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How Do Web Performance Issues Impact Your Life Online?Case Details

 

Closed: 24 Dec 2013, 11:59PM PT

The top insight will receive a one-year Watercooler Subscription on Techdirt

We've all seen the digital panic that ensues when a massive service like Gmail or Facebook goes down for even a small portion of users. Smaller versions of the same thing take place every day with services that are less widely adopted but just as important to the people who rely on them. It doesn't even take an outage to cause problems — frequent slowdowns and interruptions can quickly cause a massive productivity traffic jam. With the degree to which we live our lives and do our work online, service problems are much more than a minor inconvenience, and at the wrong moment can be a disaster.

So we want to know: how does this impact the way you use the web? Are you prepared for interruptions in the online apps and services you use most? Have you ever abandoned an app for spotty performance, or adopted one specifically for its reliability? We're looking for everything in the way of insights, anecdotes and ideas about performance issues online.

You can share your responses on the Insight Community. Remember, if you have a Techdirt account, then you're already a member and can head on over to the case page to submit your insights.

One best response chosen by New Relic and the Techdirt editorial team will receive a free one-year Watercooler subscription on Techdirt (regular price $50). The subscription includes access to the Crystal Ball and the Insider Chat, plus five monthly First Word/Last Word credits, and can be applied to your own Techdirt account or gifted to someone else.

The case will be open for four weeks, with the best response announced shortly afterwards. We look forward to your insights!

0 Insights

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How Do You Manage The Performance And Reliability Of Web Apps And Services?Case Details

 

Closed: 27 Nov 2013, 11:59PM PT

The top insight will receive a one-year Watercooler Subscription on Techdirt

For providers of online apps and services, great success equals great responsibility. As users come to rely on something, the consequences of it failing become dire, and the importance of maintenance and performance monitoring grows.

So Techdirt and our sponsor New Relic have a question for all the developers, entrepreneurs, technicians and others out there: how do you tackle this challenge? Not only does a growing user base make it more important to closely track the performance of a web app, it makes it more difficult too. How do you make sure your service is running smoothly? How do you identify major failures or performance issues as they happen? What are the biggest challenges therein, and what tools do you use to overcome them? We're also interested in any feedback you have on New Relic's own performance monitoring tools.

In exchange for your insights, we're offering some perks. Firstly, anyone who signs up for New Relic and installs the service will receive a free Nerd Life t-shirt. The basic account is free and comes with a 14 day trial of the pro service, and there's no commitment or credit card required.

Additionally, one best response chosen by New Relic and the Techdirt editorial team will receive a free one-year Watercooler subscription on Techdirt (regular price $50). The subscription includes access to the Crystal Ball and the Insider Chat, plus five monthly First Word/Last Word credits, and can be applied to your own Techdirt account or gifted to someone else.

The case will be open for four weeks, with the best response announced shortly afterwards. We look forward to your insights!

1 Insight

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Performance Matters: Share Your Insights On Web & Mobile App Hosting For A Chance To WinCase Details

 

Closed: 13 Oct 2013, 11:59PM PT

The top insight will receive a one-year Watercooler Subscription on Techdirt

No matter how useful, unique or fun and online application is, nobody's going to use it if it doesn't perform well. But as these applications scale, it gets harder and harder for developers to keep track of their performance and identify bottlenecks before they become critical. On today's web, noticing a problem only after users have reported it is too late.

New Relic, a powerful application performance monitoring tool, aims to make this challenge easier, and is seeking input from developers and startups involved in the design and operation of web and mobile services. In a series of Insight Community cases, we'll be gathering insights from Techdirt readers, with prizes for the best responses.

This month, we're starting with an open question: what are your experiences with app hosting online? We're interested to know where, how and why various apps for web and mobile are hosted, what works and what doesn't, and what the biggest ongoing challenges are when it comes to deploying a reliable, high-performance app or service. If you try out the New Relic service and share specific insights based on what you discover, even better!

In exchange for your insights, we're offering some perks. Firstly, anyone who signs up for New Relic and installs the service will receive a free Nerd Life t-shirt. The basic account is free and comes with a 14 day trial of the pro service, and there's no commitment or credit card required.

