mark: A photo of Mark kneeling on top of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines. It was a long hike. (Default)
Mark Smith ([staff profile] mark) wrote in [site community profile] dw_news2017-01-01 12:48 pm

Dreamwidth News: 1 January 2017

Well, we made it to 2017. Congratulations.

The holiday promotion has ended. Thank you to everybody who bought points or a paid account or something, you're really helping to keep Dreamwidth going. We wouldn't be here without your support. (Quite literally -- we don't serve advertisements and we don't sell recommendations or anything, every single dollar we use to host the site comes from ya'll.)

The main reason I wanted to post today was to acknowledge and welcome the large influx of people we've been seeing in the past 10 days or so. We've seen a huge increase in new accounts -- over 100,000! This has translated into a raw increase in Dreamwidth usage of about 25% (i.e., our traffic is up 25% compared to two weeks ago). This is pretty exciting. I love to see people using Dreamwidth and settling in, making themselves comfortable, etc. I hope that you will find yourself feeling at home here!

So, business #1:

With any large influx of traffic, there will be occasional bits of site slowness. It takes a little time for us to provision hardware to adjust to changes in load, but don't worry: we're nowhere near the limits. In other words, even if the site gets slow for a little while it won't be a long term thing. Most of the particular issues we've run up against have been fixed already and the team will continue to investigate and fix any other issues that arise.

If you're worried about Dreamwidth falling over or crashing because of the traffic, it's okay. We are quite far from any limitations on Dreamwidth's ability to scale. But, even still, I'm sorry for the spots of slowness we've had. We've had to make a few tweaks but things look like they're doing pretty well now and we'll keep an eye on things.

(Note: whenever there are issues, we will update our Twitter feed: [twitter.com profile] dreamwidth, so please follow us there if you use that service!)

Financially, we're doing fine. We did just get new hardware and that incurred a pretty big line-item expense, but we've still got a buffer of cash in the bank -- particularly since we just finished the holiday sale. Of course, we've had to provision extra hardware with the recent arrivals but it will take a few months to see how the budget shakes out. (So, we're not asking for money right now! Just the normal business is sustaining the site fine and if that changes we'll let you know.)

Business #2:

Welcome to Dreamwidth, all newcomers, we're happy to have you! Many of you are joining us from Russia and Ukraine, so: Привет, добро пожаловать! Привіт і ласкаво просимо!

Unfortunately, nobody presently on Dreamwidth staff or volunteer speaks these languages and Google Translate leaves a lot to be desired. We've had at least one support request come in which is not in English and we'd love to be able to help out. If anybody who speaks these languages has spare time and is interested in becoming part of our volunteer group to help out from time to time, can you please comment here and let us know? Thank you!

Edit: I've started [community profile] dw_translate which [personal profile] kaberett will be administrating. We'll use that community to post to when we have something we need help with! Please feel free to join if you want to make yourself available.

Business #3:

I want to personally say that Dreamwidth is committed to openness and protecting the privacy of our users and their data. While we must of course follow United States law, we take a very strong position on the protection of your data. We'll do everything we can to be the best we can in this area. In other words, see the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Who Has Your Back? 2015 report. While Dreamwidth is too small to be evaluated by the EFF, I am committing us to earning all 5 stars. Stay tuned for more on this from us in 2017.

I think that particularly in the current political climate of the United States (and the world) it is very important for people to take a stand for what they believe in. So: I believe that real, honest privacy and using an online service should not be incompatible goals -- and as much as it is within our power, Dreamwidth will be a place you can have real, honest privacy.

That's all I've got for now. Thanks for reading and I hope your New Year's Eve went as well as mine -- we had a pajama party with some good friends and some champagne at midnight. It was pretty relaxing ... until the Roomba woke us up at an unreasonable time to begin its morning rounds.

(PS, as with all news posts, this may cause a delay in comment notifications for an hour or two after this is posted. I am posting this at 12:30PM PST, convert to your timezone.)
lireavue: A red-haired woman in a black dress, playing violin while leaves swirl around her. (Default)

[personal profile] lireavue 2017-01-01 09:08 pm (UTC)(link)
My Russian fluency is fairly half-assed at this point, but if you need someone to help stopgap support requests while you build a group of native to fully fluent speakers, I'm game.

(I can also do Spanish or French or to some extent German, if new Russian/Ukrainian users speak those languages and are willing to communicate in mutually-second-or-third languages.)
kittydesade: (Default)

[personal profile] kittydesade 2017-01-01 09:10 pm (UTC)(link)
My fluency is a bit slip-shod for lack of practice, but I speak Spanish, French, German, and can pass for conversant with a good dictionary in Russian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Italian. (Also Irish, but if you're getting support requests from Irish speakers with no English I... don't know what to tell you.)

