A post on Crunchnotes says the traffic at TechCrunch is now big enough that they sometimes overwhelm the websites of small startups when they blog about them.
As TechCrunch traffic continues to grow, a problem is popping up more and more often - the traffic we send to a site when we write about it on its launch day can (and often does) take it down. It's not that TechCrunch traffic is that massive, but it's enough that if there's a bug somewhere in application that wasn’t noticed with small traffic testing, it can be exploited and quickly take the site down. The last week, we’ve averaged one site down per day.
Examples: We wrote about Spotplex and it went down fast, as did Amie Street and Kegulator tonight (Kegulator is more of a toy, so it doesn't really count).
Another problem is that the traffic doesn't last. See this Alexa chart for Spotplex as an example. There's a spike, and then most of the people never come back. Hopefully a few stick around, register and tell their friends, but building an application to scale to handle a TechCrunch post is a long term solution to a short term problem.
The post says sometimes startups write in and ask not to be mentioned because they aren't ready. There are startups out there in beta mode that might not yet want a flood of traffic. At the same time it is hard to have sympathy for the startups. It seems like startups should try and remain better hidden if they don't want to be mentioned on a blog. Once you have launched a public website it is difficult to hide and blogs like TechCrunch are trying to be the first to report news of new Web 2.0 companies and websites.