Archive for July, 2007


Know any conference organizers?

A lot of people have been asking us what they should expect next from EventVue. After seeing some impressive results from the Community Next conference, we have been working hard to add new features and make our product more scalable. We learned a lot from our Community Next experience. Sure, we made a few mistakes, but we learned from them and we have a better product as a result.

We’re now starting to move into the process of talking to as many conference organizers as we can. We’re hoping to announce several new EventVue-powered conferences within the next month. If you are friends with a conference organizer who we could talk to, please let me know. You can reach me at josh@eventvue.com.

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A picture of life at TechStars

It’s 10:45 on a Wednesday night and the TechStars office is hopping! There are 13 guys working here at the office right now. That’s start-up life for you!

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IE? Firefox? Safari? Opera?

Your choice. EventVue supports them all!

I’ve found that one of the biggest challenges of building web applications is getting them to work consistently across a diverse set of browsers and operating systems. Every serious website developer has experienced the frustration of opening a site in another browser only to find that nothing works anymore.

In spite of the challenges, I believe it is important to give your users a positive experience no matter which browser they choose to use. Last week we reached our goal of supporting all major modern browsers.

I’m proud to announce that EventVue now supports:

  • IE 6/7
  • Firefox 1.5/2.0
  • Safari 2/3
  • Opera 9

I hope this post will provide encouragement to those of you who are currently caught in the cross-fire between the browser wars. Building a cross-browser web application isn’t easy – but it can be done. Keep up the fight! You can do it!

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Question of the week…

For the past two months the view from my apartment window has been of the Boulder Flatirons.

Believe me – this view never gets old!

The only problem is that Rob and I are getting kicked out of our apartment at the end of the month. Back in May when we first found our apartment on craigslist, we were only able to secure our lease until the end of July.

That means in a few weeks Rob and I will be homeless. We’re not very excited about the prospect of sleeping on the street. That’s why we need your help.

Do you have a place we could sleep at night, or do you know anyone who does? We’re looking for at least a two bedroom apartment/house near the downtown Boulder area. Let me know if you can help!

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Will anyone really use EventVue?

Last week EventVue launched an exclusive beta version of our product for the Community Next conference. Since then we’ve seen dozens of attendees sign in, create profiles and send messages to each other via our community.

We’ve been watching the usage statistics like hawks. These numbers are important to us, since they are an indicator of how much people value our product. We can get a good idea of how much benefit people are receiving from EventVue by the amount of time they spend on our site and how often they come back.

Since launching the community for Community Next:

  • EventVue users have racked up over 4,500 pageviews
  • the average EventVue user stays for 8.5 minutes
  • the average EventVue user views 14 pages per visit
  • 31% of EventVue users have returned 3 or more times
  • 19% of EventVue users have returned 9 or more times

To put those numbers into perspective, that’s a total of over 47 hours that have been invested by the Community Next attendees to prepare themselves for the conference!

We no longer need to wonder if anyone will use EventVue – they already are!

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Image storage: Database or File system?

From my experience, storing images in a database is a lot easier to manage than storing them in the file system. Here are a few of the benefits that I love the most:

  • Related information is automatically kept in sync.
  • It’s easier to backup your data when it’s all in one place.
  • It’s easier to maintain an independent development environment.
  • You can add additional file servers without having to deal with on-the-fly file replication.

Of course, the classic argument against storing images in a database is that it is slow. Retrieving images from a database takes longer than retrieving an image from the file system. At least, that’s what they say.

I decided to do a benchmark test for myself to see just how much of a difference it makes in performance. The results were surprising.

First, I created three different sized thumbnails of this picture and stored them in a directory on my file system. Then I took the same three images and stored them in a mySQL database. I then measured the total time for Firefox to display each image. I ran each benchmark 10 times for better accuracy.

Here are the results:

File system

  • Large – average of 7.87E-05 seconds
  • Medium – average of 7.77E-05 seconds
  • Small – average of 6.65E-05 seconds

Database

  • Large – average of 6.68E-05 seconds
  • Medium – average of 6.69E-05 seconds
  • Small – average of 5.90E-05 seconds

Wow! The images retrieved from the database were actually displayed faster than those retrieved from the file system!

Of course, we still haven’t proved this is scalable. I only had 3 rows in my table. What would happen if you have 120,000 images in your database? There’s one way to find out. Test it.

I inserted my picture into the database table 120,000 times (yes, that took a while). When I ran my benchmark test again, the average time was 6.07E-05 seconds! So much for being “slow”.

I’m not sure what would happen if my table contained over 120,000 images. For now I’m not too concerned – we’re still a few weeks away from reaching that milestone.

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The big push.

This week has been crazy, exciting and a lot of fun!

Recently David has been pushing us to get our products out for people to start using them. We took his challenge to heart and had an early alpha launch with our first online community for a conference in Palo Alto, CA called Community Next. It’s a big deal for us to finally have real users interacting with our product. We are pumped!

Community Next is a conference on viral marketing which is organized by Adam Kalamchi and Noah Kagan. Last I heard, they still have 25 tickets left if you want to attend. They have some great speakers lined up and an impressive list of attendees. The EventVue community is only available to those who register, so if you want to be in on the action, you’ve gotta sign up! What more incentive could you need!?

The EventVue launch for Community Next wasn’t the only big push that took place yesterday. Here’s a fun video that Aaron from Villij posted earlier. Enjoy!

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