We’ve been very busy behind the scenes today trying to optimize page loads and fix broken things on the site. A quick rundown follows:
- Blog Alert Messages: If more than one player was watching a blog, a list of other players’ cancel Alerts links would be included in messages. This has been fixed.
- Leaders: This page has been significantly cleaned up. It went from load times of 8-12 seconds down to consistently under 1 second. Huge improvement for the db.
- Artefact Result Pages: You now get a P/E on the result page of Hypes and PRDs to give you some extra info on the price movement.
- Unknown Blog on Artefact Use: If a blog had no title, an Artefact could not be used on it. This has been fixed.
- Press Releases: There has long been an issue with blog owners trying to issue a PR on their own blog whenever someone has performed an Artefact action in the last day. Now, owners can post a PR on the blog even if Artefact functions have also posted automatic PRs. Also, the entire PR system was upgraded to really solely on BSIDs rather than the much slower-in-the-db URLs. This shaved 1-2 seconds of blogs.php load times.
- Bonds A bug with failure messages when trying to bond out at the new 10,000,000 Ideas level was fixed. Also, the sort by time bug which caused it to sort by hour of the day rather than by date has also been fixed.
Thanks to some keen insights from a clever veteran player and some detective code work, we have finally solved the mystery of ‘Silent Drops’. First lemme explain what this is for those who don’t know:
Silent Drops occur when a player reindexes a blog, expecting a rare industry listed in the top 5 industries of the blog’s page to have Ideas produced, but finds that no rare Ideas are produced. Even when the rare is listed as the top industry, it still does not get produced. In fact, once the blog is voted into 5 or more /other/ industries, the rare will never produce on that blog again.
This has been both a frustration for some and a nifty bit of knowledge for some keen strategy by a select few. It’s not a bug in a traditional sense in that the code did exactly as it was expected to.
However, this effect was never the intended result, and as such, a change is being made immediately. The problem centered around the query used to select which industries to produce ideas during the drop. It did not consider total votes. So, for example, if Gaelic Football had +12 votes, and English, USA, Male, Sports, and Life all had +6, Gaelic Football would /never/ be produced because the query only looked for the first 5 Industries meeting requirements for production. That order was decided solely by industry id #, so older (and almost always /not/ rare) industries produced every time on that blog. Gaelic Football would never again have a chance to produce.
So, the change being made is to add an ORDER BY which considers vote total in order to select the 5 industries for production.
Be Forewarned This may well be a major change in Idea play. It means rare industries have significantly /underproduced/ over the past couple of years. We could see significant drops of previously rare or dead industries, we may see cash crunches hit the market, and many former great investments may slump as a result. All in all, this change /should/ be a very good thing for the economy since it will force the investment decision making to be proactive rather than inactive as it is now. As cash is consumed, purchase decisions will become more complicated.
This change will be made immediately, but you will only gradually begin to ‘feel’ the effects as blogs which haven’t produced rares in a long time are being reindexed. The effects will become significant over time, and the medium to long term market is not easily predictable.
You can now filter the bonds market on the player who issued bonds, so you no longer have to hunt and peck to find her/him. Also, added new amounts which you can select for Idea amounts in your bonds, now up to 10,000,000 Ideas (!!!). Other new amounts offer middle ground between previous amounts, so if you would have issued 5 bonds of 100,000 ideas, you can now do one bond of 500,000 if you so choose.
Players have request bonds be offered in quantities of 1 Idea. Would love to do this, but the net effect on the bonds table, and more importantly, page load for the bonds market would make this absolutely untenable. We’re still working on either revamping the Players Market (not in the near future) or creating a way to gift or sell 1 idea at a time.
Yeah, this was kinda out of the blue. Jay and I had talked about having a slot machine/scratch ticket type game for some time, and many players have suggested it over the years, but it was really nothing more than a ‘want’ for the future. Well, Sunday i just ‘knew’ how to build it, and by Monday night it was mostly done. #blogshares IRC regulars helped us work out a few bugs Tuesday.
You can win shares in blogs (almost always old and dead, so like suggested elsewhere, check them and report them for sigma and more chips!), chips, B$cash, ideas in any industry that has already produced (even if there are no blogs. Matt Williams hit a great jackpot of Biathlon ideas earlier today), artefacts (only ones that you need), Pixel blocks, Raffle Tickets in a current raffle if available, and 1 day, 7 days, 1 month, or 1 year of Premium Membership (off-it snagged a year earlier today).
Chances has been written carefully to be extremely light on the db, with PHP handling most of the math behind it. Now, I can’t guarantee that there won’t be load issues at some point on this, so BE FOREWARNED that we will take it off line if necessary to keep the rest of the site from lagging.
