Thursday, December 16, 2010

Worry free vacation?

I am leaving, and this time if a tree falls on the power lines to my house or my roommates don't turn off the stove and burn everything to the ground RW will carry on! No need to spend the holidays invading other poor wikis.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tentatively open for bussiness

The site is back up and open at: let us know of any problems.

The normal domain will point to the new server eventually.

Since I know you guys are all at church

We are starting the server transfer, RationalWiki is now locked down. We need to sync the file system and the database to the new server and then do some magic and then see if it all worked out.

It will take a few hours to a few days depending on the internet gods till points to the new server.

However, should be pointing to the new server for everyone and the ip address should also default to RationalWiki. I will announce everywhere when the server move is complete and normal operations can resume at the new site, and I hear tell that there is also going to be some celebrating at the old site.

Friday, October 29, 2010

God's impotent rage!

Once again God tried to smite our site, this time by blowing down a tree limb on the power lines to my neighborhood. But he forgot about the utility people who fixed.

But apparently my modem didn't boot back up correctly and that's why the site was down.

Maybe its time to start thinking about commercial hosting again. I am making more money a month than I was 3 years ago......

Yep its down

I am currently in the lab, and so don't know anymore than you guys do. I will try and get home and check on it as soon as I can. If its internet related I might not be able to write back till its up, but if its hardware or software related I will try and get back to you guys with an estimated time till fix.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Damn the man!

Well we should be back up for everyone, but there are...issues...I should have a work around in place for now as I contemplate what to do next. But there shouldn't be any obvious effect on RW anytime soon.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Static IP installation

As alluded to earlier we need to get a static IP address installed. They are suppose to come sometime tomorrow and do it. It involves new network hardware that will have to be integrated into the existing setup, and a new IP address which will then have to be propagated from the DNS.

Expect downtime (September 7th, 2010). Details posted here as needed.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Coming back up

Obviously there has been some issues. I had a problem with the network on this end that was cutting off my internet access. This, of course, made it impossible to connect to the server but also limited my ability to post to let you know what was up.

I think I have got a temporary solution worked out so that things should be coming back on line shortly.

UPDATE: The network can see the internet again (obviously I am posting) but there are issues with our reserved IP address. It seems that my ISP has switched to true static rather than the fake static they had been using. I can get a static free of charge with current internet package but it takes 8-10 days. In the mean time our IP has changed and the new IP has to be propagated.

Short answer: RW will has a new IP address and I need to change the DNS. Your access to RW will return whenever your DNS updates which should be a few hours but could be longer.

UPDATE 2: DNS is changed and should be propagating. It is up for me at least and should be fore you soon.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The pipe is leaking somewhere

Somewhere along the intertube to the server there is a clog, I am not sure yet if the problem is technical, on my side or my ISP side, or if its a traffic influx. More to come, but there might be some slow down on RW.

Monday, August 2, 2010


I am in the process of reworking the backup script and its timing. I think I am going to be dividing "jobs" up a bit to spread the downtime around a little bit. Nothing will be happening before Midnight EST, but the timing maybe changing over the next few weeks as I tweak things out to try and decrease the footprint of the backup on the site itself.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Traffic spike redux

Shouldn't be nearly as bad as last time traced to:


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Power outage

Power outage took out the server, things are back on now but looks like the MYSQL tables need to be checked. Site should be back on line shortly.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Upgrade, phase 2

I have officially started phase 2b of the upgrade procedure. Hence the site will be down.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Proof of concept fail

So my proof of concept test failed for the "easy" setup version of my plan. But the pieces are all ready in place so just pushing forward with the "harder" version. I will be as quick as I can. Sorry for lack of real notice.

UPDATE(11:53pm 5/6):
You reach a point where you are far enough along you might as well push to the finish. Lets just get this all done while its all broken. Problems abound, but I will fix them eventually. It will be up before I go to sleep.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I give up!

There is nothing else I can do right at this moment to improve usability of the site.

The Internet's attention span can not last much longer....I hope.

There are potentially several bottlenecks where things are hanging, some can be addressed with some hardware upgrades, others maybe more complicated to figure out.

I don't think we are at a do or die stage for getting this figured out, as the vast majority of this is "drive-by" traffic that should probably lesson considerably in a matter of days.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tumble weeds

Well, people really love those tumble weeds. We are still getting hit with a lot of incoming traffic to that page. It started with some facebook posts, and now its spreading to some of the other social bookmarking type sites.

The internet's attention span shouldn't last much longer and RW will be back to normal. But we are likely to experience some slow downs and other issues (particularly with editing) till it passes.

Time to start thinking about expanding load capacity maybe?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Site access issues

There are some issues that are effecting site access. At this point all I have to offer is that I am aware of the issue, have a few "band-aid fixes" I can use, and will try and figure out whats going on as soon as I can.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

RationalWiki: Year in review

Lots has happened since the start of 2009, it was January 4th that RationalWiki opened up on our own dedicated server residing in the corner of my room and while there have been ups and downs I think over all it has worked out well for the site. Plenty happened on the site but this post is not about that. Instead I wanted to take a look at a years worth of fun statistics that very few people usually get to look at.


Lets start with the overview then shall we:

So over the course of 2009 we had just over 825,000 unique visitors. This is measured by unique IP addresses so take it with a grain of salt. It means essentially that 825,000 different IP addresses have requested data from our site.

