Today was the launch of Glenn Greenwald’s much-ballyhooed news website, the one that eBay founder Pierre Omidyar has pledged $250 million toward, to help build a new media empire.
And it fumbled its launch.
These jokers got $50 million to start with (source: ibtimes.com), and what web application do they use? Something custom-made, backed by high-end servers ready to tackle millions of hits?
Nope. WordPress 3.8. Free, open-source content management software.
Don’t get me wrong, WordPress is great. I use WordPress for my own blog. But my IT budget is precisely zero. And my daily traffic is minuscule. WP is just not the kind of CMS I would choose for the rollout of a brand-new, well publicized, well funded website, with a well known writer at the helm.
Greenwald was promising new revelations about the National Security Agency (NSA).
“Today’s launch is just the beginning,” said Mr Greenwald. “Our day one story is significant and we have more coming. Laura, Jeremy, and I recognize the responsibility in front of us, and are thrilled to be embarking on this exciting and important journey.”
First Look Media said it would launch a flagship site and additional digital magazines later this year.
At launch, the site had teething problems with pages not able to be loaded.
“We aware that some users are having difficulty accessing our site. Sorry! Our tech team are on it & will fix asap,” the publication said on its Twitter account @the_intercept.
Guess we’ll need to wait on those revelations till they restart the database server.
UPDATE: It appears the website is preliminary to a major rollout later this year. Judging from The Intercept’s “About” page, Greenwald, et al., wanted a platform for more intel provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and may not have prepared well for heavy web traffic.
Our short-term mission is to provide a platform to report on the documents previously provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Although we are still building our infrastructure and larger vision, we are launching now because we believe we have a vital obligation to this ongoing and evolving story, to these documents, and to the public.
SECOND UPDATE: The site is not kicking out any database errors now, but it’s still slow, at least for me here in China.
THIRD UPDATE: I’ve changed the headline and content slightly for accuracy.