It takes four legs for a service to run well and fast:
- a tangible value proposition
- an efficient and pleasant user experience (UX)
- a responsive and competent customer support
- a reliable quality of service (QoS)
Scoop.it helps people and businesses shine on the web by sharing content that matters. We are working hard to constantly refine your user experience, and to do so, we regularly conduct performance measurement, and listen to your invaluable feedback. We encourage our support team to create a close relationship with you as we value your continued support and engagement with our team and the product. (for more details, please #AskAlly).
But despite relentless efforts, March has been a very bad month with our QoS – meaning that we failed you on our product’s performance and service. Please accept our sincere apologizes on behalf of Guillaume, myself and the entire Scoop.it team. I’d like to also share some information about what exactly happened; and, most importantly, I want to reassure you: the problems are now fixed. We are up and running with lots of spare power, and it’s full steam ahead!
The first problem to hit QoS in March was capacity. One of the features of Scoop.it is the Suggestion Engine, which continuously searches content, so you are never caught short of inspiration. This feature requires a huge amount of server capacity because it requires real time data from many web sources. The Suggestion Engine reached maximum capacity in February. We had planned this of course but not as fast as it happened (our new user sign up rate has dramatically accelerated recently; something overall very good!) and more importantly, several logistical problems, including late servers delivery, hindered the much needed upgrade process. I’m happy to share that the upgrade is now finally completed and shows a 4x increase in capacity over early March.
Then, we got delayed in the renewal of an SSL certificate (this is a mechanism securing internet connections). This blocked Scoop.it signup process, disabled Read.it (our interest-graph reader app for iPad) and sent a somewhat scary security message (although the situation was safe and we had no security breach) during login. Praise to our provider who helped fix this quickly.
And finally, as much as they benefit from Moore’s Law, Data Centers also suffer from Murphy’s Law: we faced two nasty and violent bot attacks who kept our team fighting hard and our servers running slow. We eventually won, but you suffered.
We’ve fixed all these problems now, but this March QoS war cost us some serious traffic degradation. And worst, it was very annoying for you, our great community of users. Although we know this can happen even to the best (have you ever seen a blue whale?), we don’t take QoS lightly; our engineering team has a wealth of experience with business-critical systems and we’ll endeavor to deliver the QoS you and Scoop.it deserve.
Now some good news: to try to soothe the caused inconveniences, we have decided to extend our current launch offer of unlimited curated newsletter capacity for another full month to all of you.
Well… that was a tough March. Now, all problems are behind us: we are armed and ready for a 10-fold growth! (and yesterday was our busiest day ever beating our previous traffic record by far!) So please don’t be shy and keep pushing us as hard as you need!
-Marc Rougier, Co-Founder and President, Scoop.it