Wednesday, February 21, 2007

BlogPatrol’s Extreme Makeover: Blog Counter Edition

The current version of our service can no longer handle the growing demands of the BlogPatrol community. To the point, the service is no longer functioning at all. No amount of fixing, tweaking, or re-engineering has caused it to perform as desired. At this juncture, the service is inoperable and dead -- as soon as we enable access, the server overloads with user requests to login and the database crashes. This cycle has repeated itself dozens of times since my last blog post.

The bottom line is: You're tired of excuses and bad service. We're tired of failing your expectations. Therefore, we are shutting down our existing service in order to focus all of our energies into performing an Extreme Makeover: Blog Counter Edition.

We are changing everything about our service to create BlogPatrol 2.0:

  • bringing in new talent
  • changing our web hosting provider
  • upgrading our servers
  • redesigning our database
  • rewriting our counter code
  • building a new website
  • simplifying sign-up, management, and use of your account

We invite you to help us do things right by telling us what you want (or don’t want) from BlogPatrol 2.0. Please let us know what you want us to do with your account:

  • DELETE - You're done with BlogPatrol and you never want to hear from us again. If you don't want any part of this new chapter of BlogPatrol, then we understand and thank you for trying our service. We will not be bothering you any further.
  • WAIT AND SEE - You're skeptical, but you're willing to wait and see if BlogPatrol 2.0 can deliver on your expectations.
  • PARTICIPATE - You want to help in the creation of BlogPatrol 2.0. Like the neighborhood volunteers who help to rebuild the houses on the popular TV series, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, you’re willing to volunteer your ideas to help build a brand new service.

To notify us of your decision, simply do the following:

  • To DELETE, send an email reply to delete (at) blogpatrol dot com along with your blog address, such as http://yourblog.blospot.com. We will delete all of your account information from our database with our apologies for failing your expectations.
  • To WAIT AND SEE, you need not do anything. We will retain your information in our database so that we can invite you to try BlogPatrol 2.0 once we launch the service.
  • To PARTICIPATE, send an email reply to participate (at) blogpatrol dot com along with your blog address, such as http://yourblog.blospot.com. We will then contact you with follow-up information on how you can tell us your ideas and give us your feedback: posting comments on The Patrol Blog, responding to short web surveys, and testing the new system.

My colleagues and I are very excited to begin the creation of BlogPatrol 2.0. We look forward to creating a service that is easy-to-use, reliable, accurate, and able to grow along with our community's needs.

I will post updates as more information becomes available, including when the new system will be ready for test and launch.

If you like this article, then click on this link to "Digg It" and help promote BlogPatrol.com. Thanks!

17 comments:

Basketball Is Life said...

i'll wait!

only thing is far too often these changes never come to fruition... but I'll be here...

thanks for your service,
a new way to train

TeleRavi said...

Thanks for taking the courage to think of a permanent solution, though it means that you'll lose a majority of your users. I do not wish to lose track of my blog count, even if I am not able to login and get other statistics. Is there any way you could keep just the ticker alive, while you work on BlogPatrol 2.0? What's the expected timeline for this project?

microdot said...

telravis' concerns are mine also, I hate to abandon someone who wants to do the right thing, but the counter is not ticking....
Any projections as to when we can see things working again?

martin said...

I'll definitely wait.
What is the email address to send my input if I want to participate?
cheerio

Steve said...

Thanks for the heads up, guys! I'm looking forward to the new & improved BlogPatrol! I know it's going to kick a$$!! :o)

microdot said...

Now I'm beginning to wonder what is going on...I had been looking for your email in the info in blogpatrol and here so I could let you know that I was willing to participate in your recovery, but your contact info doesn't seem to be valid.
Perhaps you could publish what ever contact address that would work in the blog. That might help.
I also think that you should give those of us who would like to participate an idea of the projected time frame. I realize that counters and blog stats are a free service, but we begin to count on you so we can know how our blogs are succeeding.

Tony said...

Martin and microdot, I've updated my blog post to include respective email addresses for the "delete" and "participate" choices. I've also updated my profile to display an email address for The Patrol Blog. Thanks!

Palladin said...

I have liked the service, miss it now. Would add the request to see if the ticker could continue without the login and stats, but understand it is not possible.

Tony said...

TeleRavi and microdot, we're going to try to accommodate this request - which is a great idea. I'll admit wishing that I'd thought of it, but sharing ideas is what makes blogging and commenting so much fun! :)

Since BlogPatrol 1.0 consists of the blog counter and the blog stats, I'd like to see if the current system will run without crashing if we just manage the blog counter portion (leaving the blog stats portion closed). At least your all-time unique visitor and total hit counts will increment, and you won't have a broken link any more where the blog counter icon should be.

Then, the preferred scenario would be for us to be able migrate your all-time stats from the old system to BlogPatrol 2.0.

I'll post an update on this when we have some more info. Thanks again for the very helpful suggestion!

Tony said...

Palladin, hopefully we'll be able to come through with having the ticker (i.e., blog counter) portion running. We shall soon find out!

Matei said...

why the hell is your site crashed for more than 2 weeks? i've been trying to lo gin to change some features for my blog counter and it doesn't work. get it goin or lose some visitors!

Balidor said...

I'll wait and see,
i liked your servise and i think it's gona be better,
please do not be late ;)


Good luck, we trust you, and we are gonna wait !

TeleRaviRays said...

wow Tony! I'm glad you did it!Now, you have fewer people weaning away from your service!

Bonnie said...

What I liked:

being able to see who was accessing my blog with their isps

having it be a free service although I would gladly pay a small annual fee if it would make it more reliable.

What I didn't care about - I didn't need to know the type of computer, screen size, etc.

What I didn't like - unreliable. down more often than up it seemed. And the error messages meant nothing to me. Often said would be up in a day or two and it would be more like a week or two.

What I would like to see n the new version - if possible the name related to the isp. sometimes i think i know who's accessing by putting the time of their comment with the time of access but cannot always be sure.

Julia Huntsman said...

I liked being able to click on the referring search and see exactly what the searching party saw on their search results page. Very informative!

I would also like to keep my stats updated, if at all possible, during the changeover.

Anonymous said...

It would be most useful if you folks incorporated a way in which users could look at detailed information for any day. Example: say I wanted to see what IP addresses were logging into my blog on February 20th, I could go to a small calendar icon, click on date and view detailed log on information for that particular date. That would be fantastic.

Good Luck!

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