Crikey! Steve Irwin's Death Clogged the Web.

Within hours of the first report that Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray's barb through the heart, traffic surge clobbered Australian news websites:

Web measurement company Hitwise said Irwin's death was the biggest news event read by Australians on the Internet since two Australian miners were trapped by a mine collapse in southern Tasmania state in late April.

"We noticed that the Web site increased in popularity quite substantially. It became the number one entertainment personality Web site in Australia yesterday and in the United States it also became the third most popular," Hitwise Asia-Pacific marketing director James Borg told Reuters.

Australian news Web sites struggled to keep up with demand.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp.'s site ( had to temporarily shut down, posting a notice Monday that it was experiencing higher than normal traffic.

The news of Steve Irwin's death also caused the blogosphere to go into hyperdrive - within a day, there were nearly 22,000 blog posts on the subject in a day, according to Technorati. Not to be outdone, many YouTubers started posting their own tribute clips.

But while the world mourns, not everyone had only kind words about Steve - Australian columnist Germaine Greer disparaged Steve's behavior (including when he went into a crocodile enclosure with his month-old baby) in her article "That sort of self-delusion is what it takes to be a real Aussie larrikin." Claymation video clip of Steve battling Medusa (with an eerie premonition of the wound that killed him) appeared on YouTube (no direct link - although the animation was done prior to Steve's death - I think it's just in bad taste, if you want to see it, search for it on YouTube).

Thankfully, harsh and indecent reactions were far and few in between - most of us think highly of Steve Irwin, his lovable show, and his contribution to animal conservation. We will miss him terribly.

CNN Article on the effect of Steve's Death on the Web | Steve Irwin [wikipedia]

Previously on Neatorama: Stingray Killed Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter

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