I want to start by saying that this post is not a post about griping about the recent headaches we all experienced here at ActiveRain. Nor is this post about how wonderful I think ActiveRain is. What this post is about is simply one thing, the people of ActiveRain. While we have all experienced deep frustrations over the past week and many have already voiced opinions about ActiveRain on Twitter or Facebook. This is not my post ranting about things, it is a post about the people who run the network.
I get the point that some of us are paying for a service that was not working 100% for the past few days. I get that by the servers being down may have cost some of us some potential money. Heck, I even get the complaint that you couldn't get online to leave your 10 comments/day and 10 posts/week for points. But, the thing that many do not realize is that the down time was not something ActiveRain wanted either.
Let's take a moment to actually look at the daunting task that ActiveRain is accomplishing at this time. At the time of writing this blog post, there were 1,628,526 other posts on ActiveRain. In addition there are 180,822 profiles. And approximately 5,000 outside blogs per a conversation with Bob last week. So lets say that each of those outside blogs have 100 posts, that means another 500,000 pieces of content. In addition, we have localism with another 180,822 profiles, and another 800,000+ posts. The other big piece of data that would need to be moved would be all the pages for each state, county, city, channel, & group. Easily that can account for other 1.5 million pieces of content. So, if we were to add this all up, there would easily be over 4 MILLION pieces of content to be moved. To put this into perspective, it would be like trying to move the entire population of the state of South Carolina in a week's time.
Definitely not an easy task. But, that also is not the point behind writing this post. The point of writing this post is to shed some light on the team at ActiveRain. Since I used to work here at ActiveRain, I was given the pleasure of getting to know the team fairly well and thought it was time to share a little bit about them and what your team is really like. I know sometimes members feel that there are better things that ActiveRain could do to handle situations, and that is probably true. Are they perfect? No, but if you can find someone who is, please send them my way to meet me, because as soon as they do they will become imperfect. Anyways, the next four people I am going to talk about are solely responsible for keeping this network where it is today.
First, there is the newest community builder here at ActiveRain, Kerrie Greenhalgh. Kerrie has probably one of the worst jobs here at ActiveRain. She is in charge of handling answer every help ticket that comes into the network. After doing this job for a year, I know how much of a task this job is.
On a normal day, there are anywhere from 200-500 tickets that can come in. During this last week's downtime, I can only imagine what the numbers were like, so if you submitted one with a problem, please be patient with her as she tries to dig out from this. Hopefully by now most things are back working properly, so you will not need to wait on the response. But, if you are needing help, I promise if you give it time, her smiling face will either be emailing you a response, or possibly even a phone call!
The second piece of the team that keeps this ship running and who has probably put in the most work over the past ten days is the head developer here at ActiveRain, Jorgen. I doubt that this man has slept more than three hours a day during the past week as he has taken on this major project of moving things. Normally when something this major is going on, there is a full team to make this type of move. A team of several people, not just two or three other people. Personally, I cannot believe they were able to accomplish things as fast and as quickly as they did. This guy just astonishes me with his skills and ability to get things done. In addition to handling the major tasks like this one going on, Jorgen is the one who single handily keeps the entire network running by himself behind the scenes. He probably would not like the fact I said all this because he prefers being unseen, but please go send him some appreciation on his page.
Lastly, the two guys that have probably come under the most fire over the past week have been Bob Stewart & Brad Andersohn. The reason that Bob & Brad have taken so much heat is due to the fact that they are the faces of ActiveRain. They are the people that you turn to when you have a question or need help with something on the network. From working along side these two for almost a year, I learned very quickly their work ethics and dedication to members. Many mornings when I would awake and start work, I would already find them online at 5:30 AM their time! When I had started here at ActiveRain, I remember Bob saying to me this: "Jeremy, to work this job, you have to realize you do not get time off." Never before were such true words spoken. I used to receive phone calls at 7AM from my good friend Lenn Harley and also at as late as 11:30PM from people like Lisa Hill. We have all become so used to their prompt responses and instant troubleshooting of our issues that when there comes a time that we aren't getting the immediate fix we get a little frustrated.
There is nobody on this network more passionate about ActiveRain than these two guys I promise you. Unfortunately though, when you are the mouthpieces for an organization, you are also the persons who take the abuse when something goes wrong. The past week I have seen all sorts of comments directed at both Bob Stewart & Brad Andersohn for the things that happened here. The part that most do not realize, is that neither had control over the network going down, or control over bringing it back up.
Both Brad & Bob have zero connections to the technical back end of what makes things run here. Their jobs are to build our community and make this the most successful real estate network in the planet. Really and truly, just as T Boardman said today in her post, "There is no such thing as a never fail blog or web site or a site that is never down." She is 100% correct. It does not matter what the site is, there are times that things happen.
I remember a few months back when Google & gmail completely crashed. There have also been those infamous times where Twitter & Facebook have had their issues and gone completely down. In fact, today we were all ready for our weekly radio show, Social Media Edge on Blog Talk Radio and right as we began the show, the entire thing crashed. We had special guests lined up to speak but could not host our show. Unfortunately these things happen.