Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Scaling myVidster

I knew this day would come and what a perfect time! myVidster continues to growth at a steady rate and needs more room to grow! Luckily I already have a second server which is being used for hosting user's video backups and will now handle more of the backend tasks to free up resources on the main server. I recently setup replication for both the database and the search engine to spread load between servers.

When I said perfect timing it was not because it's the holidays, but the fact that I recently quit my day job to focus my energy and passion to the development of myVidster. This has free up the time needed to be more aggressive with the development and now the scaling of the site. It would not have been possible to keep up with site's growth and work a day job. Now that you know that myVidster is my full time job. Please conceded upgrading to a PRO account! There are lots of benefits being a PRO member including ad free browsing and online storage space for backing up your video bookmarks. Take care and keep telling your friends about myVidster!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New updates: video queue and tracking

myVidster users now have the option to add bookmarked videos to their video queue!  Using the video queue is a great way to keep track of videos that you want to watch at a later time.  Users can also set videos as Watched, which is very useful when keeping track of videos you have watched and to avoid the mistake of rewatching a video (unless you want to).

Updates and optimization have been make to the user's subscription page.  If you are following more then 10 users, pagination is enable for the subscriptions list and you can customize your subscription page by hiding and showing those you are following (ie subscribe to).

As always there will be more updates in the future and I will like to make a side note that growth of myVidster's community and traffic have been great!!!  Thanks again for all the love and support!

Friday, November 26, 2010

New features for bloggers!

I have recently made updates to myVidster to enable bloggers to share their video collections on their personal blog!

Linking your WordPress Blog
Linking your blog to myVidster allows you to post your favorite videos to your blog automatically! To do this follow go to the WordPress page in your account settings and follow the steps to link your blog to a video channel (exp. Favorites). Next time you bookmark a video to that channel the title, description, tags and video will automatically be posted to your blog!

We currently support linking to WordPress blogs. Support for other blogging services like Blogger and Movable Type will be added soon.  Click here to link your Wordpress blog to myVidster!

Improved Video Widget
I have updated the video widget so that it's styling does not get affected by the blog's style sheets.  The video widget has been around for awhile, but I notice that it was rarely used.  Hopefully with this update, it will encourage bloggers to give the widget a try.  If you want to post a widget from your collection go to the widgets page in your account settings.  For collections from other users go to their collection or channel and copy the code from the widgets section.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

myVidster went down, sorry about that

On Friday morning myVidster’s database crashed and failed to restart. I was able to get the site back up within a few hours but other services were affected and was later detected and fixed throughout the weekend. I would like to apologize for any down time and interruption of services due to this. Root causes for most of the issues have been discovered and I am working on implementing safe guards so that they do not occur in the future.

I would like to take this opportunity to tell users that all data (video bookmarks, thumbnails, backup videos, etc) are backed up to independent servers. In the unlikely event of hardware failure, I will be able to restore user’s data. If you find something not working please contact me. Do not contact me for bookmark videos (those that are not backed up) that do not play, bookmark videos are not hosted on myVidster and video playback issues is usually caused by the source site and not myVidster.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New update: video grouping in search results!

There has been few updates to myVidster's video search other then optimization. With the growth of bookmark videos (now over 500k) users have been requesting grouping in search results. I agree that such a feature is long over due, I myself find it difficult using search results fill with duplicate video bookmarks. I manage to free up some development time and have deployed an update to video search! Results are now grouped by video and link to the most relevant user's bookmark. If you want your bookmark displayed as the poster in grouped results, make sure you meta data (tags, title and description) is relevant.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

iPhone and iPad now supported!

myVidster now supports video playback for iPhone and iPad! Due to the fact that bookmarked videos are not hosted by myVidster (unless its backed up) support is limited.

So what videos are supported?
Backup videos (in MP4 format)
Bookmark videos with download link (in MP4 format)

As of today, most videos hosted by smaller video hosts not encoded in the new MP4 format (also called H.264) so most bookmark videos will not play on your iPhone/iPad. This will change as more video hosts adopt the new format.

Here are a few collections of videos that are playable on the iPhone/iPad.

http://www.myvidster.com/reddit (Most work, some do not)
http://www.myvidster.com/digg (Most work, some do not)
http://www.myvidster.com/failblog (Most work, some do not)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New features and enhancments

Here is a status update for the ongoing development of myVidster.

