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The Internet

Blog Services Outgrow Their Data Centers 153

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-fun-to-write-things dept.
miller60 writes "The growth of the blogosphere is straining the infrastructure at popular service providers. TypePad is having serious problems again today, the latest in a series of outages and malfunctions as it switches to a larger facility. Bloglines is also apologizing for performance problems, and says it too will move to a larger data center to accommodate growth. There's been no sign of a mass migration from either service. Are bloggers and blog readers willing to accept rocky performance from popular services?"
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Blog Services Outgrow Their Data Centers

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  • Damn! I can't access my blog! I have to blog about this... uh... damn.
  • Aboslutely Not (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Drakonian (518722) on Friday December 16, 2005 @06:56PM (#14276505) Homepage
    Are bloggers and blog readers willing to accept rocky performance from popular services?

    Absolutely not. They will all stop blogging en masse and the blogosphere will cease to exist. What a brilliant question.

    • Oh please God. (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Changa_MC (827317)
      They will all stop blogging en masse and the blogosphere will cease to exist

      I'm not saying the blogosphere is the most useless thing on the net, because I really favor slashdot.

      I will say that at least we slashdotters don't think we're "journalists."

      • Re:Oh please God. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:22PM (#14276710) Homepage Journal
        I will say that at least we slashdotters don't think we're "journalists."

        Yet the word journalist is more apropos for a blogger than a media careerist. Going back to the dawn of the printing press, you see much more emotion and variety until fairly recent times.

        The media now seems locked in with one another. It is all Reuters and UPI regurgitation.

        Bloggers that focus on consistency float to the top. My favorite 5 bloggers offer 80% of the news I read -- some of them are ex-media writers. I also read some blogs just to get a sens of alternate opinions.

        My 5 blogs (2 public, 3 private) replace my e-mail newsletter (2 years running) that replaced my print newsletter (3 years before the e-news). My readership is down 95% as I attempt to transition, but I'm getting a much better view on who is reading and who isn't.

        I'm committed to writing 7 days a week. I already spend 2-3 hours reading links mailed to me, why not set those links up for others with similar ideas? Is my attached opinion wanted by the readers? Only time will tell.

        • I'm committed to writing 7 days a week.

          Do you feel an urgent need to fill whitespace?
        • Going back to the dawn of the printing press, you see much more emotion and variety until fairly recent times.

          Yes, we call that "journalistic ethics" and "balanced reporting."

          Sure, you could say that it was more interesting when newspapers were blatantly communist or uber capitalist, or blazingly socialist, but to say the least, it's NOT cool to go around lying to the public and whipping up a panic for your own personal gain.
        • The media now seems locked in with one another. It is all Reuters and UPI regurgitation.

          I realize that this wasn't the point of your post, but you really shouldn't make blanket statements like that, especially with a Slashdot user number as low as yours that implies that you're not a idiot teenager.

          Try this: for one week, get the print New York Times (available at newstands nationwide) and spend an hour reading it. Just start on section A page 1 and try to read every article. Don't just bounce around

      • I will say that at least we slashdotters don't think we're "journalists."

        The people who have any ambition to call their own writing journalism probably have a streamlined posting system. This doesn't mean that everyone that has a streamlined posting system - call it a news page or a weblog or a journal or a column - thinks that they're journalists. If I had to make such an extremely sweeping generalization, I'd much rather assign them the label "casual writers". But I think that in reality, very few peo

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Agreed. It's a silly question. It's like asking; will bloggers accept the problems that come with growth? Do they have a choice?
    • While I know you meant your post tongue in cheek...what will most likely happen is that the services that CAN provide good performance that does away with these problems will most likely see a large influx of transfers from bloggers...now if only there was an easy way to transfer your blog between services...

      Actually, thats a pretty good question...DOES anybody know of a good way to transfer your blog between services? Especially if you want to retain your previous posts and comments?

      • With the ease of setting up Wordpress/<insert favourite blogging script here> with just any old host anyone who really cared about their blog content would be doing so (and making regular database dumps).

