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Category Archives: Other

Formal Fridays

Now, at just about every office in the DC area, you’ll most likely see men and woman wearing suits in every direction that you turn. Well, buried in the heart of McLean, Virginia, just outside of the Beltway with the world’s largest concentration of government contractors, is a stronghold of startup culture. It’s Clearspring’s World Corporate Headquarters. (Note: Clearspring is the parent company of AddThis.)

Most offices in DC will take a break from wearing suits on Fridays and dress a little bit more casual. Well, at Clearspring, we’re pretty casual all the time. We think people do the best work when they’re comfortable being themselves. So… to have a little fun, we have turned the Friday tradition on it’s head and have Formal Fridays. On Fridays, we all wear suits. Well, most do.

Not to get all gooshy but it’s this kind of light hearted yet serious atmosphere that’s created by the amazing people I work with, which helps makes it fun to come into the office everyday.

Yes, Cyrus (smiley guy in the front) is holding a Dalek. Yep, we’re that geeky. Oh, of all the smiling faces in the photo above, take a guess at who the leader of this merry band of suited rebels is. stick out tongue

Enjoy more photos…

Removing Artificial Sharing Data Caused By Bots

Sharing is at the center of how we discover new and relevant content online. Our goal is to allow anyone to share anything to anyone at any time.

With this in mind, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to make sharing with AddThis universally accessible, including by people with disabilities. Because we are so widely used by the federal government, complying with the Section 508 guidelines for Web sites was the first goal.

A week or so ago we published a new version of the AddThis code which moved us towards this goal. We found that, while it made things more accessible to people with disabilities, it also made AddThis more accessible to a slew of bots.

Bots were mercilessly hitting AddThis and causing all these shares to be triggered that aren’t actual shares. It inflated our internal numbers. We saw some sites that were getting as much as a 25% artificial bump in shares.

So… we’re currently working on a set of filters that’ll take out the artificial shares caused by the bots. In the meantime, we’re going to revert to the older AddThis code that doesn’t allow this to happen. This may mean that some of you may see a drop in your number of shares.

If you have any questions about this, drop a comment on this post or drop me an e-mail. – justin@addthis.com

This Morning’s Outage

Picture 1

This morning, during an update of AddThis, we inadvertently overloaded our main data center, completely bringing down our website and ability to share. The menu and the button continued to load smoothly, as they are loaded off the CDN. For more information, check out the forum post.

We sincerely apologize for the outage. We’re especially bummed about it because it’s our first platform wide outage in over a year. We’re committed to giving you the best performing sharing tools on the Web and have put controls in place so we can prevent this type of thing moving forward.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a line – justin@addthis.com

Yesterday’s AddThis SSL Outage

Early yesterday morning, we got reports from some of our users that they were experiencing issues with the AddThis menu over SSL. We immediately found that the problem was on our end, caused by a misconfiguration that had propagated throughout our CDN. This misconfiguration did not affect our standard HTTP version of AddThis.

By mid-afternoon yesterday, we thought we had resolved the issue but continued to get reports of problems in certain geographic areas.

We decided the best course of action was to accelerate the migration of our secure code to Akamai, which is by far the BEST CDN in the business. We had planned on doing this next week for all of AddThis but because of the issues yesterday, opted to move a lot faster for our secure code.

As of this morning, it looks like everything went smoothly with the migration to the new CDN and that this has resolved the outage. You should no longer be seeing any issues. All reports from customers thus far have been positive.

With the capabilities and immense infrastructure provided to us by our new CDN, we don’t foresee having a similar problem like this any time in the future. Secure AddThis users also should see a pretty significant boost in performance.

We sincerely apologize for this problem. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. You can comment on this blog, drop a note on the main forum thread for this issue, or e-mail me personally. – justin@addthis.com

We Found a Spy in Our Office

Our Office Spy

All morning, we’ve been hearing noises coming from the ceiling of Clearspring’s World Corporate Headquarters in McLean, VA. It sounded like something was in the ceilings. None of us could figure out what it was.

Well, as you can see from the photo above, we identified the spy that had infiltrated our office. It was a bird.

It was pretty entertaining to watch as a handful of our engineers spent a good 10 minutes trying to catch it. We were able to safely get it into a box and release it outside.

Now the investigation begins where we try to figure out who was trying to spy on our office and discover our secret new technologies that will give us world domination. Could it have been Twitter or Flock perhaps? Hahaha. Rimshot

Hope you’re all having a great day.

PS – This is not an April Fools Day joke. We really did find a bird in our office.

Thanks for Your Help with Test!

As most of you know, we’ve been testing some new services that help to promote and recommend content that has been shared using AddThis. Well, the test is over.

The test went really well. We learned some really important things and you all gave us a lot of great feedback.

I’m excited for you all to see what we’ve been working on. We’re working hard to come up with new and interesting ways that we can help get your content shared farther out to every corner of the Social Web.

Announcing AddThis Telepathy: The Next Generation of Sharing

Telepathy - The Next Generaiton of Sharing

The AddThis button has been successful beyond our wildest dreams. The button is loaded 20 billion times a month. So… we’ve been working on what’s next.

After much collaboration with certain secret parapsychology agencies within the Department of Defense, today we’re pleased to announce our plans for the next member of the AddThis product family, AddThis Telepathy.

With this revolutionary method of sharing, telepathy, all you have to do is look at the AddThis menu, hold your index fingers to your temples, think about any one of the 47 different destinations that you want to share with, and the share just happens.

At AddThis, we’re focused on developing services that help get your content shared as much as possible. In one of the first iterations of AddThis, you had to click on the button in order to get the share menu. By moving to a menu that appears on hover, we were able to increase the share rate by 4x. After months of internal development and testing, we’ve noticed that bypassing the menu and just using telepathy to share, you can increase the sharing by 23x.

Currently, AddThis is in an incredibly unique position. We see millions of URLs pass through our system every day. We have a very panoramic view of what’s happening online. We believe that new products like AddThis Telepathy will continue to position us as the center of online sharing.

So… stay tuned. When telepathy is ready for public beta, you’ll know.

(Yes, this is an April Fools Day Joke.)

Opting Out of Our Current Test

Hey guys, a few of you have been asking about how to opt out of the current test that we’re running. This info has been up on the forum but I wanted to highlight it here also.

You just have to add the line below to your AddThis code:
var addthis_test0309 = false;

So the top of the code would be:

<script type=”text/javascript”>
var addthis_pub = “YOUR-ACCOUNT-ID”;
var addthis_test0309 = false;
</script>

Let me know if you have any questions – justin@addthis.com

More testing…

At AddThis, our goal is to help you get your content shared and seen by as many people as possible. Well, this week we’re going to be testing some content promotion and recommendation services that we’ve been working on. Chances are that you probably won’t see it but just in case you did, we wanted to give you the heads up. If you have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a line – justin@addthis.com

Temporary Server Issues

We are experiencing issues with some of our servers. We are aware of the problem and working on it. This is not affecting the availability of our widget. It is only affecting our website and the bookmarking and sharing functions. We apologize for the inconvenience. We will update this post as soon as the issues are resolved.

Update: Problem solved. Both the website and the bookmarking/sharing functions are working again. Luckily, the downtime was short and the effects minimal. Thank you for your patience.

– The AddThis team