Archive for February, 2007

CrispyBlogPosts Beta now public

Crispy Blog Posts

Crispy blog posts is now in public beta.
See here: http://crispyblogposts.com/

So, what is CPB? It’s a social bookmarking site for blog posts, with voting, categories (called channels) and other cool features.

CBP is designed to allow you to submit blog posts to various existing categories (or you can make new channels) and people can vote on those posts. Based on votes, posts will either go up or down.

So, CBP is something that combines the best of Digg and Technorati.

I think it would be nice if people could register and interact (forums/comments etc) but the ability to use the site anonymously is a great idea, sadly lacking in most social sites. (I like the idea of comments because good comments can enhance a link/point to alternate viewpoints etc)..

3 comments February 18th, 2007

Windows Vista Launch: Sri Lanka

Microsof Windows Vista Launch in Sri Lanka

Today afternoon, Vista was launched in Sri Lanka. The main event was a colorful PR blitz.

I missed the opening ceremony, and stuck around a few minutes only (most of it was stuff on Vista and how it would improve your business etc).

Vista Demo’s

Vista Demo PCs

There were a few of PC’s and laptops with Vista for people to try out. A rep from Microsoft called me over for a demo - overall he focused on features which casual/business users might like (Aero etc).

Swag

Microsoft Goodie Bag

Just a t-shirt and a brochure on Vista. A smarter move would have been to include a discount voucher for purchasing Vista !

The brochure included some info on Vista and a note on the benefit of Genuine Windows (A not so subtle hint I guess).

Questions

I still don’t know how much Vista costs here (Sigh). Maybe that was in the presentation and I missed it.

Photos
More photos from the Vista launch in Sri Lanka

Add comment February 15th, 2007

Kottu Piped (2)

The pipe now works (mostly). Turns out the problem was with Kottu occationally not giving an RSS out. Have created a new feedburner for Kottu (could not use existing as it rewrites URL’s so can’t filter for duplicate URLs)

Pls try out the pipe here:
http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/Kg4RMoe72xG54nkEEpPZnA/
RSS version here:
http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/Kg4RMoe72xG54nkEEpPZnA/run?_render=rss

Note: Pipe is (supposed to) fetch kottu and zsri, remove duplicates, and sort newest to first.
Todo: Does achcharu have an rss out? Are there other aggregators I haven’t added?

3 comments February 14th, 2007

Optimizing your web site.

Why?
Aside from helping you survive the digg effect, optimizing your web site will:

  1. Make it waste.. sorry.. use less bandwidth and space (so you save money on hosting costs)
  2. Help users with slow connections (e.g. dial up users) view your web site.
  3. Make the world a better place: an optimized site means: less wasted time, bandwidth, electricity, etc Just imagine, if every web site optimized its content, worldwidge bandwidth usage would drop significantly

But my web host gives me one TB of space and ten TB of bandwidth daily - why should I care about optimizing my website?

  1. No, it probably doesnt. If you read the fine print you will see various conditions which make it impossible for you to actually use the promised bandwidth/space. Sure your site will chug along fine but if ever it becomes suddenly popular, it will collapse
  2. Web hosting companies limit accounts by CPU usage:. Again, the TOS probably includes something like “Your site will be terminated if you use too much CPU resources” Too much CPU resources means whatever the hosting company wants it to mean. Unfortunately, most modern sites tend to be very resource heavy (compared to traditional plain HTML sites).

So, how can I optimize my web site?

  1. Reduce the size of commonly accessed files: If you use a graphical header, that may count for 50% of the bandwidth used by page! To reduce the size, open this image in an image editor and save at a lower compression. You can find a list of most accessed files by examining your servers logs and sorting them on file accesses. Typically your sites theme (if you use a CMS) are the most heavily accessed files
  2. Choose a good webhost: beware of companies that offer you unlimited space (or seemingly impossible amounts of bandwidth/space). Summary: If the host charges 19.95 a year for one TB of bandwith a month and 11TB of space, it’s probably a scam. also, research your web host before you sign up, and see what other people say about them (this is obvious, but some people still don’t so..) .
  3. CACHE the site: if you use a CMS like Wordpress, every time the site loads, it is re-rendered - i.e. the CMS engine reloads every plugin, pulls content from the database, etc. This process is VERY server intensive, and the number one cause why blogs go down (note: this applies to blogs you host on your server - if you use a blog on a server like Blogger/Wordpress.com this probably doesnt make a difference/insn’t possible). To cache the output of wordpress, you can use WP-CACHE. This will store a prebuilt version of your site and serve it intelligently. As a bonus, it will speed up your sites dramatically (as the server just has to serve the page, instead of building it from scratch).
  4. Use FLICKR for image storage: Set up a flickr account and use it to store any images. (note, do not store images you are using DIRECTLY, e.g. header/footer on flickr. It’s against the TOS). By image storage here I mean general images. Flickr is good as it allows different resolutions/etc and is an excellent and reliable image host.

General tips on improving your web site

  1. Remove unnecessary crap: this includes 99% of widgets and just about anything which uses Java(e.g. shout boxes, music, and so on). This ALSO includes wordpress plugins you don’t really need
  2. Ensure that your site functions in all browsers (Firefox users are typically famous for overlooking this - many of them believe that anyone who doesnt use Firefox doesnt matter. Well if you want to ensure that 50% of your visitors can’t see your site, fine)
  3. Make sure that the text is legible. Many people use extremely tiny text/poor contrast layouts which are a strain on visitors with poor eyesight
  4. Use paragraphs - and try to summarize your information.
  5. Link directly If you want to quote a lot of content from another web site

2 comments February 9th, 2007


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