July 5, 2013
Weekly update: July 1-7

(Image from Trending page. Source)

Last week we launched API that has been very well accepted. We’ve got lots of feedback, but more importantly there already are two wonderful apps supporting The Old Reader: gReader for Android and Feeddler for iOS. For those who are into open source and Linux, feel free to check out Liferea. And the good news is: there are several more to come (can’t wait to share them with you). We now have a separate page listing all apps, extensions and related stuff.
This week we were busy adjusting our infrastructure, fixing some bugs, and tweaking API so that more mobile apps could join the gang.

The first post-Google-Reader week has almost finished. We had been both afraid and excited about it, but it turned out not that bad. Let’s check our favorite graph of registered users:


The first graph covers time period from March until May and should give you a picture of what The Old Reader was before, and how we had to grow to handle the first wave of soon to be Google Reader refugees. The second one is relatively recent, from May till July 5 where you can see things heating up, but still not nearly half as much as in March.

Today we had our first major outage that can be perfectly described by infamous Murphy’s law: “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. Because we use this amazingly cheap but somewhat unreliable hosting provider, we had some issues with our database servers. Unfortunately, it happened at 3 am (or at 5 am for another half of the team). Usually we are always oncall and keep an eye on The Old Reader for ~20 hours a day, but this fell precisely into our blind spot.

We have set up some additional notifications, so hopefully we will be alerted immediately if something like this happens again.
Because sleeping is definitely overrated and reading RSS is not.
Sorry about what happened today. We will do better.

Next, community management time! Some of your comments and suggestions can be answered in a collective way:

1. Charge for the damn thing! / What is your business model?
We are currently community-funded. You can support us using Flattr or Bitcoins. Most likely, we will bring back the PayPal button next week.

As for the future business model: we decided to go with freemium, and we are sticking to that. It’s a task of two parts: first, there are legal and administrative issues. In terms of these, we are probably that anecdotal deaf, three legged, one-eyed, and half-paralyzed dog called Lucky, but it looks like everything is nearly done. Second part is actually coding premium features and integrating with payment processing. We are still to do that.

We aim the site to be completely usable for free users, and we want paid users to get an even better experience (later improved to super awesome experience). We are gradually getting there.

2. Next Item Bookmarklet
Chas. J. Owens made one. Thank him. It requires some effort to setup, but the instructions are clear.

3. Get your shit together!
Every single moment.

Thank you for your support.

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