        Theres loads and loads of choice for webhosting out there, I don't see what Blogger etc offer over these for anyone but newbies. Maybe i'm wrong, I don't blog.

        Spreading the blogger load across a thousand different webhosting companies would make sense, and hey it'd give them something else to blog abo
    • Are bloggers and blog readers willing to accept rocky performance from popular services?

      I figured the answer was "clearly not, since the services have chosen to upgrade to stop the problems. Seems like if the bloggers were willing to accept it the service providers wouldn't feel any obligation to do that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 16, 2005 @06:56PM (#14276506)

    "Are bloggers and blog readers willing to accept rocky performance from popular services?"

    Yes.

    Please reference: the Microsoft product line

  • by Hulkster (722642) on Friday December 16, 2005 @06:58PM (#14276524) Homepage
    The submitter asks "Are bloggers and blog readers willing to accept rocky performance from popular services?" so I would answer that with what are the other choices available for the common public?

    Yea, there is Google Blogspot ... but even the big "G" has had performance issues in the past. An option for /. readers is to host a blog on your own site ... but that's not realistic for the average Joe. This stuff is all free, so I think most people are willing to grin and bear and suffer through some outages. Plus I don't think the world is going to end if we are unable to blog for a short while ... ;-)

    P.S. Per my /. username, I did get a chuckle out of this quote from Bloglines - "Bloglines has been busting at the seams like the Incredible Hulk" and yea, getting angry and transforming into a Big Green Monster [komar.org] can really wreck your clothing budget.

  • submitter, you suck (Score:5, Informative)

    by PavementPizza (907876) on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:00PM (#14276534)
    Your summary implies that the latest Typepad outage has something to do with their datacenter move of October. It does not. They had a hard drive problem that they noticed during routine maintenance. [sixapart.com]
  • Expression (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Da3vid (926771) on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:02PM (#14276554)
    It just seems that more and more people are finding a new way to express themselves. This started off just as a trend but has grown like wildfire. This has replaced the use of the diary, and for many people, it also replaces idle chit-chat of catching up on, "So what did you do today?" This leaves a lot of conversation on more focused conversation. As well, it also lets people keep in touch with each other easier than before. I mean, is anyone surprised that these things continue to grow with popularity? It doesn't seem like an unnatural progression to me.

    Are we really surprised? How many people use the Internet on atleast a quasi-regular basis? I'm willing to bet that currently a large percentage either writes or reads a blog (likely both), and that those numbers are going to continue to increase.

    -Da3vid-
  • by Bloke down the pub (861787) on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:02PM (#14276561)
    In other news, world continues to turn, sky still up there. Film at 11.
  • by shawnmchorse (442605) on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:03PM (#14276564) Homepage
    Our willingness to accept rocky performance from popular services is the only reason we're still reading Slashdot today...:-)
  • Hmm... (Score:2, Funny)

    by deathbyzen (897333)
    I think the blogging community, in general, is more tech savy than the average citizen. Hence, they understand that the difficulties are only temporary and, in the end, will be beneficial for the community.

    I'm sure xXxDragonTearsQTxXx, however, is quite pissed.

    • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

      by xXxDragonTearsQTxXx (939494) on Friday December 16, 2005 @08:00PM (#14276934)
      Bite me.
    • I think you're being sarcastic, but you got modded informative instead of funny...

      Anyways, the vast vast majority of blog/journal nonsense is hosted by a very limited number of sites (compared to the vastness which is the internet)

      From my experience, once you take away the sites with stupid simple interfaces, you have a very limited number of people with technical knowledge, and their friends.
  • Are bloggers and blog readers willing to accept rocky performance from popular services?"

    if they believe the rocky performance is temporary
    then Yes
    else No
    • Re:Yes. (Score:2, Funny)

      by game kid (805301)
      I always thought bloggers were pre-programmed robots that spilled out random text. This source code proves it, I tell ya! ;)
    • "if they believe the rocky performance is temporary
      then Yes
      else No"


      I'd say thatmost bloggers will be pretty resistant to changing providers. Like changing email addresses, or telephone numbers, it's a pain -- especially if you have an established blog.

