Oy. I feel terrible about all the apparent anxiety I unintentionally engineered. In my telephone call with the original poster, I did indeed ask him to post some information, but I'm afraid a lot got lost in the translation. I hope this format works a little better, and that I am able to clear up some confusion.
First, and most importantly: I am not mad about people trying to log in! We are not tracking people. We are not penalizing people. Nothing untoward along those lines is occurring.
Now, some background: yesterday we received an email from an applicant telling us that he had tried to log into the site and had been successful for 20 minutes. He tried again, though, and could not log in. Was he, he wanted to know, admitted or not? well--he wasn't admitted. So if he had been able to log in, as he said, that would have indicated a serious problem with our site. I asked one member of my staff to get the specific details from him, and another member to confab with the IT staff and see what the story was. As a result of all this investigating, we learned that the candidate in question had actually tried to log in an extraordinary number of times--many, many times a day, every day for more than a month. We also learned that while a number of people had tried to log in, he had done so about 100 times more than anyone else--and that only a handful of people had tried to log in a number of times that struck us really unusual. But we didn't go piecing together who all those people were, nor did we have any interest in contacting them--we only wanted to respond to the original candidate. In any event, the upshot of the investigation was the IT staff's firm conviction that the site was working exactly as it should, and people who weren't admitted would not be able to log on.
So I called the candidate, and explained what I had learned. I also explained that the site only refreshed once a day, so multiple daily log-in attempts weren't worthwhile. And then I explained why we have the system we do (about which I can post later), and that while we don't mind people trying to log in, we just have an old-fashioned hope that they will learn of their admission through a big exciting packet in the mail, rather than a website--but that I understand there's a generation gap there. And finally, I explained how this year's new phenomenon of checking has led to some unforeseen consequences: namely, people calling us to say, "I logged in; am I admitted?," and relatedly, emailing us a lot to ask when they'll get their status check email. Both of those, particularly in a year where we're seeing an increase in applicants, have been absolutely crushing to our workload; we're actually processing apps more slowly, and making decisions more slowly, because of the increased work in these other areas.
And finally--I asked him to explain all this on TLS, which is where he told me he'd gotten the log-in idea in the first place. And so here we are.
This is my first time ever posting on TLS or similar sites, and I am hopeful that we can clear this up and I can get back to reading my apps and leaving all of you in peace. I'm off now to drive my children to various evening activities, but I'll check back later to see if other questions need answering!
(I have been advised to tell you all that I won't be monitoring my TLS message inbox. In other words, you'll be free of me after this.)