I had been using a CDN, the acronym for “Content Delivery Network”, to deliver the pictures on this blog to your browser. The reason for doing this is to speed up the load time of the web page and it certainly fit in my “Experiments with WWW” or whatever I’m calling it. A CDN stores your pictures/videos/whatever (content that is larger than the rest of the html in a site) and when the page loads your server doesn’t have to spend a bunch of time pushing that heavy content around, it can focus on the simpler and faster html and associated scripts.
But, what happens when your CDN provider gets shut down and you didn’t even notice? Or get a notification? And what if that happens at exactly the same time that you upgrade your caching plugin, which leaves a file on your server that breaks the website? And not just your website, but the other three websites on the same host? What happens is that even if you put your server right side up again, all of the pictures that you call on the deceased CDN no longer answer.
Oh MY GOD this is SO boring!
The CDN I was using was called “SimpleCDN“. As I recall, they offerered 150Mb of storage, and up to a Gb download per month for $FREE. I’m using MAYBE 10% of that. I could pay some “cloud” service like Amazon $100.00/mo. And there are others, most of which are as expensive. SimpleCDN “fit my needs”, as they say. Apparently, SimpleCDN were using a hosting service then reselling it as a content delivery network. This article explains it better than I will, so you should read it if this type of thing is interesting to you. So the host shut them down. Hit the kill switch, with no advance notice. UH OH! Now you have subscribers who are using your service to run their websites, and they all go dark (sort of, I mean, their content wouldn’t be visible if the page tries to refer to stuff on the CDN server).
Two lessons I learned from this experiment:
You get what you pay for. This is an immutable natural law. Whether it be for Graphic Design, a CDN, or a bottle of wine.
If you want your blog to stay online, you MUST do some maintenance and pay attention to all the stuff you have tacked on to it.
My new favorite thing. I think I may replace all the marketing blogs I read with science blogs. I especially love Ed Yong’s bio:
Ed Yong lives in London and works at Cancer Research UK. Not Exactly Rocket Science is his attempt to make science interesting to everyone by beating jargon, confusion and elitism with the stick of good writing. Ed is an award-winning freelance science writer. He finds writing about himself in the third person strange and unsettling.
Well, I finally figured out the way to capture blog readers: mention their company in your post. Since I blogged about Network Solutions the other day, I saw on my Google Analytics page that the person from Arlington, VA, (HELLO ARLINGTON!!! WOOHOO!) did a search for the phrase “network solutions”, found my post, and then apparently went to the bathroom because they spent 12 minutes looking at the one page. I don’t even spend 12 minutes writing these things! And, now I am going to purposely add the phrase to the title, the meta and the SEO stuff to see if it happens again. As I read in the Denver Post not too long ago, some companies are sending people out to Twitter and the blogosphere to try and discover what customers are saying about them. Perhaps the internet is the democratization of commerce. Or from a cynical point of view, perhaps these companies are doing market research without having to actually contact a person. Hmm.
The other day, I posted a metablog about Seth Godin, hoping that my “trackback” would appear on his blog. No dice. I wonder what I did wrong? There is only ONE trackback under that article. I suppose one must wait for Godin himself to approve and release the post. (Oh my GOD: WAITING FOR GODIN! THAT”S AWESOME!)
Zemanta HQ is definitely searching me/checking me/ something. I like Zemanta, but not having received much attention before this is a bit odd. Cool, but odd. Hopefully they won’t have to start CHARGING ME.
Back to work, and hopefully after my jefflazerus.com Holiday Marketing Blitzorama, I will have a few more regular readers. (Hi MOM!)
Seth Godin‘s blog is one of the most viewed on the web, so a personal blogger would be wise to model it. Of course, not everyone can be an internet millionaire/bestselling author, and use that cred to drive visitors to their site. (Jealous?) That said, Godin’s blog is frequently provocative, easily read, and contains quips that make you think (OH MY GOD! NO!), and a lot of other bloggers and writers refer to his work, especially in the marketing sphere. His blog is number one in Ad Age‘s top 150 marketing blogs list, just as an example; and Godin’s blog shows up repeatedly at the top of many other blog trackers and ratings from Technorati to Bloglines. If he wanted to sell ads, he could do VERY WELL. One of the reasons for the blog’s popularity, however, has to be because it is ad free — with the subtle exception of ads for his own books (which aren’t really ads, but just mentions), which really makes sense if you think about it. It would be weird if you didn’t talk about subjects that interested you enough to write an entire book about, in your blog.
So, while I have resisted blogging about bloggers, I thought his latest blog post about blogging was interesting enough to put in my permanent record, check it out.
UPDATE: I just realized: This is a blog post about a blog post about blogging. <shudder>