Simon Willison’s Weblog


Scaling the two way web

20th January 2003

Another Dave inspired post: It seems I misunderstood Dave’s objections to blogging feedback mechanisms yesterday. I thought he was ruling out what I see as an invaluable tool for low traffic bloggers, but in fact his main complaint was that things like comments / TrackBacks and so forth simply don’t scale. Mark Pilgrim echos his complaints, pointing out how overwhelmed his blog was with auto-linkbacks from his Safari review. l.m.orchard concurrs: At present, I’m safe. My rating is Mostly Harmless, so all my open systems are mostly free from abuse. But, the first time I really strike a nerve somewhere, I’m a sitting duck.

So is it possible to stay open while maintaining a super high traffic site? Slashdot’s moderation system has had a huge amount of effort put in to it but most of the discussions still devolve in to all out flames with useful comments failing to rise out of the morass. Trust metric is an interesting concept where user’s boost each other’s reliability ratings (the best implementation I’ve seen of this is Advogato) but such a system does not readily map to blogs where authentication systems are mostly non-existent—besides, a system based on who knows who will exclude the outside voices that we have already established may have interesting things to say.

I guess scaling the two way web is what my Software Engineering lecturers would call a "wicked problem".

This is Scaling the two way web by Simon Willison, posted on 20th January 2003.

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