      Bloggers identify with their blog, and moving to a different site, with a different mechanism and layout, just doesn't feel 'right.' So they will choose to believe it's temporary... only prolonged crappy service will make them move.
  • by Stevyn (691306) on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:04PM (#14276576)
    It's the advertisers who should be angry. They're the ones paying for these services. They rely on the readers to view the web pages and buy their products.
    • no, typepad costs money the bloggers are paying for it.

      ad supported services have better incentive to keep performance up because when the system is annoyingly slow people visit fewer pages and see fewer ads before they leave to do something else
    • I don't know. Livejournal, at least, has paid accounts, too - and what's more, there is absolutely no advertising on the site (other than what some users might post, of course), so it's not as if anyone else is paying for the service through ads, either. Those with paid accounts at least *are* paying for the site on LJ.

      But of course, LJ is only used by pseudo-emo and -goth teenagers who post about how dark and tortured they are, right? I kinda anticipate responses of this kind, so let me just say that it ai
    • Pay per view/click... Or does anyone actually pay flat rate for web page ads?

       
  • Of course not. They'll give money to the guy who can host their blog with better performance and reliability, perhaps by soliciting donations from readers (like every webpage does). A few new businesses could even open and employ people just to host blogs, at least until the fad dies down. Everybody who invests with intelligence wins.
    • Maybe somebody else has decent value-added stuff that people would actually want to pay for, but at LiveJournal, there is virtually zero difference between a free LiveJournal account and a paid LiveJournal account.

      The main difference is that a PAID account should (but doesn't) have some sort of better performance compared to a free "you get what you pay for" account that loses posts, fails to update friend's posts, hoards emails, etc.

      In other words, I had a free LJ account. I tried paying for it for a few
  • That most blogs are inactive and only used by blog spamming scripts. Also keep in mind that people this is a slow time. Most people have other stuff to do (don't know what bloggers are doing.... do bloggers have families?) and if there is such a thing like a good time to redo stuff, it is in the next two weeks.

    Finally, I'm sure Bush or someone will cockup and give the bloggers something more substantial to complain about other than the speed and performance of typepad.
  • I don't blog - does this mean I'm a loser?, or does this mean I can keep my high-speed?
  • Yes they will (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kramthegram (918152) on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:08PM (#14276607)
    Because you're looking at it all wrong, it's not just a service, it's a community. For the Same reasons people won't just let New Orleans go they won't leave these communities at the first sign of trouble. Sociology is a science that needs to be applied to the web more and more...
    • Re:Yes they will (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kelson (129150) *
      Exactly. When LiveJournal has technical problems for a few days, people don't leave LiveJournal en masse -- they wait it out. Because the whole point of being on LiveJournal is the community. Their friends, readers, etc. are all on the same service, and moving to a new one is going to involve dragging them along. On the other hand, if you and a bunch of friends do decide to leave, you'll probably end up migrating together.

      Ever tried using a LiveJournal account to comment on a Myspace blog? Not gonna wo
    • Re:Yes they will (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TubeSteak (669689)
      While it may be a community, I think the main thing that prevents most bloggers/journalists from leaving is the fact that they already have a lot invested in their current site.

      I don't know if this has been done already or not, but I imagine that one of the big providers could steal a lot of dissatisfied users from the competition if they made a stupid simple transitioning tool.

      E.G. Type in your username and password, select your old blog/journal and hit enter. Ideally, it'd backdate old entries so it looks
  • Singularity? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by qualico (731143)
    lol, overgrown blogs services.

    Is that a sign of this?:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singula rity [wikipedia.org]

    well if that isn't, maybe this is?:
    http://www.quantumbiocommunication.com/computer/fi rst-mass-producible-quantum-computer-chip.html [quantumbio...cation.com]
  • by geekdom04 (933714)
    Stories like these make me happy that I am the one person who doesn't have a blog.
  • Good for them! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by redelm (54142) on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:09PM (#14276622) Homepage
    The only reason they're outgrowing their servers and links is that more and more people are finding them popular. Whether I agree or not with their viewpoint, I'm always happy to see people finding what makes them happy. Even moreso, because the growth is likely to be from moderates -- the real fringies were already there.

