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2012 Flashback: Free Republic: 2 Weeks Left of Relevancy Unless You Fix It [updates at 130, 270]
October 23, 2012 | Self

Posted on 10/23/2012 3:58:44 AM PDT by PittsburghAfterDark

The 4th and final of the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates have come and gone for 2012.

Here are the three things we can walk away with.

- Romney can't lose a debate coin toss, going 3 for 3. Which of course means nothing.

- Obama gets more moderated debate time, going 3 for 3 in the time column. Which of course means nothing.

- Free Republic crashes before any debate and doesn't get back to normal until dawn the next day.

I would like to state that I have been here since the 2004 election season. I can't lay claim to being an old timer here compared to some of the posters here. I can safely say though that I am not a spur of the moment account meant to come here and spam, insult and run away.

Here's my point; Free Republic is in danger of not being relevant and it's purely because of technical reasons.

I know your technical team or advisor is trying like mad to isolate why this site is unavailable for hours on end surrounding the debates this year. It's not working.

This debate season for Free Republic has been the equivalent of having a TV network go out for a wild card round, divisional round and conference or league championship. The network knew the times of the contest, they knew tons of people would be watching, they knew where the technical problems might arise yet failed 4 times over the course of every scheduled event.

Now the Super Bowl of American politics is 2 weeks away and the same team that has aired loading screens for every head to head political contest this year must realize this simple fact; if you're not up and running on election night 2012 you might as well close the door on any thought of continuing your political relevance.

Online communities do not build themselves overnight but they can collapse overnight. As inconceivable as it may be this could be a swan song moment that you were warned about, tried to prevent yet ultimately could not control. If your traffic can't get to your site, you have no site.

If you fail in giving voice to this community during what should or could be a glorious night for America your role in history will be noteworthy, just like print edition of Newsweek's coverage of the Presidential inauguration in 2013. Non-existent.

History will indeed be made on November 6th because of the nature of the event. The question Free Republic needs to determine is if it is going to report history or become part of it.


TOPICS: Free Republic; Front Page News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: election; fr; freerepublic; frproblems; jrpost130
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1 posted on 10/23/2012 3:58:53 AM PDT by PittsburghAfterDark
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To: PittsburghAfterDark

And how much do you contribute to the Freepathons, or donate monthly?


2 posted on 10/23/2012 4:02:14 AM PDT by j_tull (Keep Congress Kennedy Free - Sean Bielat for Congress #MA4)
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To: PittsburghAfterDark

Well dude... donate 100K for a few new servers and a bigger pipe and all will be copacetic. That’s all.


3 posted on 10/23/2012 4:03:49 AM PDT by Texaspeptoman (Even cannibals get fed-up with people sometimes...!)
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To: j_tull

What makes you think it is a money problem?


4 posted on 10/23/2012 4:04:43 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: PittsburghAfterDark

I’m not a tech guy so I can’t offer any solutions, but I do see that it’s not excessive posting that’s causing the problem. That leads me (a non tech guy) to believe it may be an external problem. Whatever it is, it is real.


5 posted on 10/23/2012 4:05:20 AM PDT by Wingy (Don't blame me. I voted for the chick. I hope to do so again.)
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To: PittsburghAfterDark
Inappropriate. Like visiting a friends house and complaining there's no big screen TV and you don't like the wallpaper.

We hated the slow speed, but posts like this serves no one.

At worst, this is a DNS attack. There may not be anything they can do under this regime.

6 posted on 10/23/2012 4:08:24 AM PDT by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: PittsburghAfterDark

I’m with you . $ 400K a year + in donations and we can’t use the site on important nights like POTUS debates . Can you imagine election night ? I think more people would donate if the site was up to speed . Even on reg. days it is a lot slower than it used to be . I’ve been here 13 years and remember the good old days when all was copacetic .


7 posted on 10/23/2012 4:08:29 AM PDT by sushiman
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To: Texaspeptoman; Jim Robinson

I don’t buy that. FR has handled big loads in the past. Something software related has gotten messed up.

Besides, money was supposed to have been dedicated to hardware in the last two Freepathons. Word from Jim is that additional server capacity is not the issue.


8 posted on 10/23/2012 4:09:04 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: Caipirabob

Uhng..DOS attack. Coffee!


9 posted on 10/23/2012 4:09:47 AM PDT by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: PittsburghAfterDark
And nobody thinks Zero's minions couldn't be behind these failures?

More importantly, it is much easier to bring a website down than it is to keep one up.

Any website that allows people to post, is always a hundred times more vulnerable than a we site that allows viewing only (Drudge for example).

In sort dear friends, this may be a situation that no amount of money can totally eliminate.

10 posted on 10/23/2012 4:11:13 AM PDT by I cannot think of a name
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To: j_tull

This is not a money issue.

We have been told time and time again that all the needles and gauges are where they should be and the site should be fine. The bottom line is all we’ve seen are loading screens.

You can attack the messenger all day long on this one. You can point and say donate more, where’s your checkbook or anything along those lines. However that doesn’t change the fact that Free Republic is in very real danger of collapsing.

No television network could survive a technical blackout of a Super Bowl it was scheduled to broadcast. No political website can survive a technical blackout of a Presidential election.

It’s just that simple.


11 posted on 10/23/2012 4:15:22 AM PDT by PittsburghAfterDark
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To: don-o; All

I agree with your estimation, but something that all are missing in this being a recent problem but one needs to consider the number of users on the internet is way up over the good ole days and remember the executive order he signed giving him total control of the internet? I am not going tin foil hat here but with all of the other nefarious crap this administration has done under the radar one does not have to be reaching to find their way there.