New features:
On the myVidster homepage I have split up the 'Active collections' lists to popular and top user collections. I did this to show off myVidster's popular collections, recently I have added Ted Talks and The Huffington Post video collections and will add more in the coming weeks. The top user collections will highlight the power users of myVidster.

Performance improvements:

Yesterday, I introduce some un-optimized code which caused major performance issues to myVidster during peak hours. I fixed this and decided to hunt down any code that needed optimizing. Doing so I was able to improve page load times for video, subscription and the homepage.

Future updates:
More perks like ad free viewing will be giving to users who have purchase storage space. I will be relabeling the storage service as myVidster Pro upgrade.

There will be more updates in the future and if you would like to be first to hear about them please subscribe to my blog!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Site Performance Issue Resolve

Warning, there is a lot of geek talk in this post ;)

When it comes to site performance and optimization it becomes a cat and mouse game between the developer and the growing user base. For the last 2 weeks I notice high CPU usage from the database. My first attempt to solve the problem was to enable query caching, increase the size of the temp tables, restarting the service, etc. At first it appeared that page load speed were back to normal, but after another spike in traffic myVidster's servers could not keep up. Last night during peak usage I decided to look at the queries that the database were processing. I notice several update queries in the queue and I wonder why myVidster is executing so many updates, most queries should be selects or inserts. Then I remember that I reorder all the videos in a channel when a new one was added (which requires an update to those videos)! This is not an issues when a user has a few videos, but as myVidster grows user's collections have grown to the 100s and 1000s of videos!

I change the logic so that an update is no longer needed to videos in a channel when a new video is added. Doing this drop the database's CPU usage in half and page load speed was back to normal. One a side note, I notice that users are now trying out our storage upgrade service! For those who do not know what this is, adding storage to your account will allow you to backup your videos to myVidster for safe keep and viewing. More info on our upgrade page.

Monday, September 6, 2010

We are at 10 million pageviews!!! Well almost ;)

Here is a long overdue update on myVidster's traffic growth.

Pageviews (last 30 days): 9,869,465
Visits (last 30 days): 853,708
Users: 35,846
Collections: 35,196
Bookmarked Videos: 352,164

Wow, both # of visits and users have double since my last post on traffic. As for updates to myVidster, I move to new servers (2 Quad core servers) and I have migrated the search engine from Zend Lucene to Solr Lucene. I LOVE Solr's search engine solution, Zend could not keep up with myVidster's growth and search queries were taking up to 10 seconds during peak hours, grrrrrrr. Solr executes within 1-2 seconds without consuming too much of the server's resources.

I know I have not been adding new features lately, but I recently left my day job to pursue a the life of self employment and been busy building up other businesses to make a living. I am considering setting up self serving advertising to increase revenue for myVidster. Right now I use an ad network and the network takes a cut of the revenue which makes it hard for me to make a living on myVidster.

Thanks again for all the support and keep telling your friends about myVidster!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

myVidster API (Beta)

Here is a how to guide for using our API. The API is in beta and we need your feedback to make it better. Only a few functions are available but more will be added soon (requests will be given higher priority).

myVidster account, if you do not have one please register here.

Insert function
This function will bookmark videos to your collection.

http://www.myvidster.com/user/api.php?action=insert&email=email&password=sha1 encrypted password&channel_id=channel id&url=encoded url to video

: Your email you register with myVidster.
password: Sha1 encrypted password use a hash generator to encrypt your password.
url: Encoded url of webpage containing the video use a url encoder to encode the url.
channel_id: This is the ID of the channel that the video will be save to. Go to your video collections homepage and click on the channel link (typically it’s call Favorites). For example the ID for this channel is 13512.
access (optional): By default all videos are given public access. To set to private use 1 and if the video contain adult content set to 2. Note if you are require to flag videos with adult content.
embed (optional): If myVidster is having issues fetching the embed then provide the embed code (url encoded).
count (optional): If multiple videos are found on the source page, then it is recommended to specific which video you want to bookmark. Videos are fetched from bottom to top and by default myVidster will fetch the last video on the page (default:0). If you set the count to 1 it will skip the last video and fetch the next one.
Return values (in XML format):
video_id: Video identifier can be use with the fetch function.
title: Title of the video.
description: Description of the video.
thumbnail_url#: myVidster attempts to fetch a video thumbnail from the video host, if it cannot find one then one will be generate. Use the fetch function to get myVidster's generated thumbnails (recommended).
status: Will have the word Success or an error message.

