First and most importantly, I apologize for the current state of the technology stability here at ActiveRain. My technology team tells me that the database needed to be "vacuumed" because the site was having problems this morning on Friday May 6th, 2011. I know it is frustrating for you and even more frustrating for us. As I have said before, I make no excuses for where we are and do not expect a "free pass" in any way.
What is likely more frustrating to you is the lack of clear communication in terms of what we here at ActiveRain are doing about it. My goal with this post is to communicate 1) where we are and 2) what we are doing about it.
So, where are we?
- activerain.com was initially built in 2006 for one purpose and took off faster than it was architected for.
- As the company, membership and traffic has grown, many of these architecture and technology issues are becoming more problematic, particularly to the stability of the site.
- The activerain technology platform / codebase needs to be properly maintained and updated. Parts of the site need to be re-developed to handle the new size of the membership, traffic, functionality and additional features that we could like to support.
What are we doing about it?
- The stability and scalability of the technology are my number one priority.
- Our internal team is doing a great job dealing with the issues as they come up. We have supplemented the team with consultants who are very familiar with the technology of ActiveRain.
- We have hired an operations and systems administration team that is familiar with the the hardware side of technology (think servers, boxes, network, bandwidth) to monitor ActiveRain and respond when there is an issue.
- Finally we have hired a rockstar technology architecture consultant from Silicon Valley who will help us get to the root of the problems with the fundamental technology architecture.
- This team of internal and external resources are coming up with the plan for what needs to be addressed to DRAMATICALLY increase the stability of ActiveRain.
- Based on the plan, we will add internal development staff while supplementing with consultants until we get activerain.com where it needs to be.
So there are many initiatives that are in process, but there is no one silver bullet just yet. We are not sparing resources on making sure that AcitveRain.com is stable and viable long-term. As soon as I have my hands around the long-term plan, I will share it with all of you. Keep in mind, we are a small, entrepreneurial start-up, so we will be implementing changes over time, but addressing the biggest issues first.
My wife and I used to live in a part of Seattle called Eastlake which is off Eastlake Avenue. It is a beautiful area, but it is built into a sloping hill that runs all the way down to Lake Union. We had the BEST SUNSETS in the world (in the summer). It was an amazing place and we loved it. Building a condo building or a house on a slope is complicated and expensive. It is critical to have a solid and reinforced base. It is important to maintain your foundation on a regular basis so that you can enjoy the view without any worry.
We promise that we will continue to provide the best real estate community and blogging platform in real estate. We need to reinforce the foundation right now.
I promise to communicate with each of you regularly as we make progress. I am more than happy to talk to any and each of you personally, either on this blog, email me at email@example.com or call me at 206 470 2908