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Maintain Or Build

April 2nd, 2010 by Seth Kenvin

Week Of Deep Thoughts Post #5

Exciting day! First one back in the office, seven days after surgery. Among commute, lunch out & some other stuff, probably put half a mile on the crutches. Feeling strong & looking forward to continuing recovery. Also looking forward to finishing this series of posts. Five straight days of identifying issues & writing opinions, while also doing the post-surgery rehab and trying to keep pace on the rest of the job. Phew.

Also exciting today were some interactions with customers to schedule meetings in a couple weeks to go over some new functionality we’re building right now. But there was also some interaction with customers about fact that our online service could be faster. Yes, it’s true. Apects of video.Market7 should be faster. And we’re on that too. This is a pivotal dilemma among software companies with emerging bases of customers — how to balance getting out the next set of services that drive higher usage and attract the next customers, with also constantly maintaining and enhancing the performance and reliability of what’s already provided.

As a start-up guy, I admit to a bias towards the thrill of conceptualizing and building new functionality in response to our expanding understanding of user needs. But as a maturing start-up guy I also increasingly recognize the need to complement that innovation with constant, diligent evaluation of how’s our performance and what we can do to optimize what our customers already have. So my deeply thought answer on this fifth day’s question is to balance constant emphasis on both maintain and build.

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video.Market7 release from Dec 21 ’09

December 23rd, 2009 by Seth Kenvin

Feeling a need, a need for speed

Thought it would be clever to pair the catch-phrase from Days Of Thunder at the start of this post with the catch-phrase from Talladega Nights at the end, but imdb reveals a different Tom Cruise vehicle as source of the line above: Top Gun, of course. My bad. Anyhow, that need, for speed: we’ve been feeling too, just like Maverick, and probably also Cole Trickle (name of lead character in Days Of Thunder — I had to look that up).

We love regularly adding modules and features which we know address real challenges and desires in production of media. The collection of all of these elements is an application suite on which people rely for vital activities of theirs. And delivering such an application suite, with its feature richness, over the internet, to browsers, presents performance challenges. The past couple of weeks have been one of our periodic times of assessing and implementing techniques for faster performance, and we are glad to already be hearing from users noticing the improvement. We come out of this release with a few more acceleration ideas that we’ll weave into our work going forward.

Besides being faster, one other significant initiative of this new release is that when people who already have video.Market7 log-in access, and are added to new projects, it’s automatic & instantaneous with no need for such new project members to accept invitations (although they do receive emails notifying them of being added). A few of our higher-project-volume customers have requested this, and we agree, so there it is & thanks for the correspondence.

Anyhow, like Ricky Bobby would say, do shake-n-bake some content in our faster video.Market7.

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video.Market7 Release from Dec 5 ’09

December 7th, 2009 by Seth Kenvin

We’re Under The Hood

Extensive recent interaction with users reveals that value from our service can improve with better performance from our site, largely faster responsiveness on page loads and other user activities. This has been our primary focus the last couple of releases, and will continue to be our emphasis through year end. Like always, we have tons & tons of ideas for new features and entirely new modules, and we can hardly wait to get back to constructing those, but for now we’re prioritizing infrastructural upgrades. Some of the recent enhancements include implementing a new approach to load balancing for consistent service availability and tuning our JavaScript to reduce (/eliminate?) “slow script” warnings especially in Internet Explorer — our engineers will be posting soon to elaborate on the steps we’re taking.

Of course, we do have several neat, new features implemented in this release (click any of the images to enlarge):

Shadow-text in draft mode of scripts to clarify where character-name & spoken dialog go:

Script Shadow Text

Script Shadow Text

Ability to click into & manually overwrite comment placement time in annotative player for precise placement:

Comment Time Overwrite

Comment Time Overwrite

Feedback tab prominently available on every page to interact with us on questions comments etc.:

Feedback Tab

Feedback Tab

That last one is part of a broader initiative of ours for better communication with our users about their use of video.Market7 integrated within the service itself, on which Shannon will expand in upcoming blog posts.

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