Something is Technically Wrong


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Twitter logoToday, once again “Something is Technically Wrong” with Twitter. From my memory this, just happens to be the second time that Twitter has had to restart the caching system. According to the Twitter blog.

Part of our caching service required an unscheduled restart. That means a slow rebuilding of data. You may notice some of the normal browsing related features (such as pagination) are missing while we repopulate the caching service. This is so we can get it done quicker.

This seams to spell trouble for Twitter, while Mashable blames the Democrats, (Deep down so do I) I think this is something deeper in the works of Twitter. According to an uptime tracker Twitter is online 98% of the time, but it seams to go down at the worst times. This year Twitter crashed during the Macworld Keynote and whenever something significant happens Twitter starts to get slow.

Twitter likes to blame Ruby on Rails, their web framework, for all their downtime. Something Twitter likes to refer to as “scaling problems,” and there have even been rumors Twitter might rebuild the system completely with either Java or PHP.

Twitter is stressing out

But for now it looks like were stuck, Twitter is “stressing out” so it looks like this bug is temporarily prevalent for everyone.

* Matt is a guest blogger for JoeTech. He blogs for fun and profit at Duhh and SocialFeed.

Just Launched: TwitterTech.com


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You may have noticed the Twitter “tweets” in my side bar. Lately, I’ve been playing with Twitter quite a bit and just as I was thinking about checking out the developer API, jimkukral tweeted that it would be nice if someone could come up with an application to email him tweets from a select list of twitter users, possibly as much as hourly. I love a challenge, so I DMed (direct messaged) him for some detail and then started looking at the API docs. The API is really easy, so I had a test script pulling information pretty quickly. The next day, I had a rough model of the application. I’ve spent the past week (about 30 minutes a day) tweaking the scripts, getting the cron jobs set up, designing a site, and testing. I am proud to finally announce the launch of TwitterTech.com.

TwitterTech.com is built around Jim’s idea, but will also encompass any other tools that I can come up with. I already have another tool challenge from Ian Fernando, and I’ll be working on that next. Now that the framework is in place, new tools should be easy. If you have any tool challenges for me, let me know.

The Email Feed
Jim’s idea was pretty simple, really, and a great idea. Enter a comma-delimited list of twitter screen names and your email address and get a list of their recent tweets. Jim had mentioned the possibility of this emailing him every hour, but I know from experience that people like their choices. I decided to allow a user to choose to have updates sent every half hour, hour, 3 hours, 6 hours, 12 hours, or once per day. I also opted to only display NEW tweets from that user, and the tweets are displayed in the order you enter the users into your list. Management is all handled via a very basic web interface. I wanted to keep it really simple.

More tools coming
I don’t want to say too much about the new tools I’m working on, but I will say that there’s a lot in store. I looked at a lot of what other developers are offering and it seems like most are offering applications that mostly all do the same thing. I want to build stuff people actually need and that isn’t already built. Again, if you have a tool in mind, let me know. I should have the next tool or two out in the next week.

Invite a friend
I’ve seen far too many web projects crunch under the weight of their own success. I don’t want to host an application that has so many users that it becomes unusably slow for all of them. For now, I’ve implemented an invite-only policy. This is just so I can keep a leash on the user-base. If you want an invite, just twitter “@joetech TwitterTech invite, please” and I will send you one. Additionally, once you’ve validated your email address, you get a few invites that you can hand out to friends.

I have a couple other projects on the table right now, but this one has been the focus for this week so far, and I hope some of you find it useful.

Twitter, a Review, an Interview, and Other Updates


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A lot has been going on, so I thought I’d give a little update.

Twitter – My new time consumer
I’ve been sucked in to Twitter. I got sucked into MySpace, FaceBook, and everything else, and now Twitter has sucked me in, too. Shoe was my first follow on Twitter, but I think it was Tris who convinced me to give it a shot.

Talkin’ about Joe Tech, eh?
It’s been a busy couple weeks. XY7.com shot some video of me talking about what I hope to get out of their affiliate program for some marketing video they’re producing, Pam Hoffman of Internet Marketing Seminar Listing interviewed me online about attending Affiliate Summit West for her blog, and Bloggin-Ads.com wrote this nice review about JoeTech.com. I’m working on those changes you suggested. I promise. I’m happy to have all the attention, so feel free to drop me a line if you’ve written a review or would like an interview.

Another broken camera project
Michelle took a fall while hiking and landed on her camera, so I’m going to have another project coming up in the next week. The plan is to replace the broken screen with one from an otherwise broken camera on ebay. Should be fun.

Sites and other projects
As many of you know, I build web sites in my spare time and get traffic to them so I can sell them. I currently have a few sites for sale, so contact me if you’re interested. One earns about $100/month and has a lot more potential for someone with more time, and another has a good deal of traffic, but I haven’t had the opportunity to monetize it properly. I’m looking for about $2,000 and $500, respectively. I need to free up some time, as I am about to enter into a partnership with an existing site and it should eat up some time, building the site up to what it really should be. More on that later.