Nov 3, 2006
By Mairead Johnson
Kiva.org Launches Into Space
1:39AM     It is the early hours of the morning at the Kiva.org office but we are not sleeping. Kiva.org has spent the last two days recovering from one of the most amazing events in our history, which has left us stronger, more motivated and more inspired than ever...

Halloween was a day that none of the Kiva.org team will ever forget. While we had spent weeks preparing for our expected increase in traffic, we had no idea of the response we would actually get. As our Field Partners across the globe sent in their final business profiles and our engineers ran benchmarks, we readied ourselves for our greatest media exposure yet. Our Director of Technology, Jeremy Frazao (in Halloween costume) projected our site statistics on a whiteboard and we gathered around to watch the numbers soar.

We never saw the increase in traffic we had been waiting for. At precisely 6:30pm our server completely froze. Our engineers leapt into action and the phones rang as our technical assistance standing by called in. We all wondered how much traffic we were receiving but had no way of finding out. By 6:40pm we realized we were receiving more traffic than we would be able to recover from and we posted a notice on our homepage explaining that we were doing our best to resolve the situation.

It is what follows that has most moved us. As visitors came to our site and read our message, we began to receive hundreds and hundreds of emails. Staring at our computer screens we scanned through them: "Your work and your vision amazes me, and I look forward to being a part of it", "Please tell me how I can help - I have money to loan", "Thank you for giving us a way to help others - never give up!" Messages of enthusiastic support poured in by the hundreds and we were completely astounded at the solidarity expressed by so many strangers who felt connected to what we are doing. Donations began to pour into our PayPal account, messages asking us what we needed, what they could do to help. We realized that while we spend our days building online connections to help the poor around the world, we were suddenly connected to thousands and thousands of people who wanted to help us. That feeling is incredibly humbling and overwhelming.

The last two days have been spent mobilizing resources which have poured in to help us not only get back online - but come back better and stronger than ever. We have had servers and expertise donated as well as enough money to cover our server expenses for the next year. The phones have been ringing off the hook and the emails are still coming. People want to loan and they want to be connected to micro-entrepreneurs. Kiva.org just turned a corner.

The entire Kiva.org team would like to thank every person who sent a donation. We are and will always be a lean operation with low overhead costs and your donation will be used to help us grow and scale as we obviously need to. Thank you.

We would like to thank every single person who sent us an email, whether asking us to notify them when the server is up, giving us encouragement and support or offering to help. Knowing that we have a massive community of supporters behind us, wanting to loan to our entrepreneurs, is incredibly motivating and energizing. We are inspired to work even harder to expand our dream which you share.

We will be launching the site in approximately 30 minutes. We have 350 business profiles waiting for funding and 4,000 email addresses waiting to be notified of our re-launch. Thank you for your support.

The Kiva.org Team 

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