flash crowd

Larry Niven's 1973 SF short story Flash Crowd predicted that one consequence of cheap teleportation would be huge crowds materializing almost instantly at the sites of interesting news stories. Twenty years later the term passed into common use on the Internet to describe exponential spikes in website or server usage when one passes a certain threshold of popular interest (what this does to the server may also be called slashdot effect). It has been pointed out that the effect was anticipated years earlier in Alfred Bester's 1956 The Stars My Destination.