Brazilian President’s New Blog Overwhelmed By Hits

By Dialogo
August 31, 2009

A new blog launched by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva became inaccessible within hours after aides sorely underestimated the number of Internet readers it would attract. "We set up a structure so the blog could receive 6,000 simultaneous hits, but this forecast was greatly exceeded," an official in the president's communication service told AFP. "We're currently improving the infrastructure," he said. Before it went down, the blog showed a short video in which Lula welcomed visitors to his page ( It also featured informal comments about a much-awaited announcement the president was to make about an overhaul of rules governing vast new oil finds offshore. The blog is designed to showcase Lula's comments directly to Brazil's public, bypassing the news media. It will host a copy of his weekly radio broadcast as well as a question-answer text with ordinary readers published in national and regional newspapers. Around one person in three in Brazil, or 65 million people, have at least occasional access to the Internet, according to a recent survey by the firm Ibope Nielsen. Nearly half of that total are active web users.