Frequently Asked Questions about Network Mirror

What is this site all about?


Slashdot publishes many articles per day that reference other sites. When a new Slashdot article gets published, thousands of folks navigate to the referenced web sites. The big sites can handle the traffic spike, no problem. The little ones, on the other hand... Well, let's just say the little ones don't fare so well. It's called the Slashdot Effect or being Slashdotted.

Enter Network Mirror. We make a mirror image of the page(s) referred to in the Slashdot posting and have them ready to go soon after the article goes live on Slashdot. We have good hardware and a high-bandwidth connection, so in theory, we should be able to "step in", as it were, for the troubled site.



So, your site doesn't goes down as a result of high traffic?

Not yet. :-)


How are you different from other mirror sites?

We try really hard to mirror all relevant pages of an article, not just the first page like some other mirror sites.


Why are you doing this?

Why not? It's an interesting problem, at least to us. These days, we're pointy-haired bosses with little time to code. We thought this would be a fun project that would also give a little back to the community.


What's with the ads?

Hosting a site in a colo with a high-bandwidth connection costs money. We're not looking to retire doing this, but we're also not independently wealthy. The rationale is, "have the ads fund the site". While each month gets us a little closer, to date, we are not even covering our expenses.


Why is the layout so plain?

Our belief has alway been, "make it work, then make it pretty". Our marketing friends think we're nuts. (We'll keep our opinions about them to ourselves.) After all, look at Google: it violates all of the graphical design rules about desiging web sites that will knock your socks off. We'll spiff it up a little when the to-do/to fix list calms down a bit, though we suspect it will always be a plain site. Our goal is to get you to the content you want, not to serve as a destination unto itself. Until the time comes when we do spiff up the site, look on the bright side, we're told the format is PDA-friendly. :-)


Aren't you concerned about copyright?

Isn't everybody these days to one extent or another? We've looked at Google's Cached Pages, Yahoo's Cached Pages, The Internet Archive, and others and believe that the concept of mirroring or caching other's content for a short period of time is generally regarded as acceptable use. Further, we believe that we are in compliance with Title 17 U.S. Code Sec. 512(b).

We understand and respect that others may be relying on the ad revenue generated by their content and to that end, we do our darnedest to copy the ads on the mirrored pages along with the pages themselves. We keep our mirrored pages for a very short period of time - a couple of days in most cases.

Is Network Mirror affiliated with Slashdot?

Nope. While we are Slashdot subscribers and we admire what the Slashdot folks have created, Network Mirror is completely separate entity and in no way affiliated with Slashdot.


Are there any other sites that you mirror like this?

Not at present, though we are considering it.  If you have any that you think would be good candidates, please let us know.


Hey! Your site's broken / acting weird / not mirroring!

We're sorry you encountered a problem. Please do let us know. We know there are things that don't work as well as we'd like. Hearing from you about problems helps us understand which bugs to focus on first.



Questions? Contact us at man_in_the_mirror@networkmirror.com