This confession on Google+ reminds me of my experience on Sept 11th 2001.
More then a decade ago I was huddled with my colleagues at work, around some computers to get the latest (shocking) news around highjacked airplanes flying into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. Besides the emotions I remember vividly, how the power houses of news, CNN.com, NY Times.com, Washington Post.com and Boston Globe.com were all unable to deliver their web pages before timeout. The solution was the Rhein-Zeitung a small town news-paper in Mainz, Germany.
How could this provincial news paper withstand the onslaught of requests, when the best financed news organizations of the world could not? The answer was mart performance degradation. Someone at the www.rhein-zeitung.de website had the smarts to switch off all non essential styling and deliver the raw text w/o images, masthead, or advertisement.