Scaling- a problem I'd like to have?
Some people would say that it's a good idea to get something out the door and not worry about high volumes of traffic. Failure to deal with high traffic is a problem they would like to have. Failure to deal with high traffic volumes could be seen as a validation of market need in some fashion. The problem is that Internet fame is sudden and fleeting.
Given the recent poor showing in respecting privacy by Google in Privacy International: Google Scores Badly I'm going to try the This Tuesday: a day without Google campaign. The problem is that the site running the campaign is already overloaded before the US wakes up (we're 5 hours ahead here in Ireland). According to the readwriteweb RSS feed (site also down) the campaign says not to use any of the top 5 engines (Google, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, or Ask). They recommend the semantic search engine hakia. Hakia search couldn't find for a Firefox toolbar plugin for hakia – I bet google would have found one :) I'll use del.icio.us as it's integrated into my Firefox toolbar and gives very reasonable results even if it is slow. I could also use Wikipedia.
One one hand anyone can reach the same audience as Google but very few can deal with the volumes of traffic that Google routinely serves extremely well. Let's see what the day without Google tells us about how dominant Google has become and if anyone is serious about trying to compete.
UPDATE: I survived one day without Google powered search. Google didn't find a "hakia firefox toolbar plugin" as I predicted but this post was the top search result on Google when I tried that query this morning. I came across a working mycroft hakia plugin when researching building my own. The Mycroft project have hundreds of engines listed that work in Firefox and many that work with browsers supporting the OpenSearch format (including IE7 and Firefox 2).