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myff admin

8th anniversary of myfreeforum

If has been another totally frenetic years.

As those reading previous announcements may know, a few years ago we got involved with the company running the advertising on the forums.

It kind of proved a powerful combination, our servers and technical skill, their whole raft of money and skill bought to the table.

When this kicked off we had one very powerful server and 3 olders servers in one data center. By the end of this month it will be something like 125 servers in 4 datacenters.

The growth rate which is still ongoing has been little short of insane.

For example:

1) We ran out of space and moved to large new offices with room at a pinch for more than 50 people last November. Things are spacious for a bit as we were employing under 30 people I think. We will soon be at close to 60 people and want more but are having to consider priorities in terms of desk space again New offices of 4x the size are being looked at urgently

2) In last years message I was talking in a pretty hands on way, and I was still someone hands on in the development and systems administration, there was a single dedicated systems admin with me as both safety net and working hard trying to automate systems. Last week I finally came off the emergency alert system for our servers, there is now a team of 5+1 (where the +1 is a developer assigned to the purely development side of sys admin) with that rising to 7+1 with new starters this month. The actual development side has now risen to more than 10 counting outsourcing.

3) My own role has shifted as well, from hands on everything whilst not actually being employed in the business   to becoming actual Technical Director, to recently shifting to the title of Chief Architect with the responsibility in the here and now of driving us through the still massive challenge of dealing with the same level of growth next year. going from 25 servers to 125 was a mind boggling challenge, going from 125 to to 625 is another order of business again. Realistically that probably will take more than a year, 5x growth is not something that continues forever. But we must be up for it!

I am also taking on a more creative role, looking at what we might invent/innovate/startup

The above has not been much about the forums, but is an explanation of why not much more than maintenance has gone on in the last year, being part of providing well paid employment for 50+ people  and rising has taken all my attention.

The one thing that has shifted is that bits and bobs of forum work are now handled by the main staff, so for example the backup system has just been revamped and a few other things are being sorted, and of course we should have an awful lot of server power to throw at forums. The forums have gained more power in the last few months, but it has not been plain sailing With 5x growth rate we have often struggled to keep up with overall capacity and things have been squeezed on some occasions.

I am not sure what the next year will bring. What I would like to achieve is simply to make sure that the resource we throw at the forums give them the speed we would all like to see. I think that will happen, there is every intention of getting more ahead of the hardware curve and with 2 new sys admin starters this month I really think we going to finally be ahead of people

In terms of enhancements I am not sure, I have some ideas on speed that are not just about throwing hardware at forums, but I think the main arena I want to look at is integrating with other services, with things like facebook links. But I don't want to go overboard, the charm of forums is that they offer communities that are self contained and where there is little interference from the hosts.

Sounds good, keep up the good work
Ask Mr. Religion

Wonderful to read about the successful growth of the business!

From a forum perspective, would like to see that Twitter portal finally working. Am assuming Twitter has gotten big enough by now to stop twiddling with their APIs every day so that a stable interface exists.
myff admin

Twitter is working. Not in the old way it is now more involved, you need to get a key, but it was going and no one has told me it has stopped again.
Ask Mr. Religion

myff admin wrote:
Twitter is working. Not in the old way it is now more involved, you need to get a key, but it was going and no one has told me it has stopped again.
Yikes. Don't know how I missed this, but thanks.

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