Additionally, one best response chosen by New Relic and the Techdirt editorial team will receive a free one-year Watercooler subscription on Techdirt (regular price $50). The subscription includes access to the Crystal Ball and the Insider Chat, plus five monthly First Word/Last Word credits, and can be applied to your own Techdirt account or gifted to someone else.

The case will be open for four weeks, with the best response announced shortly afterwards. We look forward to your insights!

2 Insights

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Wanted: Content Creator Success Stories!Case Details

 

Closed: 4 Nov 2011, 11:59PM PT

Winning Submissions Will Win $1000 Each

As we’re always discussing on Techdirt, artists are constantly finding all sorts of innovative ways to connect with their fans and give them reasons to buy. We’ve heard over and over again from other artists how much they’re inspired by hearing the details of various success stories, and realizing that the picture isn’t bleak at all, but that there are tremendous opportunities to succeed these days.

Our recent launch of the Step2 community platform gives us an opportunity to find out about and share more case studies and lessons learned. To kick this off, we’re offering cash for the best case studies.

We’re looking for many more success stories to highlight just how well artists can do by embracing new and different business models as well as new and unique ways of connecting with fans. If you’re a creator of music, videos, books or video games, we want to see your case studies of experiments you’ve done. We want to know what worked and what didn’t. The more detail and data you can provide, the better and more useful it will be. If you’re a fan, we’d love to see similar case studies, but from your perspective. Submit your case studies of unique and creative ways that artists have connected with you or gave you an extra reason to buy. Once again, the more details you can provide, the better and more useful it will be.

Be they big, medium or small, we want to hear all about them. Winning submissions in each category will provide details on lessons learned along the way, forms of success, and some numbers to back up it all up, if possible.

Head on over to Step2. Post your case studies by clicking "Start a Discussion" and, while you’re there, comment and vote on others’ case studies, help fellow community members figure out ways to find success and join the ongoing discussions. It's not just about the "business" model, but the overall "success" model.

$1,000 will be awarded to the top two vote getters in each of the following categories of case study: music, video, books, video games and fan.

Video Contest: Create A PSA Video Showing The Impact Of Technology On CreativityCase Details

 

Closed: 28 Oct 2011, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $1,000 for Insights on this case.

A few weeks ago we wrote about a contest that NBC Universal was putting on, officially through New York City, asking students to make propaganda films, repeating NBC Universal/MPAA talking points about how copyright infringement was damaging NBC Universal.  In going through the fine print on the contest, we noted a few oddities.  First, you were not supposed to actually use facts or data and make a case.  Instead, the rules flat out told you what your position was.  You had to support the claim that "piracy costs jobs."  Think the data shows that the real problem is legacy companies like NBC Universal not adapting to embrace new opportunities?  Too bad.

Even worse, the detailed fine print in the contest (which is pretty difficult to dig out), shows that if you win, you lose the copyright on your video.  Seriously.  It's pretty amazing that a video contest promoting the supposed importance of copyright to creators involves requiring creators to give up their copyrights.  The prize?  A measly $500.

So we're offering a competing contest, here via our Insight Community platform.  We're asking people to create PSA videos showing the impact of technology on creativity today.  We're not asking you to advocate any specific position at all, because unlike that other contest, we're pretty secure in our beliefs and won't melt like the wicked witch of the west should someone submit a PSA that challenges some of them.  We believe that the best videos will be both creative and have a factual basis.

Also, as per our standard Insight Community terms and conditions (and again unlike that other contest), you retain the copyright to whatever you do.  We would recommend a permissive license -- with our favorite being something like the CC0 Public Domain license or the WTFPL license, but it's entirely up to you.  The only condition -- as per our Ts & Cs, is that we're granted a license to make use of the work as well, for the sake of showing it on our sites (Insight Community and Techdirt).

Oh, and while that other contest is offering $500 to the winner, we're offering $1,000.  As a result of our original post, a bunch of you stepped up and offered up about $500 in donations for this contest, and we're matching that with another $500 ourselves.

