Great post on scaling

Great post on scaling. (via Simon) Some good bits in the comments:

  • We do TV advertising and have huge spikes within 3-5 seconds of the spot running. After maybe 20-30 seconds everything is back to normal again, with maybe +5-10% traffic (a normal variation).
  • Times was an article that included links to the site. The article was one level off the home page (it was a section page). So, there you see the level increase and stay increased for about 20 hours or so (with some die down due to Times traffic behaviour). The Digg stuff, has a much shorter time frame. It is the life of an entry on Digg on the front-page. Anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, but rarely longer than that.

DiSo (dee • zoh) is an umbrella project for a group of open source implementations of these distributed social networking concepts. or as Chris puts it: “to build a social network with its skin inside out”. Specifically, they’re starting with some WordPress plugins.

Scaling tip: set lighttpd in front of Apache to handle http requests, redirect dynamic requests to apache and handle static files by itself. Ah, smart :)

Yahoo is not bad at launching a certain type of content/community website. OMG for example is doing well: 2 million user comments the first year, and great traffic. Is Yahoo therefore only a “destination” site. Would that be so bad?

I find it strange that the so caled “A-list” bloggers are voluntarily leaving the platform they control (their blog) and going where the audience is with their conversations (the social networks, twitters etc…), to the walled gardens. It’s the same thing I’ve seen young kids do, but I didn’t expect to see it happen so much with the bloggers. mm. Maybe it’s ok to have your conversations in walled gardens. But it does feel like it’s not. Hadn’t we been there done that?

I was working on a UI screen the other day with some Javascript in it, and because the js was rather simple (show and hide areas of the screen), I decided to just code it myself. That way I could try it out, feel the experience and adjust things as I went. Went pretty well. I had to learn the JQuery show and hide command, but that’s supersimple. So yea, if you work on UI’s, try JQuery to mock up simple stuff. It might help.

Wireframes are boundary objects

This got me thinking again about wireframes: “He goes on to explain that the main problem with wireframes is when
they try to do too much, serving multiple purposes at the same time.”

That’s exactly *not* the problem with wireframes, that’s their strength. The page description diagram misses the point – it tries to create boundaries, not overcome them.

Wireframes are boundary objects. They’re used by multiple groups of people, that otherwise don’t have good ways of communicating. The whole idea of the wireframe is that it can be used in discussions with clients, visual designers and programmers alike. It’s an object that bridges communities, in a way that no functional specification or page description diagram ever can.

And yes, that comes with some ambiguity and sometimes confusion about who owns what, but that’s the whole point. Remove the ambiguity, and you remove the usefulness.

Kevin Kelly: Most companies don’ t live as long as most humans. Their relative short
life has to do with culture’s rapidly shifting interests, and the
difficulty of transmitting values and goals beyond the original
founders. When viewed this way, it is a wonder any
group of workers would continue to exist after the founding group
vanishes. It is simply astounding that some companies could outlive the
industry they began in, or even the country they were started in.

“We need lots of variations on the theme of collaboration. Editing adds value, as does expertise.”

Exactly. That’s why I didn’t just throw up an install of MediaWiki for my travelguide wiki. Instead, I’m trying to create the technology so that it supports creating a travelguide for backpackers. A wiki won’t do it, I believe. It might, but I think there are better ways. Anyone can still edit anything, but things are more structured than a wiki, and the editing process is also evolving.