After finding that Twitter and most of the large blogs were unresponsive during Steve Jobs’ MacWorld keynote last night, while lying in bed down here in Australia, I found the best (and most reliable – ie: it worked) source was macrumorslive.com (the main macrumors.com site was borked though).
It worked mainly because it had a very simple page, with a simple ajax script updating *just* the posted text and photos every minute or so – ie: not the whole page.
All I had to do was watch the updates as they came in. It worked perfectly during the hour or so of the keynote. Every ten updates or so, a small sponsor message flowed through advertising a deal from MacHeist offering a bundle of 11 OSX apps for $49. I didn’t mind seeing this at all. Much better than the approach taken it TechCrunch, which required the whole blog entry page being refreshed (along with all those relatively heavy ads).
Next time there’s an Apple Keynote, I plan to build a similar page, utilising ajax to create an iPhone/iPod Touch browser optimised version of the same principle: keep it light – only update the bit of the page you need. It’s pretty easy. People can then sit and watch the page auto-update, a bit like a chat/IM page. Maybe even use some IRC technology on the back-end to send stuff to it.
In fact, Apple should provide this. It’s crazy that they don’t get an official to provide these updates.
I also expected CoverItLive.com‘s new system to shine in this area: it didn’t. It kept telling me to update my browser to the latest version. I was there with the latest version of Firefox installed. They really missed a trick here – especially given the recent coverage they have had.
Update: CoverItLive have now issued an apology. But it’s a bit late now. Good luck next time 😉 They’re taking the right approach at least.
Keep it simple.
ps: I am I the only one the gets completely irritated by the phrase “bring that beat back”? Does anyone ever use it? I’ve never heard it before Twitter used it. And it’s not just that I see it when Twitter breaks, it’s just.. I dunno.. just really *wanky* 🙂 Bring back the lolcats, I say.