19 Mar 2010

WordPress.com Auto-Login Temporarily Disabled

UPDATE: WordPress.com Auto-Login is back up and running! Please see http://wp.me/plsX6-IO for details. Thanks for your patience.

We’re making a few changes to how our WordPress.com automatic login feature works on the backend and we have temporarily disabled it.  Users are still able to log in to IntenseDebate manually using their WordPress.com account both at IntenseDebate.com and in the comment sections on your site.  Auto-login will be returning very soon and will work the same as it did before once it’s back.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

Posted by Jon Fox in News

30 Apr 2009

Growing Pains

You guys have helped IntenseDebate grow a huge amount over the past few months. Overall this is great! We love helping people take the conversation on their blog / website to the next level, and of course once you get IntenseDebate going you know you grow even faster.  It has put quite a strain on our systems though.  I’m sure you’re all aware of our outages over the last few weeks.

We’ve been working non-stop to address these issues. Our highest priority is improving the performance and long term scalability of IntenseDebate for you.

Now we could leave it at that, be completely opaque about what changes we’re doing and just hope that you’ll trust that we’re working hard on the problem, but you all deserve more and need to trust that our service can perform for you.  So here’s a behind-the-scenes peek for those of you interested in how we’re tackling this problem.

The first major change we’ve been working on is sharding some of our larger and most frequently used tables into a more efficient and scalable database schema.  For those of you not familiar with sharding it means storing all your data in several smaller tables instead of one large monolithic table.  This allows us to get your data much more quickly and makes for a much more horizontally scalable system. (We can continue to add more tables to keep them small as our total data storage increases.)  This is complete for our most heavily used data, comments, and will continue where appropriate.

The second change is creating more summary tables to simplify the retrieval of common data.  Even after sharding some of the data is still too slow to compute on-the-fly.  Summary tables cache frequently used computations which will allow us to get this information almost instantly.

Last, but not least, we’re optimizing our logging and background processing.  We do quite a bit of logging to ensure things are running  smoothly and to help debug quickly when things don’t.  In particular the syncing process to and from WordPress blogs has a lot of activity we store for troubleshooting.  We’ve done some work to make this logging faster and less system heavy, as well as some fine tuning of what and when we log in order to help ensure that these troubleshooting tools don’t have a negative impact on the performance of the core service.

I want to reiterate we’re acutely aware of performance over the last few weeks and there is no excuse for poor service or performance.  We’ve fixed the most pressing issues, but we’re taking a number of proactive steps to ensure that we can maintain the level of service that you deserve from us.  Thank you all for your patience and understanding.

Posted by Jon Fox in News

23 Dec 2008

WordPress Plugin v2.0.17


Yet another revision of the IntenseDebate WordPress plugin is here.  So what’s different?  Quite a bit…

The most notable change is in the initial registration.  We’ve completely rebuilt the interface for initial registration of your blog with IntenseDebate to help make the process even easier and better explain what is happening during this one-time registration to clear up some confusion that was circling around the previous versions.  Below are a couple of screenshots of the new registration:

We’ve also addressed some display bugs when using our plugin with the latest 2.7 release of WordPress.

Additionally, we continue to improve the syncing between IntenseDebate and WordPress. We’ve now added a method to help us detect if your blog ends up out of sync with IntenseDebate and automatically correct the issue.

And last but not least we’ve heard your cries for XHTML validation and made some improvements to the code to address this, as well as alleviating some plugin conflicts with a handful of other plugins that conflicted with the previous version of our plugin.

If you’re an existing plugin user you can update from your Plugins page in your blog’s WordPress admin panel.  If not (or if you prefer to upgrade yourself) you can download the plugin here.  As always, give us your feedback!  We’d love to hear what you think and any suggestions you might have for making the integration with WordPress even better.

Posted by Jon Fox in WordPress Plugin

23 Sep 2008

Automattic Acquires IntenseDebate

IntenseDebate + Automattic
We’re extremely pleased to announce that IntenseDebate will now be joining the Automattic team! This is a big day for us and we couldn’t be more stoked about what it means for the future of IntenseDebate.

So what does this mean for you, our valued users? A couple of things:
1.) We will be temporarily going back into an invite only system. This won’t affect our current users, but new installs will require an invite code. This is just to give us a little time to ramp up the hardware and get our ducks in a row as we join the Automattic team.

2.) You’ll be seeing IntenseDebate a lot more often. We’re really excited about the distribution possibilities this opens up, so expect to see our comment system and use your IntenseDebate profile on a lot more blogs.

3.) You can look forward to tighter integration with some of the other Automattic joints including Akismet and Gravatar.

But don’t worry!
You will still be able to use IntenseDebate on Typepad, Tumblr, Blogger, Movable Type, and other platforms with more to come! We will continue to improve our comment system and your commenters’ experience. IntenseDebate will continue to enhance and encourage conversation on your blog and build your reader community.

It’s business as usual except we will be ramping up in size and features, and integrating more closely with other Automattic properties to provide an even better commenting experience. The IntenseDebate name and logo isn’t going anywhere – it’s just going to get way more Intense! It’s been a long road to get here, but we’re just getting started…

Posted by Jon Fox in News

7 Mar 2008

Help Wanted Helping Publishers


Do you know a lot about how Intense Debate works? Like helping bloggers? Got some spare time? Want to make some money?

We’re looking to add one or two people in the very important role of Intense Debate support staff (part-time). It doesn’t matter where you live—you can work from home. You need:

  • An enthusiasm for blogs, comments, and Intense Debate
  • Great (and speedy) written English skills
  • At least 15 hours a week of focused availability
  • To be a highly proficient user of the web, a heavy blog reader, a blog author, a software aficionado, and a quick learner

The job consists, basically, of answering emails from people who write in who are having trouble with Intense Debate and helping them out as quickly as possible.

Pay will be hourly. Inquire for more details.

Send your resume and Intense Debate user name to jobs AT intensedebate.com

Posted by Jon Fox in News

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