The Slashdot Effect is the sudden, relatively temporary surge in traffic to a Web site that occurs when a high-traffic Web site or other source posts a story that refers visitors to another Web site. The effect gets its name from the Slashdot Web site, a discussion forum originally about Linux and related software, but increasingly about any technology-related subject. The Slashdot Effect can be perceived when any large Web site posts a high-interest, widely-publicized story about another site. The effect is obviously much more noticeable on smaller sites and the surge in traffic sometimes will slow a site down or make it impossible to reach.
Slashdot, the Web site, is named, according to Slashdot originator Jeff "Hemos" Bates, as "a play on how terrible it is to say domain names out loud." In this case: h-t-t-p-colon-slash-slash-slash-dot-dot-o-r-g