mPulse

Monday, April 21, 2008

Twitter: A Success Failure?

When FireFox 1.0 was released, the sites hosting this eagerly awaited software effectively were overwhelmed by the number of users attempting to download it.

A colleague of mine referred to it as a Success Failure. What is that? It simply means that you have been so successful at getting the word out and getting people excited about the release that you fail to deliver as a result.

Given the background buzz and increasing frustration of people, it seems that Twitter is having the same thing right now. Question is not so much the cause (broken code? new hardware run amuck? old hardware groaning? a breakpoint in the number of users causing the system to seize up?), but the effect it is having.

High profile users of the service are upset. Regular users are wondering if it's time to seek an alternative.

Part of the frustration stems from the lack of updates from Twitter itself. For a service that is designed to provide people with flash updates of ongoing events, it appears that they are failing to make use of their own technology and approach. There a semi-secret Twitter Status timeline available (here).

I hope that the team at Twitter get it figured out soon, as I am a new addict to the system. I hate to think that I finally started on this meme at the precise moment that it collapsed.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Return of the Blog Peasant: Hibernation and renewal

Those who saw me at the edge of the A-list (B-list? are those terms valid anymore? I am so out of touch) circle during the first wave of the blog explosion saw me flag and then fall. But where did I go? What did I do?

I left town, essentially. Mentally. I had to go down a new path, find a new cause, lose that cause, explore more. Step away from the places I had known for so long.

I went into Typography. Architecture (Mid-Century Modern). Design. Photography.

And I come back refreshed. I come back being at least 6 months behind in M&A news, new products being flogged by Guy, in opinions expressed by Fred and Brad.

I can recommend it for anyone. I know that the people out there have become addicted to it all. But walking away from the constant need to be informed, to be in the game, on your game, it's exhausting.

And when you mix in my bipolar (follow the category, young man), things can get really intense.

I will now be participating with fresh enthusiasm.

Staring into the spiraling madness of Silicon Valley and laughing, so glad I can watch from afar. Visit occasionally, but juts sit in the audience and let the lions fight it out.

So, what do I need to know?

Oh. If you want to follow me on twitter, I can guarantee sleep. :-)

Friday, April 18, 2008

IE 8 is coming...are you ready?

So, Microsoft is releasing Internet Explorer 8 later this year, and a Beta is available now.

The question is, are you ready for it?

Internally, the tech savvy folks (myself included) have been tossing around the football of how to tackle it. The leap from 2 to 6 connections per host, on top of the basic rendering challenges that come with any new browser release are enough to make a Web team's collective hive mind melt.

So, the bright team at Gomez are developing an IE 8 readiness kit.

Sounds like a great idea.

Why do you need to be concerned at a network level?

Let's see...Well, while 6 simultaneous connections may be faster for clients, what happens to the TCP stacks of the devices that handle all of these connections, especially as more and more people start using IE 8?

Imagine that every Firefox user is using FasterFox, and then IE 8 comes along.

Do you have enough TCP sockets?

How quickly are sockets that are ready to be recycled actually recycled?

Are you really ready?

:-)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Easy to use, spam-proof, contact form

Ok folks, I am tired of people spamming my captcha contact form. I need a better solution. Does anyone have an excellent, proven, and simple to deploy method for fooling the bots on a contact form?

Hulk break Web site! Yargh!

On type of my usual performance consulting, I have recently taken on the role of Web site breaker/stress tester at work. Our updated external load-testing tool is coming out soon, but we have some clients who need some of its functions now.

So, what does this mean? Well, I have learned a lot about how to and not to load test a system, and that load testing a Web site is not a straightforward process.

However, it has also shifted my schedule quite substantially. You see, companies like to load test their sites at night. This means that I have been working a lot of long days, what with my usual working day starting at 06:00 and ending at 22:00.

But the it's better than tv! :-)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The fading of blogging

Through 2007, the number of posts I made per day/week/month decreased steadily. I know post new items 2-3 items a month, or less. After 2 years of steady entries, I just didn't have anything to add to the conversation.

Having been an A-list groupie for this entire period, I lost touch with the self-perpetuating scene. A comment that I saw on Top Gear summed it up: Jeremy Clarkson had another chat show host on, and they both commented on how all British chat show hosts end up appearing on each others shows.

That's how blogging began to feel to me. I began to step back.

I stepped back from true, active day-to-day management of GrabPERF.

I drifted, intellectually and emotionally.

I found the sharp edge of my humor, which had wandered off and gone hitchhiking through the British Isles disguised as Roger Daltrey for six months.

The last few weeks I have been asking myself if I want to go back to blogging, if I want to continue to produce the random ideas for the world to see.

The death of my grandmother a few weeks ago brought my world back into sharp focus. Who is going to see these stories, these tales? Who will be the keeper of my intellectual flame? What will people know of me when I fade away.

I will be trying to storm back. My brain is here.

I AM THOR, GOD OF THUNDER.

Ok...maybe that was delusional. But hang on for another wild ride.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Goodbye Grandma

On Friday morning, my brother called to tell me that Grandma Isa had passed away overnight.

Isa was my father's mother, and was one of the most amazing people in my life. In her life, she had survived poverty that few of us can imagine, seen 5 children die in infancy while raising 5 of the most different and unique people I know, survived the unexpected death of her husband, and the slow death of her eldest surviving child (my father).

She was always there. She always had something to say. And she was there to tell you anything you wanted to know about the family.

I miss you Grandma.