Archive for April, 2007
There’s been a bit of talk about a new service provided by OpenDNS, a ‘free domain name service’, which allows users to create keywords, such as typing in ‘blog’ in your address bar to go to King Gary, or typing in ‘g king gary’ to search Google for ‘king gary‘. It does this by replacing each search term with a URL that you specify on their website. In order to make this all work, you have to modify your ‘hosts’ file, which is already a task that some people are either unsure of how to perform, or are simply unwilling to do so just because they don’t want to play around with something that isn’t usually intended for them to play with.
The MyBlogLog craze seems to have died down recently, but there’s still quite a lot of active members that are using the service. Also, once you’ve logged in to the site, you appear on the MyBlogLog widget of all sites that you visit unless you explicitly log out of their service.
It looks like my blog is one of the so-called ‘hottest communities’ on the MyBlogLog right now, with 28 members and counting (minuscule compared to fellow problogger Darren Rowse’ 3,148 and counting), among other blogs such as PayPerPost (yikes) and Girls Chamber (uh, ok?).
I check my FeedBurner stats for King Gary every once in a while, and I have begun to notice that my stats take a big dive on weekends. This is nothing really special, because it’s common knowledge that feed circulation routinely drops on weekends. But then I notice that my stats go down on Saturdays – sometimes by 50% – and then it goes back up on Sundays.
I checked my stats, and I see that Netvibes doesn’t report its subscriber counts on Saturdays. Is this something that’s normal? I have a feeling that most people are NOT experiencing this issue.
Screenshots after the jump:
I’m looking for a new web host to use for King Gary. My hosting expires in a short while, and so I’d like to get your input on what are some good hosts to use. I value personal experience with a particular host, over anything else and over whatever the host themselves say, because that’s what I really think counts. The host that I’m currently with is okay, but I’d like to go out and try different ones because I’m sure there are better ones out there.
As of Facebook’s latest update, it looks like they’re doing something that seems very similar to Twitter, the popular microblogging service that has been picking up steam in recent months. This latest update focuses primarily on Facebook’s Status Updates feature, which allows its users to post short messages describing what they’re doing at that point – similarly to how Twitter is used. One of the primary reasons that helped boost Twitter into the limelight, though, was that many of its users connected to the service via a mobile service, allowing them to update their Twitter messages in real time. Facebook’s implementation of Status Updates was a novelty at best, due to the fact that you could only update your status if you were on facebook.com, in a browser of some sort (could be on your mobile, but that wouldn’t be as convenient), and that you were logged in.
Just a quick update on my ‘Comment Rankings’ WordPress plugin that I released 3 days ago. It looks like my plugin is the #1 hit when searching for ‘comment rankings’ on Google now – but it’s not my site, it’s this site. Props to him for being the #1 search result for that phrase, while my site isn’t even on the first page of results. How’d that happen?
It turns out that Research in Motion, the company that makes the popular Blackberry handheld device, gives the cause of downtime that plagued its users this past Tuesday and Wednesday to be because of an “insufficiently tested software upgrade”. They give a list of
excuses reasons of why this problem occurred, including:
- the failure was trigged by “the introduction of a new, non-critical system routine” designed to increase the system’s e-mail holding space.
- “the pre-testing of the system routine proved to be insufficient”.
- the service in the event of a failure “did not fully perform to its expectations”
There’s a good chance that the problem was caused due to oversight by someone from the school that I currently attend, the University of Waterloo, since RIM employs most of its employees from there due to it being headquartered just a few hundred feet from the university’s campus. So on behalf of my university and fellow students: Sorry!
I’m not sure about you, but I’ve definitely been witnessing many people fleeing from MySpace and finding joy over at Facebook, instead, in recent months. It’s also been reported that Facebook is the #1 site for teenagers, and Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s 22-year-old founder, is profiled in this month’s edition of Fast Company. What I believe are some of the reasons that people are rapidly moving from MySpace to Facebook include:
- The MySpace layout is really cluttered, whereas Facebook’s is really clean. On MySpace, at first, it seems like a lot is going on so it’s exciting. Once you hit a server error for the umpteenth time, though, then it’s quits for MySpace.
- There is a LOT more privacy on Facebook than on MySpace (there are no less than 7 privacy sections found on Facebook, where each has dozens of settings which control things ranging from your profile, to search results that include you.)
I quickly whipped up a WordPress plugin to do something that I wanted, which was to display stars in a post’s comments next to the comment’s author. Each star represented 10 comments that the author had made on the blog so far; I find it interesting to see how many people in the, say, top 10 people that comment on a blog make up a large percentage of the total comments on a blog. (For those who are wondering, the top 10 commenters on my blog make up 67% of all the comments.)
Running a blog network with nearly 200 blogs is no easy task, and when you’ve got the same item being downloaded a few thousand times every second, it can put quite the strain on a server. That’s why the b5media blogroll (an example is shown to the right of this post) can pretty much kill a server if people love our blogs too much, and if the blogroll isn’t as optimized as it could have been. We needed to fix the blogroll so that we could use it without straining our servers nearly as much as it once did, so I jumped in and optimized it so that it would be nice and speedy.
The good thing was that whenever the blogroll was requested by a website, the same data would always be sent (in XML format – what else?). The reason that the blogroll may look different on several websites is because each website parses the XML file differently. This enabled us to cache the blogroll XML data that is returned, since it is not dynamic; it only changes if we add/modify/remove a channel or a blog.