Sunday, January 01, 2006

Automatically Coralize Front Page Diggs

I enjoy Digg. Very useful. Unfortunately, it seems that more often then not once a story link is good enough for the front page it quickly suffers from the 'Digg Effect' (similar in every respect to the famed 'Slashdot Effect'--the host cannot handle all of the requests coming in for the website, so now no one can access the site).

I propose a simple solution to this dilemma. The Coral Content Distribution Network. See the link for the particulars if you are not familiar with this technology. It's wonderfully simple to take advantage of it. You just append ".nyud.net:8090 to the hostname of any URL, and your request for that URL is handled by Coral!"

Take Groklaw at http://groklaw.net/ for example. Very popular blog, sometimes too popular to even access. If it's getting slammed and you can't reach it, Coralize it. The address you would enter in your browser would be http://www.groklaw.net.nyud.net:8090. That's all you do, and it's added to the Coral Cache.

Easy, right? There is even a FireFox extension that lets you Coralize any link with a click of the mouse...

My proposal would be extremely easy to implement in the case of Digg. They simply add code to the site so that a story link would automatically get Coralized as soon as it hit the Digg frontpage (the most popular stories/links). No more 'Digg Effect'--the linked site remains up for all to enjoy. Now, this really needs to happen as soon as the link hits the Digg homepage because it has been my experience (and I am sure I am not alone) that if you try to Coralize a link after it is already getting pounded with requests, it's too late because Coral cannot cache it if it can't access the site or link. It ends up in the same predicament as the rest of us.

Automatically Coralizing a story link when it hits frontpage status on Digg would be the ideal solution for all of us, IMO.

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12 comments:

Ward Larson said...

Good Idea... lots of people have been using that thus far but I don't recall hearing this idea.

+Digg =P

TJ said...

Great idea. But wouldn't all digg stories being coralized give the coral cache the "digg effect"? I havn't looked into this cache too much but it seems as if it would suffer just as any other server would. Imagine ALL digg stories going to the same server. Ouch.

Anonymous said...

Nice, but a blanket coralisation of all digg links won't work. Lots of proxy caches, firewalls, filters, etc block all but well-known-ports, and 8090 doesn't qualify as 'well known' in this context. Even the squid cache default install only allows a couple of ports - 80, 443, and that's about it. If you coralise everything, it will break a *lot* of people's browsing.

Make it a customer-selectable option, maybe, but no blanket coralisations please - they won't work.

NotAPoet said...

I think it would be better to add a link to the cached version like this:

blogthis | category | cache

Anonymous said...

What about sites that make money off ads, such as...yours?

chronicon said...

Thanks for all the comments!

Nice, but a blanket coralisation of all digg links won't work.

I'm not suggesting that. Automate the Coralization of the most popular/Front Page links, not the entire site. Just the ones that are getting hammered by the Digg Effect.

NotAPoet said...

I think it would be better to add a link to the cached version like this:

blogthis | category | cache


I like that. If the main link doesn't work, hit the Coral link.

What about sites that make money off ads, such as...yours?

I did a page source comparision between the original for distrowatch.com and the Coralized version of the same. The revenue generating code did not appear affected. I do not think that is an issue. As far as me making money from this lame blog with Adsense or the big FireFox button? LOL, I have no worries there since it's generating next to nothing. And, in my case, that's just fine really. I actually like the Ad-Sense links that come up occasionally so I keep it around, and spreading the word about FireFox *is* high on whatever agenda I have for this blog. Particularly for Windows users. The more that dump IE for FireFox, the better a place the world becomes! ;-)

Thanks all! Have a prosperous New Year!

Anonymous said...

If the fronpage link is the coralcache link, then sites would be missing out on a lot of potential revenue.

Maybe an icon or second link to be put next to the title, so that you have an easy fallback but sites won't miss out on their well deserved revenue.

Anonymous said...

but you're screwing over the author since your caching the page, and as a result if they have ads it won't do any good. Not a good idea!

Anonymous said...

I agree...If you take the groklaw example and look at it in Alexa's traffic ranking its like 29,012 and then you add the .nyud.net:8090 to it and it is giving all the potential revenue to that website...Seems like maybe Nyud.ney is trying to captialize on all of diggs abundance of visitors.

Otto said...

Bad idea. Horrible idea, in fact. Lots of digg readers have workplaces that use proxies with filters and such. And nyud.net is blocked at all of them, because it's basically a way around their other filters. So by automatically coralizing everything, you instantly block off the links to a significant portion of users.

If you want to make it a per-user selectable option to auto-coralize links, then I have no problem with it, but there must be an option there.

Anonymous said...

Any time a coralized link is resolved, the coral network will cache the content of the url of the page. I have seen a number of instances where the link to a digged site will go down before coral has had a chance to cache the content.

One stop gap solution would be to automatically resolve all links on digg.com using a coralized url when posted. Initially all links on digg would resolve to the original url. A script on digg.com can periodically check all linked sites to see if they are still up. If the site is not responding, the link on digg can be updated resolve to the coralized url.

miscblogger said...

what about when i don't own the server and I am buying hosting?