LONDON - Stephen Fry has for the first time described the extent of his Twitter power, claiming that his recommendations can crash websites within seconds.
Fry was speaking at IAB Engage 2009 in London yesterday, where he revealed that, prior to tweeting about a certain website, he has to send the owners a letter warning them to prepare for the resulting peak in traffic.
The technophile said he now sends a standard letter to websites before endorsing them, in case the vast volumes of traffic crash the recommended site.
"If I do recommend a site it has to be capable of something like 1000 hits a second," said Fry, who revealed that he gets bombarded by people desperate for him to endorse their products or websites.
"Even when they guarantee it the site might go down," continued Fry. "It's like a DOS (denial of service attack) on people's servers and it's terrible."
Fry also said that his own website attracts a million unique users a month and that it has become very expensive to maintain.
"It took a lot of working and I thought 'I must monetise'," he said. "We went for advertising and it has worked really well. It's not intrusive and just about covers the overheads."
Fry spoke openly about how his depression almost made him give up using Twitter but the actor is soon likely to break the 1 million followers mark, possibly as soon as this weekend.
This article was first published on