Ad Network Slowing Down the Site

Apologies, folks. There's an Ad network that we run on RateItAll called Adbrite. When a RateItAll page is called up, Adbrite serves an ad from their servers.

Right now, for the second time in the last two months, the Adbrite servers are not responding, and it's breaking our site. Our pages won't load properly, because they're getting hung up on Adbrite's not-responsive server.

So we're ripping these guys out permanently now, as we speak. Things should be working properly again soon.


Who says Yahoo! Shopping doesn't have a sense of humor?

Check out Yahoo! Shopping's matches for "proctologist" (in worst jobs in america).

You can buy either a "your proctologist called, he found your head" t-shirt, or "fanny floss" (whatever that is).

Christmas / Holiday Shopping on RIA

Some of you may have noticed that we've just rolled in a Yahoo! shopping module on many of RateItAll listing pages. The cool thing about this module is that it's all dynamic - we send Yahoo! the name of the page (e.g. Nintendo Wii), and Yahoo! dynamically feeds us the lowest priced merchants from their shopping network for a product that matches that query. This communication between RateItAll and Yahoo! happens instantaneously, every time a page is loaded.

What this means is, no matter what page of RateItAll you are on, you will always see competitive, real time prices.

I think that this will be a useful feature as we approach the Christmas shopping season. So before you buy, see what your friends on RIA have to say about the product, and see what the lowest prices are. That's a pretty powerful combination, I think.

Here's a screenshot:

Doing a DB Back Up

Site might be a little sluggish for the next few minutes.


Big Traffic

Today was our biggest traffic day in quite some time. By the time midnight strikes here in SF, we will have done more than 32K visits to RateItAll for the day.

That's not bad for site run out of a living room, and I'm thrilled that the site seems to be stable again, and pages seem to be loading crisply.

Between big traffic and the aWiseguy video, it's already been a good RIA week :)

Display Your RateItAll Reviews on Other Sites

Hey, check this out. I've set up a feed of Magellan's reviews in this widget. It's easy to do, and it updates in real time - in other words, as Magellan leaves reviews, this display will update.

So what does this mean? It means you can display your RateItAll reviews on your MySpace page (or any other social networking site) or on your personal blog or anywhere else that lets you embed widgets. If you want, you can display this feed right on your RateItAll profile page.

Here's how you do it:

1) Go to your RateItAll profile page. Click on the link below your photo that says "Subscribe to USERNAME via RSS." Copy the URL in the url field.
2) Visit this page.
3) Paste your RateItAll RSS feed URL into the line that says "param."
4) Click the icon that looks like this (it's right next to the MySpace logo)
5) Copy the widget code, and paste it into your MySpace profile, blog, RateItAll profile, or anywhere else you want to display your RIA rants.

Cool, huh?


Best. RIA Video. Ever.

aWiseguy has outdone himself with this one, I think. Check out the choreography on this RateItAll Video.


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving RIA'ers one and all.

In true RateItAll spirt, here is a list of Thanksgiving related ratings:

Rate Thanksgiving Foods

Rate Thanksgiving Guffaws

Rate Thanksgiving as a holiday

Rate not having school or work on Thanksgiving

Rate Poor Thanksgiving (i don't know what this means either)

Rate the Dr. Quinn Episode called Thanksgiving

Rate Thanksgiving Dinner (in Numbah's favorites)

Rate Thanksgiving (in American Foods)

Rate Thanksgiving (In usurped American Holiday Symbols) (?)

Rate Thanksgiving (in things to love about autumn)

Rate the Agency episode called Thanksgiving

Rate things that sound dirty at Thanksgiving but aren't

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.


New Comment Alerts Now Live on old Reviews

OK, we've run the script. Any time anybody comments on any of the hundreds of thousands reviews in the RIA db, the publisher of that review will get an alert.

This is helpful for us old timers who have been on the site for a while...

Weblist Duplicate Item Bug

You know that bug where if you add items to your Weblist then click "back" on your browser, the new items duplicate?

Well, we're working on it now.

Here's the schedule for fixes:

This Morning: Fix a bug that made it impossible to change their email addresses in their RIA account

Tonight: Add new review reply alert for every review in the database

Tomorrow: Fix that Weblist duplicate item bug


Comment Alerts Rolling in Tomorrow Night

Guys, I've postponed rolling in the comment alert stuff on legacy reviews until tomorrow night. Traffic is very high today, and I don't want to risk slowing the site down.

Shoot me a note if there are any little annoying bugs that you'd like to see fixed tomorrow evening. Maybe I can put numbers back in the rankings per your request.

Keeping Track of Replies to your Reviews

One obvious thing we need to do is to provide a better way for folks to know when their reviews have been commented on. There's some discussion of this issue HERE.

I think we have this solved. We've written a script that will set as a default an email alert for all new comments on any review.

The problem is that RateItAll is SO big, with so many reviews, that it's going to take a while to run this script over the whole site.

We're tentatively planning on running this thing tonight at midnight PST. The site will most likely be down for a few hours while this happens.

Once the default option is for folks to be notified when someone responds to one of their reviews, they'll be able to turn off those alerts as required.


Site Wide Search

We finally have site wide search.

Searching for something will now show all the results across the whole site for a given query. Here's an example with Jessica Alba.

In my opinion, this makes the site INFINTELY easier to use.

Some Fixes

We've been pretty busy. We've expanded out the reviews to full length, so that you can now read the first 20 reviews of any item without having to go through that "click full review" stuff. You can give feedback on this tweak HERE.

We've also fixed the email alerts for new reviews on a given item. You can now activate and disable email notifications for new reviews directly from the item page, by clicking the link in the "actions" box in the right hand column. In this example, it is displaying the turn off alert option, because I already had the alert on.

We're also working on implementing a default site wide search (RIA, Weblists, Topics). The search engine may be a little buggy for a few minutes as we work through the issues.


aWiseguy Video

Check out aWiseguy's profile page. He's embedded a video in which he discusses RIA, partisanship, and some ideas for a weblist. I think it's pretty cool how he uses this new medium to communicate with his readers.

How did he do it? He shot a video of himself, uploaded it to YouTube, copied the embed code, and pasted it into his RateItAll profile page.

Let me know if you see other folks doing cool things like this with their profile page, and I'll mention them on the blog.