Archive for August, 2006

Ad Overkill on Blog Sites

August 29, 06 by kenrich

One thing that drives me nuts about blogs is people who put a bunch of advertising at the top of their page. There is no useful content on the top page of the site if you are using a small monitor. At work I use dual 15″ monitors so not a lot of content displays on the screen. But the display is still 1024×768 so you would think at least some content would show up.

As an example take a look at the Smart Capitalist Blog. You will noticed the top of the page just has a list of Google text ads. If you are using a 15″ monitor like mine, then you will see no content whatsoever. I think this use of advertising is a bit of overkill. If you are going to put advertising on the top of your page, at least use a template so I can see some useful content on my screen without scrolling.

I used to read one blog every day and leave comments all of the time. I don’t want to mention the blog here lest I give it anymore publicity. They switched to a syndicated blog network which added a few ads in the middle of the screen. This was perfectly fine with me … for a while. You see, eventually, they modified the layout of the site to put the advertisements right in your face (at the top of the screen). When they did that, I removed all of my one-way links that I had setup (out of courtesy) and stopped reading the blog altogether. This is an example of the backlash people face when they get too aggressive with their advertisements.

Can’t this Report Run Any Faster?

August 16, 06 by kenrich

So my boss just came to me and told me we needed to speed up the reporting feature on one area of the website. He was trying to pull up a report consisting of 40 applications. There are about 10 columns of data for each application. Each column of the report is compiled dynamically by performing a sub-select in the database.

What this means is that for each statistic displayed, you have to run a complex query on a sizable database. When combining all the records and columns together this makes for a time consuming process. So how should we go about fixing this problem? The only solution that I could see is to pre-compile these statistics into a temporary table so that the sub-selects don’t have to be run each time a report is generated.

Do you ever get the feeling that you are just optimizing the software to deal with limitations in hardware performance? I could really go on-and-on about how cheap my company is. But it really wouldn’t do me any good… management has heard the arguments time-and-time again. I guess I had better get back to work – I have to modify our software so that we have the appearance of having fast software.