Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Saturday, August 21, 2004

So, what's up with my comments? Well, talked with both Scott Young and Dave Winer tonight. Learned lots of interesting things. First, my comments are running on Dave Winer's server, not on UserLand's.

Second, my page was slowing down this morning. Dramatically. I was getting complaints from people. When I logged on this morning my page was taking 60 to 120 seconds to display.

What was happening?

Well, Radio Userland displays comments using a JavaScript that calls into the Manila server that's hosting my comments. Problem is that the browser needs to communicate with the server for each blog post to get the numbers of comments for each post and the page wouldn't display until it had all of them. So, when the comment server started going screwy, it kept my whole page from loading.

This morning I turned off comments and my page got blazingly fast. Hmmm. Then Steve Kirks, product manager for Radio UserLand suggested adding comments back to my page, but removing the JavaScript that'd look up the number of comments.

I did that and it's still blazing fast.

One problem, though. Now you can't see whether any comments have been left for an item. Yup, that's a bummer. The fix is to have the server statically render the page on the server before your browser requests the page. That'll take some programming work. I hear that's how Typepad does it, though.

Keep in mind, though, that I see every comment. Why? Because it emails me everytime someone leaves a comment. Also, I subscribe to the comment feed here.

Personally I think this whole mess is just gonna go away. Everyone of you should have your own blog. If I say something idiotic, you should blog it, link to me. I watch my Technorati page and Feedster and Pubsub too. That's a much better way to comment on something I write.

11:06:32 PM    comment 

One of the things that I just uploaded to my link blog is that Google no longer is including browser or operating system stats on its Zeitgeist page. That's a real bummer. Wonder why they pulled that info off?

10:52:27 PM    comment 

Oh, the search team over at Yahoo started a blog. Where's MSN?

8:26:57 PM    comment 

Michael Swanson has an awesome story of how he tried to get an interview at Microsoft.

8:21:35 PM    comment 

My MSN Messenger is filled up and I can't add anymore people to it. So, I'm opening a second account just for my weblog's readers to connect with me. If you added my old account in the past few days, please add this one instead.

MSN: even with double the limit these limits are a real PITA. I'd pay $20 a month just to have unlimited contact lists.

5:37:02 PM    comment 

Alright. My comments are working again here. But you can't see if anyone left any comments cause I turned off the comment counting script. I should note that UserLand is working on these issues -- Scott Young, UserLand's new CEO, wrote me that they are working on these issues.

Anyway, I'm running through my feeds now. Here's some of the top items that I collected this week:

Evan Schaeffer has an excellent back-to-school blog. He wrote five indispensable tips for law students and new lawyers. Personally they could apply to a whole range of professions.

Linda Epstein went to the Hollywood Bowl to see how music, magic, and the Tablet PC all fit together. Really great reporting with lots of interesting photos too.

The first time I met Dana Epp he was a hard-core Linux fan (and security expert) and now he's blogging about why he's going with Microsoft's Small Business Server for running his new security business.

Michael Hyatt, a CEO of one of the largest publishing companies in the world, talks about the new OneNote PowerToy that Darron Devlin wrote. Wow, what a great endorsement.

The Mozilla guys are doing some grass-roots marketing with the "Browse Happy" site and trying to get people to switch away from Internet Explorer. I don't agree with their conclusions, but hey, that's for you all to decide.

Update: it wasn't the Mozilla guys at all, but the Web Standards org that did this site.

The governator in California wants to fire Microsoft (and other software companies) and go to open source. Hmmm, isn't the DMV and other government branches running on Oracle? I've heard of other state projects running on Sun Microsystems software and hardware. Ahh, it'll be interesting to watch this one play out.

The University of Tsukuba's VR lab has a really cool "CirculaFloor."

Sam Middlebrook "wrote" an entire blogpost using the voice features in the Tablet PC.

Developer Maxim Karpov's brother is competing in the decathalon in the Olympics. How cool!

Addy Santo added NNTP support to his BlogWave project. Oh, cool, another thing to try.

Royal Ferris' team at Message Cast added a new feature to my alerts. Now you have a choice on how often you will see my alerts. has a review of the new Orange SPV C500 SmartPhone, which is one of those that I'm considering for purchase. "My first impressions of this handset are good."

Nathan Demo, the demo coach blogger, is preparing for the DEMOmobile conference. If you're a demo'er, you should consider his advice. He's promising a stream of demo tips between now and then.

Want to try out tabs in Internet Explorer? Optimal Desktop is very interesting. I've been using it for the past week or so. Plus they have an RSS Reader coming.

Pop!Tech just announced that Bob Metcalfe (founder of 3COM) will be hosting this year's show. Buzz Bruggeman, CEO of ActiveWords, has arranged for a discount if you wanna go.

Julia Lerman lets you "doodle" on her weblog, Tablet PC style. She points us to Casey Chesnut who has a killer speech and ink-enabled Web app.

More stuff to come as I go through my feeds (I'll post most of them to my linkblog).

5:29:02 PM    comment 

Thanks to Steve Kirks from UserLand who is helping me with comments. I'm experimenting with his feedback to see if I can get them back up here.

Also, it should be noted that my comments are actually running on Dave Winer's own server, not UserLand's. Dave's graciously helping me out too.

So, experimentation ahead! I don't want to move my blog. And I don't want to turn comments off. I think they are a key part of my blog.

4:06:13 PM    comment 

One nice side effect of turning off comments is that this page loads freaking fast now. And, it validates! Well, my part of it does, at least. Some minor issues still exist with URLs I link to.

I don't know what to do about comments. Any ideas?

Here's some options.

1) Move my blog to my own server with my own comment engine. Eventually I'd like to do that anyway, but then I'd need to do more work. I'd also need to worry about comment spam. Finally, I can't just move my URL to a new server cause this URL is owned by UserLand.

2) Use a different comment service. I used to use Haloscan for a while. But then comments didn't show up in my RSS feed. Also, the performance of that service was spotty. I don't know if it improved lately.

3) Move my blog to some other service like Six Apart's TypePad (which hosts many of my friends and family's blogs). That's probably the best option in my mind, but I'd still lose the URL and I'd need to learn a new system.

4) Just leave comments off. This actually is an interesting idea. Dave Winer doesn't have comments. Neither do many other bloggers. You could comment about me on your own blog. That has its advantages, but has its disadvantages too (annonymous commenting wouldn't be easy to do).

In the meantime, I'll work with Scott at UserLand to see what we can do about comment performance.

On the other hand, we could just use the forums over on Channel 9 as a way to talk with each other. What do you think about that?

1:15:51 PM    comment 

Here's another new design from Raena Armitage. It really bugs me not to have comments. Well, if you have a comment for me, I just opened up a comment thread over on Channel 9 for you to leave me a comment. But, I'll work with UserLand to figure out if there's something we can do to make the performance of them better.

My page is loading very slowly because it waits for the comments before it renders the HTML -- so I turned them off. Of course, you can read my blog in an RSS News Aggregator and then you can avoid all these troubles.

But, then, you wouldn't see all the cool new designs people are sending me. By the way, we'll keep this little contest going until September 1. I'll keep putting up a new one every day or so.

12:34:02 PM    comment 

It's looking like I have to turn off Comments for a while. The comment server I'm using on UserLand is just not responding very quickly.

12:18:30 PM    comment 

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© Copyright 2005
Robert Scoble
My cell phone: 425-205-1921
Are you with the press?
Last updated:
5/11/2005; 12:56:38 AM.

Robert Scoble works at Microsoft (title: technical evangelist). Everything here, though, is his personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else offered here.

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