Yesterday was a rough day for those whose online presence is the lifeblood of their business. Authors, included. Early on Friday, August 2nd, a datacenter in Provo, Utah, experienced an outage. Millions of sites came crashing down. Including this one. Perhaps yours, too.
Endurance International Group, the parent company of the largest webhosting firms BlueHost, GatorHost, HostMonsters, JustHost, and 50 others, experienced a cascading crash of its servers stranding small businesses for the day. In a statement from COO Ron LaSalvia, the incident is still under full review and they have already put into place processes to prevent this from happening again.
“I sincerely apologize for any outages and negative impact you may have experienced… We are committed to providing you with the high-quality, reliable service that you’ve come to expect and deserve. We value our relationship and the role we play in helping your business succeed.” COO Ron LaSilvia posted his weak apology and empty promise on a quickly assembled centralized site for all of their brand to provide an ongoing stream of information about this incident. The site proved necessary when even the webhosting corporate sites went down.
Meanwhile, in yesterday’s morning business news, EIG announced its partnership with Google to make the matter of making a small business website as simple and fast as having a cup of coffee. EIG acquired WordPress Designs, a software company that sells website developer tools based on the WordPress platform, and Magento, an ecommerce platform. WordPress is widely used by small businesses, non-profits, authors, and artists because it is free open-source code. Magento is also based on open-source code and partners with EIG companies for webhosting services. Sounds as though one new big corporate family is about to provide the solution to the problems they created. Don’t hold your breath.
Neuroscientists are beginning to understand how chemical releases in the brain can be induced through behavioral conditioning. Much of what we do online releases dopamine into the brain’s pleasure centers, resulting in obsessive pleasure-seeking behavior. Technology companies face the option to exploit our addictions for profit.
When technology fails you, just walk away. Step back from your computer. Go take a walk or ride your bike. Write a letter. Read a book. Let it go.
Six or seven years ago my advice to aspiring authors of nonfiction books was to build an audience platform by blogging. An example of how critical blogging could be to securing a publishing contract can be found in the case of Ann Marie Ackermann, author of Death of an Assassin: The True Story of the German Murderer Who Died Defending Robert E. Lee. After an initial assessment of her manuscript, I had recommended she start a historical true-crime blog, and she did. In fact, the editor of the ideal book series at Kent State University Press became a fan ofRead more…