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Twitter Updates And Other Goodies

Twitter Integration Updates

A while back Twitter announced that it would be terminating support for basic http authentication to its api at the end of June 2010. To this end, we’ve transitioned our Twitter integration to use the OAuth standard. If you’ve already integrated a Twitter account, you will see a message asking you to authorize Blip.fm’s Twitter application to post to your Twitter account. If you don’t wish to do so, you can either disable your Twitter integration or remove it. The transition to OAuth means that we’ll no longer need to store your actual password, making the whole process of having your Twitter account integrated with us more secure.

In addition to the OAuth transition, we’ve also made it easy for you to follow your blip friends’ Twitter accounts via an option on the gear drop down menu on that user’s blips or from the gear drop down menu on their profile. You can prevent this option from showing up in these menus by disabling your twitter account on your integration settings page. Similarly, this option will not function for any user that you’ve blocked.

Since we allow users to integrate multiple Twitter accounts, we’ve chose the first Twitter account you integrated to be your “default account”. This is the account that other users will follow when they choose the “Follow on Twitter” option from the aforementioned menus. You can easily choose which one of your Twitter accounts is your default on your integration settings page.

Other Stuff

  • Bad YouTube links should be removed from search results more quickly
  • Query tweaks to improve performance

More Props & Performance

A lot of you are wondering what exactly was in last night’s update. 99% of the update was focused on backend / geeky stuff. If you’re interested in the kinds of things of optimization we’ve done / will be doing on the front end, you can check YAHOO’s Best Practices for Speeding Up Your Website.

BUT…. there was also one other important change we made. Based on feedback we’ve received since well… pretty much since props began, we’ve increased the per user / per day limit from 3 to 10. We hope this will help all of you show your appreciation for your favorite blippers more!

Tonight’s Maintenance: Nuts & Bolts

Many of you have noticed that the site has been creaking a little bit lately. Our database servers have been under a bit of stress and that’s caused pages to take a while to load or even timeout. Tonight we’re going to be pushing a number of performance improvements both with regard to database queries as well as the front end. The end goal is to make the site faster, more responsive and reliable.

Please know that this is an ongoing effort and that tonight’s updates are just a first step in many that we have planned to really get everything as optimized as possible on the site. Naturally, there are other things we have to work into our development schedule besides performance, but from here on out, we’ll be trying to sneak some sort of performance improvement in along with whatever else we happen to be working on.

We appreciate your patience and understanding. Know that even if we aren’t always the most responsive, we’re always listening and working to make Blip.fm a great place to enjoy music with friends!

Thanks and happy blipping,

– Yan and the Blip.fm Crew

Major Email Snafu

UPDATE:
Here’s an overview (my words) of what happened from MailChimp:

Due to the large size of our list, the http request to send the email timed out, resulting in no confirmation page being shown despite the fact that the email had been queued for sending. Subsequent attempts to send the mailing then caused the mailing to be queued again and again. MailChimp was able to manually stop the process during the 4th send. Their developers are currently patching their code so this will never happen again and improving the interface so that this is completely transparent to the end user.

ORIGINAL:
Many of you are already aware that we have had a significant problem with our regular weekly user activity updates. These usually go out once a week, but in the last 48 hours the same email update went out to each recipient up to 4 times. Our sincerest apologies for the hassle this has caused many of you. We are working with MailChimp to identify the cause and make sure this does not happen again.

We will provide an update once we have identified the problem and fixed it. Thanks for your understanding and, again, we can’t say enough how sorry we are this happened!

Best,
The Blip.fm Team

Tonight’s Maintenance

Hey Everybody,

We’re upgrading one of our essential servers tonight. We hope to have the site back up in less than one hour. See you soon.

-Yan