Jeremy Smith's blog

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Extended FAQ Questions

Several people have emailed, commented, or written about a couple of issues. 1) "How long will my weblog last?" or "What happens to my weblog when I leave the University?" 2) "How much space can I use on my weblog?"

The problem (and the reason there are no entries in the FAQ) is that no one has decided. No one really knows how our users will use the Blog@Case system. However, I can try and communicate, as best I know, the issues in trying to decide.

There are three options concerning what will happen to your weblog when you leave the University. The first scenario is that your weblog will persist, and you will be able to keep it active. Obviously, this is the most taxing on ITS's resources and funding. The second scenario is that your access to your weblog will expire; however, all of your content will persist into the foreseeable future. That is to say, we will not scavenge your blog after you leave the University. The last scenario is that your access will expire and the space your blog was taking up will be scavenged.

As far as I can tell (and I don't know "for sure"), this will boil down to a financial issue. It will depend on how much financial resources are allocated to the blog system. (And, remember, it is not just file space allocation. Having more users means more support tickets, more engineering resources used, more bandwidth used, more overall server hardware used, etc.) ITS sometimes has to "pinch pennies."

case-it-funding-comparison.jpg

Disk space. In the beginning, we did some back of the envelope calculations and came up with a rough number: a prolific blogger will produce about 60MB of content per year. But, this is just an intelligent guess. What will happen is we will monitor the usage of the Blog@Case system as it is in Beta, and a bell curve will develop.

bell.gif

There will be the majority of the people nestled right in the meaty middle with some "crazy" people (like 2% of them probably) absorbing 60% (← made up number) of the disk space. At that point, decisions will be made. Again, hopefully the decisions fall towards the "Right Way"; but pros and cons have to be weighed. And, hard decisions will have to be made such as, "does funding go to system X or system Y; which one is more important?" A lot of it will depend on the usage/profile/"excitingness" the Blog@Case system ends up procuring. But, you have to think of it as a pie. Each "system" (and I am using the term system real generally here) gets a slice of the pie. But, once the pie is gone; the pie is freakin' gone. Ain't no more pie to be had. You want more pie, it has to come from someone else's slice. And, people don't like giving up their pie because their "systems" need more pie than they were given, anyways. (A good way to get a bigger slice is to be able to point back at your system and say, "system X actually ended up making the pie BIGGER this year so everybody got more [you will need hard numbers, at this point, to back that up]; thus, system X deserves a little bigger of a slice.)

So, where was I... I was talking about disk space, I think... Then, I went and did the whole funding is a pie metaphor... disk space... disk space... ... Ah, yes...

A note I would like to make is that the Blog@Case system IS NOT intended to be used as an arbitrary file sharing device. Occasional presentation files, sure. Pictures, definitely. Audio files (like podcasts), yea. Copyrighted music MP3s and 200MB movies, no. To discourage that, I have limited the size of files that can be uploaded via the MT interface and WebDAV protocol (at 2MB). Obviously, a very patient person could still take up a lot of space.

While Beta persists, these issues will get fleshed out. If you have any questions, don't be shy about blogging it. As a matter of fact, if you do blog about it, make sure to include a link back to this post from your blog so we can get some Trackback rollin' up in this joint.

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Update: I should probably point out, most people shouldn't worry about the disk space stuff. Unless you are posting tons and tons and tons of pictures or you are a crazy podcaster or you are deliberately trying to test the limits, you should have no problems. And, if issues do start arising, they will all be communicated well in advance and very upfront on the main page.
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Comments

  1. gravatar

    Can you help me? I can't seem to post a comment on my sister's blog: /bcs10.
    Is this the system's fault, or is there something she can do to get it going again?
    Thanks for your prompt answer!

  2. gravatar

    Cara:

    Try hitting ctrl+F5 with your browser to the page. Sometimes, all it takes is a forced refresh.

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