Finally: in order to enter, you need to:

  1. have an Insight Community account (your Techdirt login will work if you have one, or create one on the Insight Community site),
  2. create your video and upload it somewhere public, such as YouTube or Vimeo,
  3. include your Insight Community username at the end of the video,
  4. add an "insight" entry to this case, in which you link to your own video.

That's it.

 

4 Insights

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Ideas For CwF+RtB PromotionsCase Details

 

Closed: 17 Aug 2009, 11:59PM PT

As you know, we've been running our CwF+RtB experiment for a few weeks now. We're looking to do new promotions and special "this week only" types of offerings, on a regular basis. Two weeks ago, the special offer was a free Techdirt hoodie or free lunch with Mike Masnick, with the purchase of both the Book Club and the Music Club packages. This past week, we tried separating out just Amanda Palmer's signed book and CD for those who didn't want the entire Music Club. We've got plenty of ideas for other promotions, but we thought, why not get some ideas from you? And we'll do it as an Insight Community case, as well, to demonstrate again how the Insight Community works. So, the way this will work is that you get to suggest ideas for promotions within CwF+RtB (or potentially new tiers that go beyond the 1 week promotion), and if we use your idea (this only applies to the first person to suggest that particular idea), you'll get a free Approaching Infinity package, with the book signed by Mike (that doesn't come with the regular package). So, you'd get Mike's signed book plus a free t-shirt. We look forward to your ideas!

19 Insights

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The New World of LogisticsCase Details

 

Closed: 15 Dec 2010, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $100 for Insights on this case.

UPS loves logistics and is looking to start engaging with others who share its passion -- and who have an appreciation for the modern complexities of combining the latest technology with efficient supply chains. The global economy is more interconnected than ever before, and global logistics can make the difference between success and failure. The competitive advantage that integrated global logistics provides can help to improve customer service, to expand into new markets and to improve the bottom line -- and we'd like to hear about your stories.

To start off this conversation, we're interested in hearing about "new logistics" -- such as experiences involving small businesses that have leveraged logistics to take advantage of international markets, or how logistics helped you and your company to better compete with larger companies by creating new opportunities, or simply explanations of what "new logistics" means to you and how it has helped build up your company's operations.

Relevant information to include in your insights:

  • The type of business you're describing and how logistical obstacles are met
  • Summaries of how your logistical challenges were ultimately successfully resolved
  • Examples of modern logistics -- describing the challenges for smaller businesses just starting out
  • Technologies that have advanced (or will improve) logistic operations (eg. RFID, 4G wireless networks, etc)
Based on the responses we receive, we'll follow up with future cases on other topics -- or cases that further delve into viewpoints on related subjects.

 

6 Insights

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Everyone Offers Collaboration Software, But Who Really Needs It?Case Details

 

Closed: 30 Sep 2010, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $200 for Insights on this case.

Enterprise 2.0 has been a catch-all description for the shift towards better collaborative software tools that help groups communicate in real time to increase employee productivity.  As part of this movement, IBM sees a progression away from a world centered on emails using Microsoft Word and Outlook.

Supporting this idea, IBM has a whitepaper entitled: "Collaboration 2.0 -- Taking Collaboration to the Next Level: From the E-mail and Document-centric World of 'Enterprise 1.0' to the People-centric World of Enterprise 2.0".  Register to read it, and IBM would like your feedback on it.

Download the whitepaper here.

Interesting critiques of this whitepaper include, but are not limited to, questions such as:

  • How can this whitepaper target its audience better?
  • What specific business communities would benefit most from employing Collaboration 2.0 tools?
  • How could this whitepaper be improved?  What points could be added? 
  • Given the recent demise of Google Wave, what lessons can be learned for collaboration software providers?

The type of insights we're looking for will generate useful discussions regarding the capabilities of collaboration tools.  You can also tell us about your experiences using collaboration tools (what you like or don't like about them).  Additionally, you can help us out by sharing this whitepaper with others and aggregating feedback on it.  Ultimately, we're interested in creating an interesting collection of opinions (and factoids) for folks who might be evaluating various online collaboration apps.  We may re-print your submissions as blog posts on other websites, and your insightful aphorisms may be quoted in future publications.    

