I’ve been way too busy recently to give Crowds Machine much attention, and since it’s such a resource hog I’m frankly not that motivated to improve it – better performance will just mean more users which will lead to higher hosting costs.
So I figure the best thing to do is open source the code, so that people would be able to install their own instance (and hopefully give it some much needed TLC): http://github.com/niryariv/crowds
The code is layers upon layers of Rails, much of it written when Rails (and myself) were young & naive. I updated it from time to time, but it’s not my submission to Beautiful Code. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported – if that’s a problem, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.
I’ve been working on Crowds Machine for a while, starting this an idea long ago and running it for my personal use for about three years now, but only recently I took some time to make it publicly usable – the first users I don’t personally know showed up only in the last 24 hours, following its mention in Waxy.org Links.
Here’s what this first public day looks like in traffic:
Keeping in mind it’s Christmas, and the site was down for a while till I fixed up the server, I’m pretty happy with that. But the real surprise is here:
There were less than 10 crowds in the system, so this means 1 in every 4 new visitors created a crowd. That’s pretty incredible. Maybe the holiday timing helped here. Maybe allowing users to log in with their Google accounts. Having to process 12,274 feeds a day might prove a bit of a challenge though…
I always assumed there’s a high entry barrier for CM users since they have to load in quite a few feeds to make it useful. Visitors so far seem to have no issues with that, most just importing their feeds list via OPML. Obviously these are not the typical Web users, but that’s ok. Crowds Machine isn’t meant to be mainstream – that’s the whole point of it.
Didn’t expect you so soon, great to have you here :)
Had some server issues earlier, but adding some memory to Crowds’ slice seems to have fixed it now. If you get any problems, or have any feedback, please feel free to post a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope you enjoy Crowds Machine!