It has come to my attention that you clicked onto the Slashdot homepage and saw a story with "0 of 3 comments" or approximately such, whereupon attempting to visit the website referenced by same, you encountered slowness which indicated to you that it had become, as the colloquialism goes, "Slashdotted."
At which point you returned to Slashdot and proceeded to post a comment expressing your ( [ ] surprise [ ] astonishment [ ] outrage ) at how quickly the referent had been reduced to a pile of smoking silicon.
Allow me to explain something to you.
A story appears on the Slashdot homepage at approximately the same time for everyone. (Actually, since less than half our visitors are logged-in, that minority sees
After what delay should one expect the "Slashdotting" to begin?
Our traffic throughout the day is quite constant. There is no peer-to-peer network of Slashdot readers, who spread the news of "look! a new freakin' story!" gradually around the world over the succeeding hour, that all may throng, gawk, and retreat until the next story is posted. We do not mail out a newsletter or mobilize the phone banks to inform people of this fact. No, people are constantly stopping by, and they see the new story when they see it.
Let us think about it briefly. Let us suppose that we have n people visiting the Slashdot homepage every second, of which m click through to read a link. We see that if a new story goes up at 14:00:10, then between 14:00:10 and 14:00:11, there will be n viewers, and, after they stretch their mice over to the links and click, m of them will visit the linked site.
Whereas twenty minutes later, between 14:20:10 and 14:20:11, there will be approximately n who -- oh wait a minute! It's the same number!
In conclusion, we see that the Slashdotting begins after approximately the length of time it takes our average reader to paw a mouse over a link and click it. Since this duration is trivial compared to the time it takes to post even the very first comment (20 seconds, minimum), your surprise is unwarranted.
I feel your pain, though.
Hope this helps,