The Idea Dude


Monday, April 10, 2006

Dying from a thousand cuts

I had a posting about letting a thousand flowers bloom, the past week has been about dying from a thousand cuts from getting our site launch ready, tax time, dance competitions, the list goes on...I woke up and it was Monday.

For all the Web 2.0 wannabees, here's the caveat, you may fail because of your success. Eweek had a fascinating article on the technology challenges faced by In Sept. 2003, they could have run the entire site on one Dell server/desktop. 3 years, 65 million users and 4.5 million transactions per minute later, the technology hurdles are phenomenal. It is not unlike the growth spurt experienced by eBay. Today, myplace adds 250,000 new users per day, with 1.5 million new images uploaded each day. Here's the kicker...2,682 Web servers, 90 cache server with 16GB RAM each, 450 Dart servers, 60 database servers, 150 media processing servers, 1,000 disks in SAN, 3 data centers and 17GB per second bandwidth throughput! That's some serious social network. Now you should believe!

There's an interesting blog in the BusinessWeek tech beat blog that supports another blogger rant about the use of the term 'user-generated content'. Calling a rose by any other name will smell as sweet as Shakespeare will say. If my memory serves me right (the Iron Dude!), it's like Minsky who tried to create a different number system during the early AI days only to conclude he succeeded only creating new labels for a fundamental and immutable paradigm. Call it what you will, the power of mass participation and collaboration should not be underestimated. Mass political rallies have been organized in a heartbeat powered by SMS messages. But in case you thought this user-generated content is a new 'thang', I should remind you the biggest manifestation of that concept on the Internet has been around for over a's called email...which is still in my mind, Internet's biggest killer app of the last century. It continues to persist in the plain vanilla text form (for the most part) because it is simple, fast and relevant...maybe a lesson for Web 2.0 newbies to learn...putting the 'I' back into the Internet.


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