Archive for the ‘Updates’ Category
It’s been 4 great years of Ping.sg!
We have been growing steadily since our launch back in 4 July 2006.
Over the last 2 years, we have had steady >100% growth of number of registered users every year.
There has been more blogs added to Ping.sg in the 4th year alone compared to the number of blogs added for the last 3 years combined.
Needless to say, the number of blog posts we syndicate each day have been increased very significantly over the years. We now have >5000 new blog entries every single day! The numbers completely dwarfed what we were syndicating per day for the first 3 years.
Coping with growth
Obviously with such a high increase of activity and traffic on Ping.sg, our old dedicated server was not able to support it well.
Over the course of last year, we have done tremendous work in optimizing our code (for the technically-inclined, this means lots of indexing and lots of caching with both memcached and file-cache). We have also moved our whole infrastructure from a dedicated server in a data center in Singapore to be fully cloud-based, to enjoy the benefit of easy parallel and vertical expansion of our hosting infrastructure.
Since the start of 2010, we are fully hosted on Amazon Web Services‘ cloud computing platform. Though at that time, our main compute server was located at eastern USA, we made sure our system exploit the content distribution network (CDN) to make sure that the majority of our users, who are based in Singapore, are still able to enjoy the speed of Ping.sg. In April 2010 when Amazon launches the availability of Singapore cloud infrastructures, we immediately switch ours from USA to Singapore.
Despite the changes on our software and hardware infrastructures, we admit that there has not been much feature updates for the last 1 year. While it has been our intention to extend the services of Ping.sg further, due to the limited resources that we have, we have had to deal with the pressing matters at hand – coping with the growth, and optimizing and cleaning our codebase.
With the current position that we are in now, we now have an inflow of a large amount of blog-related data, including and not limited to blog posts, categories, content, and user activities. With such vast amount of data, the current presentation is quickly becoming obsolete. It’s becoming almost impossible to pick out the good articles from the sea of information. We are currently experimenting with new presentation on our site. Moving ahead, we aim to showcase and heuristically determine interesting/noteworthy blog posts based on visitor’s interests.
Ping.sg is still a blogger community and we aim to continue to improve to not just bring more traffic to bloggers, but to also aid in connecting bloggers in the region and making blogging more fun and rewarding.
All of these are only happening thanks for the continual support of the bloggers and blog readers. Thanks for giving us a healthy growth for the last 4 years!
Many thanks to our sponsors as well for believing in us all these years. We couldn’t have grown without any of your support!
Ping.sg has certainly come a long way. We began from a small community 3 years ago, aggregating less than 10 blog posts a day, to what it is today, aggregating over 1000 blog posts a day.
What started as a blog aggregator, with a simple and quick system, which determines most popular posts of the day by most reads, that was working rather well when we first started, is almost irrelevant today. It’s time for a change.
We are currently working on a new beta site that we hope to open to selected interested beta testers at the start as our beta updates are still very experimental. We should be rolling out an initial beta features some time next week.
Please sign up using the form at http://ping.sg/beta-tester-program
Earlier today I gave a short presentation at Singapore Polytechnic for the students of the first batch of a social media module that they will be conducting.
I probably went overboard with the technological terms that I used in my slides for being overly excited about the future Ping.sg plans that I almost forgot that my audience consists of students in social media studies, and nothing related to technology/engineering.
My apologies for that. But if you’re into some technology, a little on history of Ping.sg, and how Ping.sg will be evolving to be more useful and open, enjoy the slides.
v1.80 is late, but it’s finally here.
As usual, the features:
- Pongs vs Reads
The new Ping.sg has new metrics, pong and read. Yes, pong is the old one, but the way it is counted is now different. As all of us know, pong is the key factor in determining the popularity of a ping (post). Pong is now only counted for registered Pingsters. While unregistered users can still continue to enjoy Ping.sg without registering, do note that their visits/clicks will not be counted towards pongs but will only be registered as reads. Registered users will be contributing to both the pongs and reads count.
Tired of accidental ponging? Now you can revoke your pongs at http://ping.sg/mypongs
- Poof – you’re gone
Poof, also known as flag, is a feature for the Pingsters to flag offensive pings. Currently the flags are,
- Adult-oriented – Ping.sg should a G-rated and should be a community for all bloggers, there shouldn’t be adult-oriented materials being published on Ping.sg. Of course that’s an ideal case, but now Pingsters who care can help make sure these posts do not get on the ranking board.
- Advertorial – Ping.sg is a platform for bloggers to share their blog posts, not for companies to advertise their products. I’m sure none of us will not want to see Ping.sg flooded with “$9.99 T-Shirt Just Arrived” or similar titles.
- Inaccurate titles – You know how bad these pings can get. What is shown at the title isn’t related at all, or only mildly related to what the blogpost is about.
- No content – There’s no content, only emptiness, or sole link.
Poofs are not only useful to filter your own customized Ping.sg. More importantly, poofs are being recorded and if sufficient poofs are recorded from Pingsters towards a certain ping, the ping will be deemed as community-flagged and will not be eligible to be on the ranking board. But please be aware that it will be harder to get a ping community-flagged when it has gathered more pongs, so do poof early, before a bad ping gets big.
- New looks
Yes we said that there will not be much change in the look in Ping.sg, but we did some slight changes. The site should be cleaner now with less borders but with more feature buttons.
And we know a lot of you are feeling nostalgic about the ping pong balls that are gone. One of the reason that the balls are taken off was mainly because Ping.sg was started as a blogger community – a platform for fellow bloggers to read each others’ posts, comment at each others’ blogs, make friends among bloggers, etc but the emphasis on the pongs has created a greed for popularity among some of the Pingsters and start to write inaccurate-titled posts in order to gain more traffic for their blogs. On top of that, when in beta, Ping.sg’s pong counts wasn’t on the left anyway as it wasn’t meant to work the same way as the other community-news site, like Digg.com, but only a metrics to keep track of the number of readers for a certain posts.
The reason to move pongs to the new location was mainly to regain the users’ attention on the actual blog entries, rather than on the pong counts. But, we may just put the ping pong ball back if the community really wants it.
- Brand spanking new server
Ping.sg was slow when a sex scandal was blown out of proportion a few days ago, flooded with visitors wanting to read more about the scandals and even affected the pong counts of Ping.sg, causing the Top 10 to be flooded with adult-related posts. We have had to migrate our site to a new server, a 2x dual-core opteron (4 cores total) to handle the increasing load. Special thanks to xssist for xssisting in the migration and for setting up our cool new server.
With the increasing popularity and thus traffic, our bills have also gone up. Please check out our new advertising page for more info on how to advertise with us. We’ve even lowered our rates to make it more affordable for you!
Thanks to all Pingsters for their support and so far we are pretty happy with the community response (I know, except for the ping pong ball).
We know we promised more for v1.80, but that is so far we could do while U-Zyn was busy rushing his other jobs (that pay his bills) for his Chinese New Year break and also while we battle the server issues a few days ago. Rest assured, more updates will be coming soon to make Ping.sg a better community platform for Singapore bloggers.
Happy Chinese New Year!
And to check out the cool new Ping.sg CNY holiday logo as done by our designer, Veron. Thanks Veron!
Ping.sg v1.80 has been announced and the countdown has begun. Watch out for the counter at the homepage.
While v1.00 was mainly a layout/design upgrade, v1.80 is going to be mainly a feature upgrade:
- more community involvement,
- more features to help you connect to your blogger friends,
- better user account management,
- a little something for your phone,
- and more goodies…
Stay tuned! And in the mean time, don’t stop the pings and pongs!