I spent some time this afternoon compacting the seven Frontier databases that hold the weblogs on Buzzword.Com. Weblog publishers should see improved performance on page loads and other requests. Also, I have added two links to the sidebar that help promote weblogs on the server: top 100 rankings and a list of recently updated weblogs. I suspect that the latter needs some more debugging. Weblogs should appear on the list within minutes of being updated. Buzzword users: If you'd like to help bring more search ... read more

In the past six weeks, UserLand Software has released more than 14 updates to Manila, the server software running all of the weblogs on Buzzword.Com. I added these updates today and they appear -- tempting fate here -- to be running properly. UserLand Product News describes these changes, which improve the performance of the software, swat bugs, and add a few new features. Here are the upgrades most noticeable to weblog publishers: On a discussion board, message subject length has been increased from 60 to 255 ... read more

Buzzword.Com has been experiencing server outages this week, but should be back online and fully operational. I'm still learning about the care and feeding of a Manila server. For the most part, it looks after itself, even to the point of rebooting automatically after a crash. If you can't bring up a site on the server, check back in 10-15 minutes and it should be back online. This wasn't the case earlier this week: A conflict between Microsoft Internet Information Server and Manila caused all sites to be ... read more

A joke from 2cents, a long dormant site hosted on Buzzword.Com: An old fellow was snoozing away contentedly when he was startled awake by the doorbell. He staggered off the couch to make his way to the door. There stood a gorgeous young woman. "Oh my goodness," the pretty young thing exclaimed, "I'm at the wrong house." "Sweetheart, you're at the right house," the old guy assured her. "But you're forty years too late." As this is being written, a UserTalk script is plodding slowly through the 3,025 weblogs on ... read more

Sept. 18 marks the day that free hosting is scheduled to end on Buzzword.Com, the server that houses 3,000 weblogs formerly published at Weblogs.Com. After learning about the costs required to host the sites and the amount of activity on the server, I have changed those plans: All existing weblogs will be hosted for free, as long as they've been updated at least once in 2004. Defunct sites also can stay at the request of their publishers, and I'll be allowing new sites to join the server soon. During the ... read more

With the help of the Electric Dirt Farmer, I found and resolved an issue that prevented a few webloggers on Buzzword.Com from requesting their account passwords. Manila users can receive a forgotten password in e-mail by filling out the weblog's login page with an e-mail address and no password. If there's an account at that address, the password will be e-mailed. Manila sends password reminders and other e-mail from the weblog's E-mail Confirmation Sender setting. To see this sender address, log in to the weblog, ... read more

For the last several years, Rod Kratochwill has been weblogging from Florida in memory of his wife Cynthia, who died in a 2002 car accident in St. Petersburg. He's using his weblog to provide an ongoing account of the grieving process, documenting his present experiences with online support groups and revisiting the past. One of the sites on Weblogs.Com was EuropeTrip, their travelogue of a family vacation to the Czech Republic: Back in the year 2000 Cindy and I got to take a trip to Prague with my sister and ... read more