Some of the vocabulary is likely to be specific in a way I never had cause to learn, but if you toss me a support request I probably will have an easier time translating/extrapolating from context/etc. Basically I can be your stopgap Jill-of-most-languages if you need one.
lireavue: A red-haired woman in a black dress, playing violin while leaves swirl around her. (Default)

[personal profile] lireavue 2017-01-01 09:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Fancy seeing you here. >.>

I should also note to Mark et al that we've worked together for an age and are more than capable of throwing combined knowledge and fluency at requests if needed.
sharpiefan: Sharpe looking through tent-flap, text 'You siad what?!' (Sharpe you said what?)

[personal profile] sharpiefan 2017-01-01 10:01 pm (UTC)(link)
(Also Irish, but if you're getting support requests from Irish speakers with no English I... don't know what to tell you.)

That it's either St Patrick's Day or April Fool's Day, probably. But you made me laugh.
kittydesade: (i'm no angel (nopejr))

[personal profile] kittydesade 2017-01-01 11:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Probably, but I'm glad I could amuse. :D
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

[personal profile] kaberett 2017-01-01 11:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! French and German are covered by native speakers, but Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Portuguese and Italian are DEFINITELY things I would be very grateful to have around -- I will add you to my list of people to ask for translation help once a solution to a support request has been found!

ETA while I was in the process of writing this, [community profile] dw_translate was set up! I'll be putting requests for translations up there (as will other support volunteers). If you'd rather receive translation requests via PM please let me know. :-)
Edited 2017-01-01 23:45 (UTC)
kittydesade: (Default)

[personal profile] kittydesade 2017-01-01 11:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Oooh, that's handy! I'll join, and if there's anything urgent in that skillset and you're still keeping a spreadsheet feel free to PM me.
kamomil: (buntus cainte)

[personal profile] kamomil 2017-01-08 12:14 am (UTC)(link)
I wish I knew as much Irish as you lol
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

[personal profile] kaberett 2017-01-01 11:33 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I can do German and we've got native French covered (plus I can make it up, just about); incredibly dodgy Turkish is also a go on my part; Spanish I don't think is currently covered (possibly by [personal profile] ysobel?), but my ability to read Cyrillic is currently non-existent and while I've got bits of Slavic languages none of them add up to anything useful. I will very happily add you to my list of People Who Can Do Translation Once Trouble-Shooting Has Occurred!

ETA while I was in the process of writing this, [community profile] dw_translate was set up! I'll be putting requests for translations up there (as will other support volunteers). If you'd rather receive translation requests via PM please let me know. :-)
Edited 2017-01-01 23:44 (UTC)
lireavue: A red-haired woman in a black dress, playing violin while leaves swirl around her. (Default)

[personal profile] lireavue 2017-01-01 11:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Works for me, have joined/subscribed. I can absolutely read Cyrillic, it's just a bit of a pain shifting my brain over still. [personal profile] kittydesade is a good go-to for Spanish, fyi, as native bilingual speaker.

And no, the comm is fine for translation requests, though if you want my specific attention to something faster, PM/comment is a better bet, obvs.
kittydesade: (Default)

[personal profile] kittydesade 2017-01-02 12:00 am (UTC)(link)
WOMAN.

Let me add, native bilingual speaker from a household that started out with two variants of Spanish, Castillian and Chilean, then was exposed as a child to a bunch of Puerto Rican, so while that shouldn't likely come up as an issue? Just so's you're aware.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

[personal profile] kaberett 2017-01-02 12:10 am (UTC)(link)
Heee, yes. (I was brought up speaking a pseudo-Hochdeutsch variant of Austrian German, with one parent only, in England... and then I spent a couple of months in Zürich. I have nearly lost the Swiss intonation again...)
kittydesade: (Default)

[personal profile] kittydesade 2017-01-02 12:13 am (UTC)(link)
That sounds about right for Spanish! I was raised by a fluently bilingual mother (and some aunts) and grandmother with the aforementioned Castillian and Chilean, and then I went to a bilingual English-Spanish elementary school.... with a lot of Puerto Ricans and a smattering of I think Mexicans? Mostly it comes out in vocabulary/semantics and occasionally using the Castillian ceceo (some people call it a lisp).

Plus side, it gave me a facility for languages, hence studying all the ones I can (I'm currently studying Hindi and Arabic), and a Spanish accent for most non-English ones, so if I travel again I'm more likely to be mistaken for a Spanish or Central American ex-pat.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

[personal profile] kaberett 2017-01-02 12:07 am (UTC)(link)

Thank you! :-)