BuiltWith’s Web and Internet Technology Usage Trends

This is a neat way to see what else is out where and what different folks are using in terms of Internet software and services (i.e. How many of the top 10k web sites use Amazon Web Services versus other providers?) .

There is a sizable list of categories to look at. Updated regularly and can be looked at in terms of top 10k sites, top 100k sites, top million sites, or entire Internet.

5 Common Server Setups For Your Web Application

DigitalOcean Community

A nice introductory piece for folks trying to wrap their heads around some of the typical architectures used to host modern web applications.

Understanding the moving parts behind the scenes can not only help you determine what you need, but also properly evaluate options such as rolling-your-own versus purchasing ready-made options. For example, some providers provide building blocks for some of these pieces (which can save you time and leverage engineering knowledge from thousands of other installations) – e.g. Amazon’s Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) or Linode’s NodeBalancers, in lieu of rolling your own load balancing layer.

You can also avoid a lot of this if your application can run on a Platform-as-a-Service offering, but that’ll have to wait for a later discussion (and you’ll still benefit from understanding the conceptual underpinnings in any case).

We are abstracting on the shoulders of giants

Scott Hanselman's Blog

My new startup has data centers on three continents, utilizes global load-balancing, traverses networks with ease, has both an iPhone and Windows application, was written in a simple high level language, and enables an amazing scenario to help people get more done, faster.

But the real story – the real mindblower for me – was not the hours and hours of software that my partner and I wrote, it’s the years and years of software that we didn’t write.

Scott Hanselman shares a bit of his excitement and describe the deep and broad software / service stack that his new application is built on.

OpenDNS Eliminates Ads

The OpenDNS Blog
May 29, 2014

David Ulevitch writes:

We’ve always tried to put user experience first, even when that gets in the way of making more money. Browsers have changed, we’ve become a security company, and we’ve shifted our business to rely on paying security customers, so we’re turning off the ads in our free DNS service to make that service even better.

This is good news. I’ve been a fan of OpenDNS use by families, in schools/non-profits, public places such as coffeehouses, and in businesses. These are all places where it is often desirable to have a bit more control over what folks are using the Internet for while on-site. (If you’re not familiar with OpenDNS, they provide a very simple way to filter Internet access, without requiring new hardware or new software, both for content restricting – i.e. adult web sites – or security purposes.)

Uncommon Sense – Advice for entrepreneurs from Derek Sivers.

Lessons learned from starting, building, and selling CD Baby. A 47-minute talk in 8 parts of about 6 minutes a piece or so.

The thing I like about Derek is that he’s such a nice guy who clearly wants to help people (I’ve never met him in person but being reader of his blog and follower of him online, it’s obvious). And when he sold CD Baby — for a hefty sum — he donated the proceeds. (Not that there would have been anything wrong with keeping what he rightfully earned.) In this short video series, he shares some nice nuggets from his journey. I enjoyed it. Perhaps you will too.

The 80% Personal Capacity Principle

Justin Jackson (via Medium.com)

When you’re working your ass off, putting your all towards a goal, how can you pace yourself so that you don’t crack? This brief essay from Justin Jackson talks about what what he did …after he cracked once. It is one of those ideas that is simple in hindsight, but easy to overlook when pushing yourself towards a destination, either because you’re enjoying the journey or feeling impatient over not reaching it fast enough. This was a particularly timely post for me.

How One Person Provides High Quality Support to Four Million Application Users

An excellent post by Brian Cervino about how he supports Fog Creek Software’s Trell four million strong user base:

As we pass four million Trello members I thought it would be a good time to share with other small software development teams the fact that providing high quality support doesn’t have to be expensive or impossible.  This includes a one business day initial response window for all newly created cases and making sure to follow through on all open cases until resolution.  With just a few tools and some dedicated time, it is possible for even just one person like myself to support our entire member base.


‘You can go a long way on $500 a month if you live in your office.’

Julie Lynem, for The Tribune, writes:

In the beginning, it was Borgsmiller and one airplane, and he launched the business with financial help from family and credit cards.

“There was no money,” he said. “I was just starting cold turkey and had no real resources. I had to keep expenses to a bare minimum. You can go a long way on $500 a month if you live in your office.”

And, more recently:

Five years ago, ACI had 46 employees. Now, it boasts 85, with the majority of new hires in highly skilled positions such as pilots, mechanics and line-service specialists (employees who perform a range of tasks from refueling planes to towing them), Robillard said.

The company declined to disclose financial data but noted that revenues have grown more than 50 percent since 2009. Its growth facilitated the need to build a 36,000-square-foot hangar and maintenance facility, which opened in December 2012. The company spent $7 million on the maintenance hangar and site M ramp — the concrete parking area for planes in front of the hangar — and invested an additional $500,000 on maintenance equipment and tooling.


Reinventing the Art Gallery

Rebecca Juretic for SanLuisObispo.com gets into how regional/local art galleries are reinventing themselves to remain viable and, hopefully, thrive:

The improving economy is partly behind the revitalization of the local art scene, but it’s not the only thing driving it. Local galleries are reinventing themselves, delving into new markets and accessing art buyers in ways that old-school galleries never imagined.

What Heartbleed Can Teach The OSS Community About Marketing

Patrick McKenzie has a nice piece posted for the open source software community (and technologists in general, really) on what can be learned from the massive and timely efforts that needed to be coordinated to avoid serious problems worldwide. Ultimately, it came down to communicating the problem well.

This makes marketing an engineering discipline.  We have to get good at it, or we will fail ourselves, our stakeholders, our community, and the wider world.