Monthly Archives: October 2007

Google Penalizing Paid Links

Now that Google is officially penalizing paid links, I’m glad the WordPress community took such a strong stand against them in themes. Countless blogs could have been penalized just for the theme they were using, not related to anything they did or did not do on their blog. It was a tough decision at the time, it probably drew more criticism and personal attacks against me than anything we’ve done before, but time has proved us right.

Comscore Numbers

This snippet from the Wall Street Journal shows the Comscore numbers for the top social media sites, show us about 22 million ahead of Flickr and “Six Apart Sites” (which I think is Livejournal/Typepad/Vox combined) but about 9 million behind Facebook. I think the reason they say N/A for our growth is because a year ago we weren’t even tracked by Comscore. We’re too cheap for a subscription though, maybe someone with one can check that?

Rails Bashing

Since 7 reasons I switched back to PHP there seems to be a trend of Rails-bashing articles, epitomized by this one which is a fine example of the form until it advocates ASP.NET. Through it all, I still haven’t heard of a startup or web service that failed or succeeded due solely to its web framework or language. These articles are like the celebrity gossip stories of Web 2.0, complete with ad hominem attacks, and just as useless. Hacker News tends to be a fairly high signal source of discussions actually relevant to startups.

S3 News

Three bits of Amazon S3 news:

  1. We’re now using S3 as the primary storage for, rather than just for backups. We have some layers in front of it, notably Varnish, so the majority of our serving doesn’t hit S3. Still, our AWS bill went from around $200/mo to $1500/mo, and rising. It has simplified some of our requirements, but doesn’t look like it’ll save any money.
  2. Amazon now has a Service Level Agreement (SLA). Big companies like this, but in the real world I’ve found there to be a low correlation with service reliability and the presence of a SLA.
  3. In the Amazon newsletter they promoted Content Spooling Network as a good use of their services. Unfortunately, the service appears to be tailored for using Mechanical Turk to “ghostwrite keyword-based articles for SEO,” or more succinctly, “spam.” Get a web-savvy editor for that newsletter, guys!