The topic of this Insight Community case is sponsored by IBM. Of course, the content of this case consists entirely of the thoughts and opinions of the author(s) and not of IBM.

14 Insights

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Looking For Feedback On IT Innovation ResourcesCase Details

 

Closed: 30 May 2010, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $200 for Insights on this case.

As you know, we've been running the ITInnovation.com tab within Techdirt since last year, sponsored by Sun (now Oracle) and Intel.  We've had a series of fascinating discussions within blog posts and webinars during that time.  We've also continued to regularly refresh the IT Innovation Resource Center, which includes a rotating list of useful tools and white papers provided either by us or the sponsors of IT Innovation.

We'd like to get some feedback and insight into the quality of these resources and how they might be improved upon.  Listed below are six currently available white papers in the Resource Center.  If you are familiar with these topics (i.e., you work in IT), please review the white papers and write up your insights and comments on the whitepapers: what's good about them, what could be improved, what would make them more useful, etc.  You are free to provide insights on as many of the white papers as you would like, but we ask that you submit insights on each white paper as a separate insight, rather than combining them into a single response.

  • Best Practices for Managing Datacenter Costs via Application and Server Consolidation

    Server sprawl, software licensing fees, and facilities costs are sending datacenter operational expenses through the roof at a time when every penny is being scrutinized. As a result, low utilization rates and wasted power/cooling resources are no longer acceptable, and smart companies are looking to consolidation and virtualization to trim expenses and increase operating efficiency.

  • Why Solid-State Drives Usage Scenarios Are Expanding for the Datacenter

    To accomplish the objectives of making more-efficient use of IT resources, lowering power consumption, and reducing operating expenses, many companies are turning to server consolidation and virtualization efforts—endeavors that increase server CPU utilization and reduce the number of discrete servers in a datacenter.

  • The New Economics of Midsize Enterprise Computing: Oracle’s Sun Systems Based on the Intel® Xeon® Processor 5500 Series

    Midsize companies often face the same competitive pressures as large-scale enterprises. However, they may not possess the resources and staff to invest heavily in complex computing systems. Yet it’s critical for IT organizations within these companies to ensure that they have the strongest, most expandable systems in place, so that their companies have the requisite flexibility to adapt quickly to changing market conditions, roll out new products and services in shorter cycles, and become more effective competitors.

  • New Blades and Networking Solutions Ensure Solid Return on Investment

    Traditionally, when companies need more computing power to deal with expanding amounts of data, they increase the number of servers, the number of compute cores per server, and the memory capacity of each server. Today’s high-powered blade servers save space and help enable significant gains in computing performance, especially when workloads are consolidated efficiently and datacenter resources are utilized most effectively. To accommodate this increase in capacity, however, the network infrastructure carrying the data must also be upgraded.

  • Reassessing Server Costs for Midsize Companies

    Most companies keep their servers for three to five years—a time frame that seems reasonable given current economic conditions. Despite the savings this would seem to imply, however, extending server life in the datacenter in this way may not be the best strategy, even in the toughest economic times.

  • Oracle Solaris Operating System — Optimized for the Intel® Xeon® Processor 5600 and 7500 series

    This document is intended as a technical guide for developers and system administrators that want to understand the precise details of how Oracle® Solaris and the Intel® Xeon® processor 5600 and 7500 series can improve your application solution environment.

     

     

20 Insights

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We're on the hunt for organizations (companies, non-profits, schools, etc) that encourage innovation in a unique or interesting way.  Sure, every company claims to foster innovation, but few truly do.  So we're looking for those rare gems.  Nominate your favorite examples, and tell us why you think your nominee deserves to get some recognition. 

Obviously, innovation itself is a complex concept that isn't easily quantified.  But as we build up a list of examples, we may find common themes and quantifiable criteria that will help to define measures of innovative efforts.  With your help, we may be able to identify the best methodologies for generating innovative ideas.

8 Insights

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