Online news hounds clicked with fury to the People’s Weekly World web site last Friday, Jan. 7, to read Tim Wheeler’s story “Memo reveals Bush OK’d torture,” which appeared as the top U.S. news story on Google News. The People’s Weekly World is one of 4,500 news sources for the widely used search engine.

PWW readers were thrilled to see our story leading the pack of news about the Alberto Gonzalez appointment hearings, calling and e-mailing our editorial office. Many posted the story to other web sites and listservs. There were a number of first-time readers that didn’t like the story and we heard from them, too. We were all excited about the listing and thought you would be, too.

The number of hits crashed our server, which sent our technicians scrambling to fix the problem. Within 90 minutes the web site was back up and the story remained as a top Google story. On a usual day we average 3,000-5,000 hits, but after service restoration the web site logged 46,617 hits. The PWW tech staff — Bill, Rhyce and Noel — are implementing a solution to guarantee the site doesn’t crash whenever a spike in traffic occurs. To do that takes resources.

Building the PWW and Nuestro Mundo online takes money. To have a weekly newspaper like ours is crucial to democracy. But we can’t build it if we don’t raise $200,000 by Jan. 29. We need your donations to do it. Give today.

To contribute by credit card (VISA, MasterCard, Discover or Amex), call (646) 437-5363 or go to Make your check or money order payable to Long View Publishing, 235 W. 23rd St., New York NY 10011.

— Terrie Albano, editor (