Close to 1.6 million "visits" over this time period as well. Visits is hard to clearly define, but its an attempted measure of someone who comes to the site, stays on the site, then leaves. That counts as a single visit. So the same person will usually have multiple visits to the site a day.

Pages and hits are tough to really do much with on a wiki since by the nature of the software they have a tendency to be inflated.

Bandwidth, you guys sucked 584 gigabytes of data through my internet line. That's the equivalent of:

  • 600 standard music CDs
  • 124 feature length films
  • All the books and journals in the library I am writing this in now

Plenty of other fun measurements, but its a lot of data. All the text on the wiki right now takes up about 12 gigabytes of diskspace. That's a lot of text.

Matters of time:

A graph of usage based on the days of the week and then hours of the day:

What this tells us is a few things, our most active days are Monday-Thursday, we drop off on Friday and a lot on Saturday, increasing slightly on Sunday.

The vast majority of our usage is between about 7am-5pm EST. While our active user base is fairly geographically distributed, the majority of our traffic still comes from US based sources. Combining the days and the hours that we seek peek popularity I think RationalWiki is popular for people who are at work.


This is some information about "where" are visitors are coming from. There are a lot of problems with it so don't put much stock in it. This work by trying to find the top level domain for who a user is, if you are an ip address you are an unknown. But a lot of people you can actually trace back to the TLD of their ISP. The .com is mostly US based traffic, from there you can see we pull a lot of traffic from Hungary, more on that latter. Also the UK and Australia domains are up there as well.

On what?

Here is a question that pops up every now and then on a wiki, what are people using to see our site?

As you can see the windows operating system is the dominate OS of choice. However, the dominate Microsoft browser is actually less than a third of our traffic. Firefox dominates that category. Good for you guys! Now if I could just convince you all to install Linux....


This data is a little harder to visual, so take my word for it. Our largest referral sites for the year have been reddit, fark and something awful forums. Reddit accounts for something like 65,000 refer hits, fark closer to 50,000, and something awful about half that again.

However we did have a few interesting referrals. The google translator ( is rapidly becoming a major source of traffic. A few random blogs in various languages have also been linking to us. For example, a few popular gaming blogs in Hungary linked to us on Poe's Law while discussing the "anti-spore game website."

Is it time for Probably not.

As for search engines themselves:

As you can see google is the dominate one here. Followed by stumbleupon which is more "social bookmarking" than search engines, but we can pull in a lot of traffic from a popular book mark on stumble upon.

But we all probably need google was our main search engine referrer, the real question, and often the more perplexing of all, is what people search for when they find us?

Poe's Law and gerbling:

So let us start with the big ones:

So people found RationalWiki searching for 150,000 different things. About 65,000 searches were people looking directly for us. Another 10,000 were people looking for conservapedia.

Of course the big one, by far, is Poe's Law. It has sucked in a lot of search engine traffic. When you combine the blog links and the searches it accounts for a large number of the people coming to our site. It is a fun success story, we need to find more "poe's law" articles to write people!

Gish Gallop and our Esther Hicks article get an honorable mention here as well.

Really though the vast majority of searches are for a random things. Here is a sample:

  • historical contingency
  • project blue beam wiki
  • gerbiling
  • venomfangx
  • golgi bodies
  • trilateral commission logo
  • fun ways to master bait
  • homotoxicology
  • st. isaiah - archangel of divine mercy
  • maltheism
  • infant damnation
  • bridgewater triangle
  • should the government provide healthcare
  • world s largest rat
  • mythical goats
  • recipe for donair sauce

Monday, January 18, 2010

Some stats updates

I haven't done much in the way of a stats update in a while. I think the last one I really talked about was back in October. While are total numbers in visitors has stayed fairly constant the actual shape of the traffic has changed some what.

Previous months our traffic has been shaped by major events, where we get lots of spikes and valleys. Lately we have been getting less spikes (with a few exceptions) but our base traffic level has increased substantially. So we are getting 5k-6k "visits" a day now, where as even a few months ago we were at 3k-4k with spikes of 8k-9k.

Our incoming link data is also changing a bit. Previously, it was dominated by one or two major links from places like reddit, or something awful. Last few months its been spread out across a whole lot of mid-range blogs, covering a wide range of topics. Poe's Law still nets us the most links, but things like Gish Gallop, and other more specific articles are starting to get a lot of "passive linking" as well.

I think this change in traffic is also reflective of changes we are seeing on the site itself. We are now pushing 170+ active editors, recent changes no longer allows me to see everything that happened in a day, and we are starting to feel those growing pains as we work out management issues on the site.

Short version: more people are coming to our website every month, and the traffic pattern is becoming closer and closer to what I consider our ideal, of lots of incoming links in the style of "go here for more information about this topic." This is good for our site, good for our mission, but is also causing growing pains. It will be interesting to see how all this plays out over the next year.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Site down

I am aware of the issue and working on bringing it up as we speak. It is a software issue which means this shouldn't take too long. Updates to follow.

Update: Still working on it. My initial optimism is now met with existential pessimism. Any apache experts want to chime in on this one?

Update 2: Alas, once again my existentialism dies in its infancy. The site is back up, go forth, and be fruitful or something.