  • by daviddennis (10926) <david@amazing.com> on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:13PM (#14276649) Homepage
    I remember that when ISPs first started, they were all flaky, but we loved what we could do on the net. We tolerated outages because we knew that all ISPs had roughly the same failure rate and so switching wouldn't improve much.

    The current situation with blogs looks about the same.

    Blog services are sticky when they form a community of sorts. If you like the people you know through those services, you stick around. And if your web address is based on their site (i.e. xxx.blogspot.com), well, moving will cause you to lose all your readers, too.

    So I would say the answer is yes, that people will stick to the services they enjoy, because they know that if they move, they'll get about the same level of service.

    D
  • Just get hosting (Score:4, Interesting)

    by drakethegreat (832715) on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:17PM (#14276668) Homepage
    Seriously just spend the 3-5 bucks a month and get some basic hosting. Its worth the cost cause you don't even have to know how to build a site. You can just install the solutions given to you by the host or one you download. I think more people should consider this because I'm less interested in blogs from websites like blogger.com because it requires just blabbing once a day and nothing else so I tend to think the quality is slightly lower. This may just be in my head but I think this is a really good reason for people consider homebrew blogs.
    • Re:Just get hosting (Score:2, Informative)

      by rfunches (800928)

      One problem with hosting is that some companies, especially those in the budget range, frown upon CPU-intensive processes. Movable Type, Six Apart's blog publishing system for servers, was known to be CPU-intensive until recently, and several hosts banned MT (along with message boards like YaBB). While there might be roughly equivalent uptime, you might be limited in your options -- the hosting company might only provide a crappy version of blog software, or disallow them entirely.

  • Cruel (Score:4, Funny)

    by gibbo2 (58897) on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:33PM (#14276768) Homepage
    Bloglines is apologising for performance problems, and you're going to Slashdot them on top of that? Guess that shows what people think of bloggers around here :)
  • It's important to keep in mind that the bulk of Bloggers have no interest in setting anything up from scratch and less interest in paying for it if they know it will be relatively reliable. Top tier Bloggers are already running their own sites and invest in connectivity and design and for the most part are untouched by service interuptions. So...the cynic in me wonders if these service interuptions are used as a catalyst to get some people to pay for a premium service. Just a thought.
  • I dunno how much foresight went into this question: "Are bloggers and blog readers willing to accept rocky performance from popular services?", but it obviously wasn't enough.

    People who use these popular services probably aren't smart enough to set up their own blogs, like 'professional' bloggers do. 'Pro' bloggers host their own blogs, and consequently aren't going to max out their webhosts data center.

    And let's not forget, it's only temporarily 'rocky'.
    • actually centralized services are better in many ways, they allow reasonable spam protection within comments and take care of all the hosting and upgrade concerns for you. rather than finding out too late that there was a security patch for jRandomBlogSoftware AFTER someone goes in and changes all your graphics to hello.jpg
    • You mean like this:


      Warning: mysql_fetch_array(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /var/www/html/lanlocked/home.php on line 26
  • Money Money Money (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rac3r5 (804639) on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:37PM (#14276795)
    My big question is where on earth do these ppl get the money to run these services??

    Sure they have ads and stuff.. but do ppl really click those ads? Very rarely do I ever click ads.
  • Livejournal has its problems now and then, but it's been pretty reliable.
  • Of Course We Stay (Score:3, Informative)

    by JenovaSynthesis (528503) on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:42PM (#14276821)
    If the outage was every other day or something, I could see a mass migration but when you've built up a blog/livejournal/etc. you cannot just pack it up and move it most of the time so you just stay an deal. Plus there is the social networking factor involved as well.

