Apple's decision not to have a live webcast of the iPhone 4S launch event yesterday, turned out to be a massive blessing for websites that had been invited to the event as they struggled under the massive traffic that flooded the "live coverage pages".
Sites like CNet, Engadget and GDGT buckled under the weight, with these three aforementioned websites receiving an estimated 100,000 concurrent visitors during the event yesterday.
GDGT reported 30 minutes into the live event that "We’re doing a TON of traffic right now, which is awesome! But if you should happen to see a hiccup in the auto-updating, don’t be afraid to refresh the page real quick to kick. Don’t do that right this second though, or you’ll probably take us down."
Both Engadget and Cnet were frequently down with the live event acting like a massive Distributed Denial of Service as the live pages were auto-refreshed continually.
At some point, Engadget, Cnet and GDGT were down, although Engadget and Cnet were the more affected ones. For Engadget, the blame could be laid on the fact that it uses loads of high resolution photos which piles pressure on the webhosting (ed: but then it is backed by AOL, so traffic shouldn't be a problem).
Most likely publishers will hope that Apple sticks to that strategy of cherrypicking tech websites and allowing them to cover future Apple events live.