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Netvouz - Online Social Bookmark Manager - Save, Tag and Share your bookmarks

This is the Netvouz blog. To visit the Netvouz social bookmarking service go to www.netvouz.com.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Netvouz Firefox extension now live on Firefox Add-ons site

The Netvouz buttons Firefox extension, developed by Netvouz user John Pedersen, went live today on the Firefox Add-ons site after a few days in the Sandbox.

You can install it in the same way as any other Firefox extension (select Tools -> Add-ons menu and click Get Extensions in Firefox, then select Browse by category -> Bookmarks on the Add-ons web site). You can also get it directly from http://addons.mozilla.org/addon/5194.

If you are using Firefox we highly recommend this extension instead of the two bookmarklets previously available.

For more information see this previous post (or just scroll down ;-)

Thanks again John!


Monday, June 25, 2007

Netvouz buttons integrates with Firefox

John, a Netvouz user, has developed a Firefox extension for Netvouz. Netvouz buttons 1.0 provides the same functionality as the "bookmarklets" you use to save bookmarks to your Netvouz account and to visit your Netvouz bookmarks. But because it adds two buttons to the Firefox navigation toolbar (back, forward, stop, home etc.) you do not need to enable the Firefox bookmarks toolbar just to make the Netvouz bookmarklets visible.

Here's a screenshot of what it looks like in my browser:

When you install Netvouz buttons it tries to configure itself automatically and in most cases you do not need to do anything, it should work right out of the box. But if it fails you will see the Netvouz logon screen and it will then configure itself after you have logged on.

Netvouz buttons 1.0 is currently on the Mozilla Sandbox web site and has not yet been promoted to the public Firefox extensions web site.

If you want to give Netvouz buttons 1.0 a try (and we highly recommend it!) you can install it from https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/5194. You will need to sign up with Mozilla and then edit your account (click "My Account" on the top right) and enable the Sandbox. If you want you may also post a short review.

Thanks John!!!


Thursday, June 21, 2007

New search engine delivers better links, faster!

I am very glad to announce that we have now deployed a completely new search engine on Netvouz. This new technology has been developed during the past 2-3 months and a week ago we began migrating the existing database onto the new improved design (a design which will also allow us to roll out a number of new features which will improve the social aspects of Netvouz). So after several days, weeks, months of hard work it was finally time to make the switch.

This new search engine technology is capable of delivering the best and most relevant results from the links on Netvouz for each subject. Regardless if you search on tag (i.e. browsing by tags) or perform a free-text search using the search field it will return relevant content, free from spam and nonsense links. This is a huge improvement over the old search engine which always came back with lots of spam and irrelevant links, pretty much regardless of what you searched for.

But improved link quality is not all. The new engine is also a lot faster. And because it is also highly tunable we will constantly tune it to deliver better and better results, faster and faster.

For an example of what the new engine delivers, let's shoot a few queries. Let's say we're interested in web design and especially CSS. Netvouz then suggests we take a look at A list apart, css Zen Garden, and HTML Goodies, web sites which all deal with web design, HTML coding and CSS in particular. Good choices, and we could learn a lot from visiting these sites. OK, so now we want to go shopping and what could be a better place to start than by finding the best prices at Price Watch, Priceline, or PriceGrabber. Now let's try to see what Netvouz suggest on another popular topic, cooking diet food. I haven't visited these sites myself but their names sound promising; The World's Healthiest Foods and Over 100 Quick and Easy Healthy Foods.

I hope you all appreciate the much improved search results!


P.S. I recently googled for a radio controlled helicopter, the Lama v4, and much to my surprise Google turns up my own Netvouz bookmarks as hit #4! It must be a sign, so I have now bought one of these as well!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Who pulled the Internet plug?

Today I got an alert from the monitoring service that constantly checks that Netvouz is healthy. It said Netvouz was down. Strange, because at that same moment I was using it and it worked without a glitch. So it must be something else. And so I started digging....

First I went to my long-time friend GrabPERF, which also keeps track of how we're doing (also see this post). It also reported Netvouz being down. But not completely. So I took a closer look at the GrabPERF details to see what was going on. It told me that some of it's monitoring agents, such as Zurich and Technorati #2 (but not #1!), failed to reach Netvouz but others didn't. So about half of them could not reach Netvouz, while the others could. This is shown in the GrabPERF graph below.

In the middle of the graph you see several measurements which have failed (the purple dots at the bottom), while others have succeed (the green ones above them). That's odd. But at least it's not a problem with the Netvouz servers or the network connection we're hooked up to.

Hmm... let's go check the Netvouz real-time web traffic statistics.

This statistics shows that at noon local time (Central European Time) there was a sudden drop in the number of visitors. OK, so it's a fact. The Netvouz service is healthy as ever, but apparently we can not be reached from some locations on the Internet. Interesting, but why?

So this means that somewhere on the Internet a major core router that handles a lot of traffic went down at about noon today. That could happen. But it also means that the remaining routers did not manage to route via alternative routers, and that should not happen. Luckily, as both graphs show, traffic was reestablished again after about 20 minutes.

So what happened out there today? Was it just a hardware failure at an important router? Or a successful hacker attack that managed to bring it down? Or was it just a "oopss" when someone accidentally pulled the wrong plug?

I don't know, do you?

The mystery remains........