The only folks who know the exact odds of things are the Admin, GIC, and the BoD. Even so, knowing the odds doesn’t really help you much since every prize/failure is a random event from a freshly seeded mt_rand() function (just generates a random number to be used later on in the calculations).
We’ve also got a way to work in some unique random prizes, which will be coded in soon.
We’re also keeping a close eye on the economic effects on the game due to Chances. Hopefully, this will help improve the overall health of things by finally having something to create friction, which should drive demand for chips and cash especially. However, if we find that Chances is destroying the economy in a non-recoverable way, we will take it offline.
So bottom line is, please enjoy it while it is available. We do not plan to take it down, but should events cause its necessity, it will be done. Please feel free to offer your feedback here, let us know what you think of it, how it may affect things, and as always, if you find a bug, please PM me immediately. Cheers, and good luck on Chances!
Our three sets of duplicate artefacts have been fixed, and some coding fixes should prevent future duplicates. For your information:
Country Music > Grand Ole Opry
Grand Ole Opry Music Row
Music Row, an area just southwest of downtown Nashville, Tennessee, is home to hundreds of businesses related to the country music, gospel music, and Christian music industries. A major music recording and production center, the city is known as the home of country music.
Nashville’s music business district is so central to the country music industry that the words “Music Row” are sometimes used to refer to country music as a whole.
Google > PageRank
Search Engines >
PageRank Web Spiders
Web search engines work by having automated scripts or programs, often called “web spiders” (aka web crawlers, web robots), move out across the World Wide Web, “spidering” it (visiting links in an automated, methodical way). The spiders travel from link to link, making copies of the pages they visit to be downloaded and indexed by Search Engines in such a way that searchers may retrieve relevant data from the search engines through the use of queries (words, phrases, or other search strings that define a search).
Poker > Royal Flush
Royal Flush Bookie
Legal or illegal, regulated or unregulated, state-run or private, the bookie is a fixture wherever gambling is the order of the day. A bookie, or bookmaker is a person or oganisation that takes bets and pays out winnings depending upon results and odds. Regardless of whether you fancy a flutter on the horses, a long-shot on the dogs, or a spread bet on the football, the bookie’s your man.
Would you like to advertise your site, product, or service on BlogShares? Chances are good that we have the perfect placement for your advertising campaign. From the Top Banner to Pixels to BlogAds, there are many placements available to fit your budget and deliver your advertising goals. Visit B$ Advertising for all the details. Feel free to contact B$ Support for more information, to make a purchase, or to arrange a custom advertising program. (thanks to AdamF for his expert graphics)
Speaking of perfect advertising locations, we’re also announcing a new incentive for people who purchase Pixels. Buy $100 or more in Pixels and receive a text link in the Junior Sponsors section for the duration of your Pixel purchase. This link is seen on every page load, and gains your site considerably more exposure to browsers and search engines alike. Help BlogShares purchase a new database box and get yourself a great return for your investment. To purchase Pixels, please sign up at BlogShares Pixels. Don’t forget that you can also help BlogShares by purchasing a Premium Membership for yourself or as a gift for another player!
This month, we’re raffling a total of $100 in Amazon.com gift certificates. Five prizes of $20 each (one per player maximum) will be awarded on July 31. Never before have we offered so much in one raffle, and our utmost appreciation and thanks goes out to the fabulous sponsors of these prizes: Suburban Wolf>, Just James>, Mina>, Nick>, and AdamF.
As always, there is lots of behind-the-scenes development going on. We’ve added a Project Manager cms for our groups (such as BSEC and Index Managers) to organize and track their projects. Idea Math has also taken several steps forward thanks to dozens of hours of analysis and discussion from the GIC, and coding from Suburban Wolf. We hope to set aside a few days in the near future to test the new code. Sage and Rantz are getting set to do major index building, reorganizing, and fixing, including the utilization of the new Secondary Name field for Industry names (to help solve English versus native language place names). The moderation queue has dropped in half over the last week (from 20,000 down to 9,000), thanks in part to significantly increased moderation rewards, but also to the patience and persistance of a handful of very active moderators. Much more to come!
Please note: BlogShares is not affiliated with Amazon.com or any of its products or services.
We’ve added Industry descriptions for each vote so that moderators can quickly understand what the Industry should contain. Descriptions are trimmed to the first 260 characters, which should give you the gist of it. The layout is the same as before, but it may take a bit of getting used to if you mod a lot. Hopefully this helps everyone out. Also, any blog titles on the mod page of more than 30 characters will be trimmed so the page doesn’t display like crap.
Also, as most of you know by now, moderation rewards increased significantly a few days ago. As a result, we’ve seent the pending vote queue go from around 20,000 to about 9500 this evening. Outstanding work, moderators.