I recently began using Twitter, a microblogging service for posting short, chat-like blog entries and reading what other users of the service are doing. The site has severe reliability problems, but it's still an entertaining way to get real-time updates from bloggers I read along with others I know who've been sucked into Twitter's maw. I wrote some code to display my most recent Twitter update on my weblog, Workbench, in a sidebar at upper right. This afternoon, I've released the Twitter-RSS-to-HTML PHP script ... read more

CNET moved a bunch of its blogs to a different domain this weekend, including Beyond Binary, Coop's Corner, Geek Gestalt, One More Thing, Outside the Lines and The Social. I mention this because the change hosed Meme13, which treated all six as if they were newly discovered sites. One of my ground rules for developing Meme13 is that I won't hand-edit the site to make it smarter. I need the application to recognize when existing sites in its database have moved. Meme13 monitors sites using a Java application I ... read more

I'm continuing to work on Meme13, a site that packages together the last 13 sites to show up on the Techmeme Leaderboard so they can be sampled as a feed or web site. The site has attracted around 25 RSS subscribers in its first month. I've added a ShareThis widget on each entry that makes it easy to share content from Meme13 on sites like De.licio.us, Digg and Facebook. Normally, ShareThis links to the page the widget has been displayed on. That doesn't suit my purposes on Meme13, because I'm trying to promote ... read more

I returned from a trip out of town Monday to crashing web servers that ate my lunch all week long. For several days, I used the top command in Linux and watched helplessly as two servers ground to a halt with load averages higher than 100. Top reports the processes that are taking up the most CPU, memory and time. On the server running Workbench, the culprit was always httpd, the Apache web server. This didn't make sense, because Apache serves web pages, images, and other files with incredible efficiency. You have ... read more

An article posted on eWeek today was written in an alternate universe where Twitter works: As the maker of one of the largest applications using Ruby on Rails on the Web, Twitter knows a thing or two about scaling applications built with the popular development framework. Britt Selvitelle, a senior engineer at Twitter, offered a few tips and tricks for scaling Ruby on Rails and expressed particular appreciation for the Rails framework itself and the language is it based on, Ruby. "For us, for a large part of our ... read more

Meme13 is getting knocked around a bit by people who think that it's just another scraper republishing RSS feeds, hurting the search-engine rank and traffic of the publishers who created the content. Two of those people are Tony Hung and Darren Rowse, bloggers currently featured on Meme13. Hung writes: ... Meme13 is simply pulling feeds and republishing them all. Like any good ol' scraper blog. ... More of the GD same -- and what's really funny (again, not in a ha ha way) is not even that Meme13 acknowledges what ... read more

Steven Hodson writes: I get a real kick out of it when people start pontificating on why the tech blogosphere is becoming nothing more than [a] self-fulfilling chamber filled with the dull echos of me-too posting that attach themselves like leeches to the supposed brilliant writings of the blogosphere mucky mucks. Me too. Every six months or so, techbloggers reach the joint realization that we're all linking to the same people having the same thoughts about the same subjects. Somebody blames Techmeme, a site that ... read more