    Plus it is not like users are getting shafted. LiveJournal has had problems come up once in a while and they compensate thier users for it with things like an extra month of service free and stuff like that.

    Outages happen and it are a fact of life on the Internet.
  • ...to call blog content "data".
  • I grabbed some huge satellite photos from the tsunami devastated areas and had 300,000 visitors in a couple of weeks using blogspot. I used bittorrent to host the media files but that much traffic would have killed most other hosts regardless. I'm now on my own server using Wordpress because blogger.com did start to get frustratingly slow but if I got hit with another traffic spike I'd be toast.
  • by ChicoLance (318143) * <lance@orner.net> on Friday December 16, 2005 @08:04PM (#14276959)

    I see several comments here about paying the $5/month and hosting the site yourself. Makes since to me, and I've been doing that for quite a while now. I've recently starting using blogging software from blogger.com [blogger.com] for my personal site [orner.net] instead of writing my pages from scratch because it makes it really easy to put up new pictures of the kids. However, I'm not sure how I feel about committing to a particular site like Blogger, even if I do host the site myself, as the blogging community shifts and twists as it grows.

    What software is out there that's easy to set up that's more of a homegrown solution? I know of Moveable Type, but is there something else that the Slashdot crowd uses?

    BTW: Am I the only one who thinks the term "blog" grates on his nerves much like "information superhighway" does?

    --Lance

    • WordPress [wordpress.org] (PHP) is an amazing piece of software. I used to use Movable Type, and their respective pros and cons tend to cancel each other out, so it's really a matter of taste and priorities. There are tons of other solutions - TextPattern [textpattern.com] (PHP) and Typo [leetsoft.com] (Ruby on Rails) are also popular and widely supported, and if neither will do, check your favorite search engine's index.

      And yes, the word "blog" is an amazing eyesore, and it's just a contraction for the hell of it. "Weblog" or even the accepted ancestr

    • I don't like WordPress like some others here do. I think there's to much of an unjustified hype about it. I consider both b2evolution [b2evolution.net] and Pivot [pivotlog.net] superiour in terms of quality, features and usability. Pivot is database free which can be a big performance plus if you're only powering a single blog. I'd actually suggest you check out Pivot. It's backend is approachable and extremly easy to use and the available templates are a wonderfull groundwork to get rolling with your own style.

      Of course all these are GPLd
  • When you consider the amount of inane chatter on blogs this really doesn't come as a surprise. I'm contributing to the chatter by posting this.
  • to go outside for a change.
  • I don't see any problem with my immensely popular Blog [modmeup.net] :-P 09:11:22 up 29 days, 1:04, 2 users, load average: 0.00, 0.01, 0.00
  • ...recent posts. Hopefully they'll be restored in due time.

    Ah well, at least my fascinating StringBuffer.append() [blogs.com] post is safe!
  • I can handle certain word inventions like blog, blogger, AJAX, even Web 2.0 ... but for god's sake ... BLOGOSPHERE?
  • Blogging is a passing fad.
  • Self Hosting (Score:3, Informative)

    by Noodlenose (537591) on Friday December 16, 2005 @10:44PM (#14277684) Homepage Journal
    Er, why use the so called "professional blog services" at all, when you can host your own blog for a couple dollars? [dyndns.org]

    My setup:

    • A 6 year old IBM NetVista (cost 100 NZ dollars)
    • Wordpress [wordpress.org](free)
    • Ubuntu [ubuntulinux.org](free)
    • Dyndns [dyndns.org](free)

    Setting up taught me things I didn't know about MySQL, Apache and Ubuntu and I don't have to rely on a third party provider.

    Profit???

    • Most people are happy to put up with ads in exchange for not having to setup a server and DynDNS, power, etc. You get the geek accolades, but the average blogger is not a geek, it's someone who posts soupy drek.
  • This wouldn't be a problem is Bloglines and Typepad had euthanasia for its bloggers. It would definatly improve the service.

The algorithm for finding the longest path in a graph is NP-complete. For you systems people, that means it's *real slow*. -- Bart Miller

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