Fetch Function
This function will retrieve information of a bookmarked video.

http://www.myvidster.com/user/api.php?action=fetch&email=email&password=sha1 encrypted password&video_id=video
email: Your email you register with myVidster.
password: Sha1 encrypted password use a hash generator to encrypt your password.
video_id: : This is the ID of the video. You can get the video ID when executing the insert function or in the video url. For example the ID for this video the ID is 253050.
Return values (in XML format):
video_id: Video identifier.
title: Title of the video.
description: Description of the video.
thumb_status: Will display either a Completed or Pending message.
thumbnail_url#: Video thumbnails for the video. Wait for the Completed message to appear in the thumb_status. If not you will retrieve a temp thumbnail image.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Yes we are still growing

myVidster's traffic still continues to grow! Here are the numbers.

Pageviews (last 30 days): 7,200,531
Visits (last 30 days): 460,971
Users: 17,889
Collections: 17,554
Bookmarked Videos: 134,250

I would like to highlight the growth in pageviews, wow! Take care and thanks for the support.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Profile pages are here (finally)!

myVidster now has profile pages! It has been long overdue, but worth the wait. To view your profile click here or visit myVidster and click on your user name at the top of the webpage. The purpose of the profile page is to give you and your friends an overview of your activity on myVidster. Note that any bookmarked videos that are set to private will not be viewable to other users.

See all your bookmark videos across your collections.
See everyone who is following you.
See who you are following.
See that last 10 videos from your subscriptions (those you follow).

Upcoming additions:
Upload a profile photo.
Link to your website.

Please provide feedback.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

myVidster's traffic is still climbing, now at 324,000 visits per month!

Can't stop, won't stop! myVidster popularity and traffic reaches new heights with over 324,000 visits and 3.7 million page views per month! I have put a hold on any new features and have been focusing on optimizing myVidster to manage the increase in traffic. If you remember the days of Friendster, one of their biggest drawbacks was site performance which in my opinion was one of the reason why Friendster did not reach the popularity of sites like Facebook and mySpace. Features like video searching and page load times during peak hours have been increased (< 2 seconds). myVidster's engine is very light weight which allows me to handle the traffic with only one server. Don't worry about server failure, all of your data is backed up to another server for safe keeping :)

Additional stats
Users: 15,092
Collections: 14,832
Bookmarked Videos: 109,222
Backed up Videos: 2,844 @ 62 GBs

Keep showing the love and invite your friends to join the myVidster community!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Exceeding Expectations myVidster's Traffic Doubles to 225,000 Visits!

Recently myVidster's monthly traffic reached over 225,000 visits and 2.6 million page views! myVidster's growth is due to a increase in search engine traffic, organic growth and word of month. I am so proud of the myVidster project which was launch over 3 years ago where monthly traffic was only a few thousand visits. myVidster is proof that you do not hype from bloggers or money from VCs to be successful. I will admit that organic growth is slower than media hype, but I feel that the my users are more stable and loyal.

I hope myVidster inspires others to start up their own website. All it takes is an idea and dedication.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Enhancements

Adult Filtering
In the past some found it difficult viewing myVidster from work because NSFW content would occasionally get past my filters and end up on the homepage. This will no longer happen, only approved video hosts like Youtube and Vimeo will be displayed on the homepage. It kinda sucks because users do collect a lot of video content from smaller video hosts, but its not worth the risk of seeing some 18 year old's rack on myVidster's homepage while I am in the office. Also if you browsing a user's collection that has adult content it will be block with NSFW warnings.
Reddit and Digg Stories
Digg stories that relate to the bookmarked video have been available for sometime on myVidster (viewable in the lower right column on the video display), but is now optional and must be enable. I added the same feature for Reddit stories. To enable these features go to the manage page and click edit next to the collection.

Enhance bookmarklet
For those who do not use the Firefox addon there is a new bookmarklet available. I would highly recommend you switch to the new bookmarklet. It is faster and it will be more successful at fetching the video. Also if you are using Internet Explorer, SWITCH TO ANOTHER BROWSER! IE (any version) does not work well with fetching the embedded video. This is not an issue with myVidster, but with IE's moving the flash variables outside of Javascript's innerhtml. There is also a Chrome extension I develop, but it is only for users who have Chrome Beta installed and I removed the video download and backup feature to comply with their TOS.

Where are my profile pages?
Yes, I know I still owe you guys profile pages. Life has been super busy and hopefully I can free up some time to push them out.