts would probably count as a denial of service attack. Already the IBM sign ups people make through our proxies trigger Linden Labs detection for DoS in that it may appear to be multiple registrations from the same IP address. It would be unfair to have a knock on effect on everybodies experience. Having said that I saw a lot of people with sign ups during the torunament and we were teh first place thet had visited.
Things such as the times article reached many people as did the extensive blog coverage by everyone. This approach to reaching people is in itself a good lesson. Also reaching people who take the time to find you means they want to come along and want to talk.
We have in the past seen the Wimbledon website have an effect on the internet as a whole, aswell as having saved the internet, such as the year Judge helped the worlwide DNS root failure by soaking up the requests in the backup server farms to ease the congestion the word was seeing.
So it would have been irresponsible to have overly advertised Wimbledon SL this year. I am sure that the experience would have been reduced aswell for those people not able to meet us behind the scenes in SL, hence keeping it small and personal.
The finals were great in SL, and we had a bit of an aftershow dance up, and I will never forget the dancing strawberry.
picture from snapzilla
I am not sure if I will be there next year, its always a struggle and always an honour. I do know the desk will look exactly the same as the room gets mothballed for 12 months now. I also know what ever part fo the team is there they will do an awesome job and leave with a massive sense of pride.

4 thoughts on “Wimbledon, that’s a lot of users 8.5 million

  1. Pingback: Roo Reynolds - What’s Next? » Blog Archive » More media from Wimbledon

  2. Pingback: IBM Wimbledon | “This approach to reaching people is in itself a good lesson” « The Bankwatch

  3. It was a new experience, to watch an real game in near real time in SL.

    And, I admire your stamina – I saw you tell the same story over and over again to anyone who would listen, throughout the days.

    What’s next? Champions’ league final in SL? 😉

  4. yes apologies to the regulars 🙂 Though I think I would change the focus a bit everynow and then. You should feel sorry for the rest of the internet team (hi guys and gals) who had to listen to the pitch when I gave it in RL 4 or 5 times a day.
    It is a bit like doing a play, or a band doing their most popular song. If you love it, as I do it does not get tired.
    Football/soccer in SL would be interesting. Instrumenting the players and pitch in order to represent it.
    Its not impossible as we sawa back with BBC in 1996 which I believe was rebuild from video captures

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