We’ve rolled up our sleeves and been tinkering in the garage again. This time, we’re up to our eyeballs in performance optimization for the site. We’ve put cacheing in place as well as a content delivery network to help serve images and other essentially static content faster.
The net result? You should see page load times drop in half. That doesn’t suck.
And thanks to all of you who participated in our iPod Nano and TikTok watchband contest. Your comments, likes, tweets and pluses all helped spread the word about BigBlueBall. Although the contest is officially over, we’re already preparing our next giveaway! Stay tuned…
More great news from the BigBlueBall staff. Long time staff member Philip has been recognized by Microsoft as a 2010 Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Windows Live Messenger. As he noted on his blog, Philip received the notification on New Year’s Day — a nice way to kick-off the new year!
Philip has been a member of BigBlueBall since 2006, and his support in our WLM forums did not escape the notice of Microsoft. He was nominated a couple months ago by Lilian Quek (MVP Lead from Microsoft Singapore). Philip’s patient and helpful advice continues to help Windows Live Messenger users on a day-to-day basis.
What is the Microsoft Most Valuable Proffessionals (MVP) program all about? Here is a description straight from the Microsoft MVP web site:
…individuals who are recognized by peers as well as by Microsoft for past credible participation, highest quality answers and a demonstrated willingness to share their Microsoft technical expertise with others while providing guidance and assistance in peer-to-peer technical communities worldwide.
While these individuals represent a wide variety of backgrounds and professions, MVPs share the basic characteristics of possessing very strong technical skills in one or more Microsoft products or technology areas. Microsoft MVPs also possess the willingness to share that knowledge with others.
Selected contributors earn their MVP status by being nominated by their peers in the community, Microsoft Support Professionals, or Microsoft Product Group members who have seen consistent, professional and accurate technical answers or guidance in response to customer questions.
Congratulations, Philip, on your well-deserved recognition!
BigBlueBall staff member Doris Kenney–patndoris in the forums–has been officially recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Windows Live Messenger (WLM).
The Microsoft MVP Award is an annual award that recognizes exceptional technology community leaders worldwide who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with users and Microsoft.
Rich Kaplan, VP Customer and Partner Advocacy at Microsoft said “It is with great pride we announce that Doris Kenney has been awarded as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP). All of us at Microsoft recognize and appreciate Doris’s extraordinary contributions and want to take this opportunity to share our appreciation with you.
“As a recipient of this year’s Microsoft MVP award, Doris joins an exceptional group of individuals from around the world who have demonstrated a willingness to reach out, share their technical expertise with others and help individuals maximize their use of technology.”
Of course, we at BigBlueBall are especially proud of this honor, but we are not surprised. Doris has been actively involved in our forums for a long time, sharing her expertise and helping people every day.
Back on March 1st, we introduced an extensive redesign of BigBlueBall to make it easier for you to participate in our community. We revamped the front end of our site to leverage the powerful-but-flexible WordPress back end. We made it possible to comment without registering, and made it possible for you to sign in using your Facebook account. But best of all, we added a bold, fresh look based on the wonderful Lifestyle theme from StudioPress,
Now BigBlueBall is featured in the Lifestyle section of the StudioPress Showcase! I’d like extend a special thanks to Brian Gardner, head of StudioPress for the fine work he puts into each of their beautiful and functional WordPress themes.
If you’d like to use one of their themes for your web site, check them out. If you end up buying one, you’ll also be supporting BigBlueBall — proud affiliates of StudioPress. And if you need assistance customizing them or integrating with your forums, contact me. I’d love to help!
I want to extend a personal thank you to all the Facebook users who joined our BigBlueBall Fan page. We quickly passed 100 fans, allowing us to register our own BigBlueBall Facebook URL: http://www.facebook.com/BigBlueBall
If you are a Facebook user and haven’t joined our fan page, please stop by and click the “Become a Fan” button at the top of the page. Then leave a comment on our wall and introduce yourself!
By the way, not long ago we added the ability for you to sign in to comment via Facebook, both here in our news section as well as in the BigBlueBall forums. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
If you have your own company or web site, did you know you can setup your own fan page? It allows you to separate your personal page from your company or web site. Once your page reaches 100 fans you can register your own Facebook URL, just like BigBlueBall.
We designed the new BigBlueBall.com with you in mind, making it easier to use, navigate, search and find the information you need. You no longer need to register to leave a comment, and you can easily subscribe to keep track of responses. If you use Facebook, you can sign-in directly using Facebook Connect.
Here is an overview of the changes
We’re still putting the finishing touches on things, so if you find something that looks amiss, please let us know!
I am currently preparing a major update to BigBlueBall. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s almost here. And you can get a sneak peek right here at blog.bigblueball.com! The front-end of the site is moving to WordPress for content management. This new interface will be used fo all our news, tutorials and reference pages — the stuff currently found on the BigBlueBall homepage and in the various IM Centers (and very hard to find!).
What you’re looking at right now is a work-in-progress. The logo, fonts and colors are still in flux, but the basic layout, site structure and the concept of featuring content on the home page is pretty well defined. My goal is to make the home page more informative, more visually appealing, more accessible for participation (no login required to post comments!), and just plain better!
The stuff in the right column has not yet been defined, but the basic layout of the front page has. You will see that we have a new section where we an very clearly and vividly feature content. We also will show recent news from the three major categories: instant messaging, mobile communications and social networking. And we’ll have links that take you to everything else, including our most popular section, the forums.
I’d like your feedback. Please leave a comment and let me know if you’ve got feedback or ideas. Love it? Hate it? I want to hear from you. Look around, and leave a comment below.
I’m in the process of some fairly substantial updates to BigBlueBall. We will be revamping our IM Centers, revealing a new design and updating the software that powers our forums.
The end result should be much cleaner, easier to use and navigate (with some new content, too!).
You’ll see us testing out the designs here on the blog first. Shhh… don’t tell!
The office will be open this weekend! I’m opening office hours Saturday from 1-3pm, and Sunday from 2-4pm (Pacific time zone).
What in the world am I talking about? You can join me in our BigBlueBall chat room to say hello, ask a question, or find out what’s coming at BigBlueBall. I’ll be in there while I’m working on the site, so stop in and say hello!
If you have your own IRC client, you can connect to irc.bigblueball.com and join the #bigblueball channel.
Not sure what the heck IRC is? No problem. Just click here to open a new window with our java-based chat room. It takes you to the same place.
See you online!
For seven years, BigBlueBall has been one of the few reliable resources on the web for coverage of all instant messenger networks. In those seven years, we’ve seen IM products come and go, and been here with you all the way. Your instant messaging contact list was then, and still is today, the original social network.
Today, technology gives us lots of choices for connecting with our friends, family and associates. Social networks like Myspace, Facebook and Twitter let use keep our friends up-to-date with a persistent that isn’t matched by IM. Mobile technology helps us stay connected no matter where or when.
To help you sort out the veritable plethora (gawd I’ve wanted to say that for so long!) of connection options, we are expanding BigBlueBall to cover all the ways you can stay connected. To begin, we have added two new forum sections.
Thanks to Philip for getting the ball rolling with his poll, and thanks to all of you who shared your view of where BigBlueBall should be moving.
Now join me in the forums and bring your tips, links, and questions.