12 posted on 10/23/2012 4:15:37 AM PDT by mazda77 (2)
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To: Caipirabob

The true analogy is it’s like visiting a friends house but no one answers the door and all the lights are out.

It is a rather large problem. Too bad as well. I would love to be able to follow and comment in a live thread during a debate.

I just hope we don’t have these issues election night. My early plans are to have FR on my computer screen, MSNBC on my TV screen, a beer in one hand, and a cigar in the other.


13 posted on 10/23/2012 4:16:07 AM PDT by BuckeyeGOP
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To: I cannot think of a name

***Any website that allows people to post, is always a hundred times more vulnerable than a web site that allows viewing only (Drudge for example.***

Perhaps two websites then - one ‘pay per view’ and one ‘pay per post’. Free enterprise - it’s what we do.


14 posted on 10/23/2012 4:20:37 AM PDT by sodpoodle (Life is prickly - carry tweezers.)
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To: don-o; Jim Robinson

Was posting disabled during the debate?

Whenever I would click on “post reply” in that thread, the window to post a comment never showed up. I was redirected to the first page of that thread.

I hadn’t changed any settings on my computer so it couldn’t be on my end.


15 posted on 10/23/2012 4:22:49 AM PDT by 1_Rain_Drop
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To: mazda77

Look to see if packets are being diverted. It seems to me this is external.


16 posted on 10/23/2012 4:23:23 AM PDT by Norm Lenhart
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To: PittsburghAfterDark

I don’t even bother coming here when there soemthing big going on. You can bet this site will be down.


17 posted on 10/23/2012 4:23:49 AM PDT by caver (Obama: Home of the Whopper)
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To: PittsburghAfterDark

Ignore the “shoot the messenger” noise, you are spot on.

Bump.


18 posted on 10/23/2012 4:26:11 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est.)
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To: I cannot think of a name

***Any website that allows people to post, is always a hundred times more vulnerable than a web site that allows viewing only (Drudge for example.***

Perhaps two websites then - one ‘pay per view’ and one ‘pay per post’. Free enterprise - it’s what we do.


19 posted on 10/23/2012 4:28:09 AM PDT by sodpoodle (Life is prickly - carry tweezers.)
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To: PittsburghAfterDark
While I share your concerns and frustrations, you basic premise is flawed. This site has significant value regardless of its performance on high volume live threads. Over the twelve years I have been here, I have had many of my original opinions confirmed and have gained different ways of looking at things.

Having said that, I have always found the live threads extraordinarily interesting and entertaining. To not be able to access them is a great disappointment to me. But that does NOT change the other values of the site.

I'm already dreading inaccessibility on election night. But I do believe the owners are doing everything they can to change that. There would be no motive not to. No one benefits by what has happened in the debates.

Just don't throw out the baby with the bath water.

20 posted on 10/23/2012 4:28:37 AM PDT by johniegrad
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To: PittsburghAfterDark

The limited information that has been offered doesn’t allow for an easy diagnosis. But, what little I have read from Jim makes me wonder if they are over their head.

I think FR needs professional help. It will be expensive, but less expensive than buying more hardware that won’t help. I suggest they start with a database performance consultant, as I suspect that is where the problem is.


21 posted on 10/23/2012 4:28:59 AM PDT by justlurking (The only remedy for a bad guy with a gun is a good WOMAN (Sgt. Kimberly Munley) with a gun)
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To: PittsburghAfterDark
Free Republic: 2 Weeks Left of Relevancy Unless You Fix It

Doesn't the left say the same about Limbaugh after every election?

22 posted on 10/23/2012 4:30:57 AM PDT by mazda77
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To: justlurking

I would say you are exactly right.


23 posted on 10/23/2012 4:31:20 AM PDT by John W (Viva Cristo Rey!)
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To: mazda77

Yes, but, I never have trouble tuning his program in Monday through Friday at 12 noon ET no matter where I am or what’s going on in the world. Not so with FR.


24 posted on 10/23/2012 4:33:34 AM PDT by John W (Viva Cristo Rey!)
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To: PittsburghAfterDark

You do know that their is a group of people on FR that will completely excuse stuff like this and bomb you with 10,000 “how dare you” replies.

They think they are sticking up for JimRob when they are just behaving like brown-nosing groupies.

The problems you cite are legit and the last 3 debates showed that this site for whatever reason is not able to deal with major news event discussion even though that is the whole point of the site. Now if the management cares or not isnt all that clear, but if they do then they really ought to look into some creative solutions and not just let the “why dont you donate 10,000,000” sarcasm kiss-up crowd to be the only answer people see.

FR is a great site, but if people dont think it is holding up, lots of those people, paying or not, may take flight.


25 posted on 10/23/2012 4:35:32 AM PDT by VanDeKoik
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To: John W

I was referring to his content, not the availability.


26 posted on 10/23/2012 4:36:35 AM PDT by mazda77
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To: Caipirabob
Sorry, I don't think it is inappropriate.

It needs to be resolved. While some of these complainers are only noticing these issues now, it has been getting steadily worse over time.

Is it or is it not a capacity problem? Just because someone is not posting, doesn't mean they are not using capacity of some sort in just trying to visit the site. Add on to someone trying to post and hitting the enter key over and over....like 15 times...or more...and it bogs the system down.

Last debate I suggested some folks visit the two alternatives. Stubborn FReepers insisted on staying on a site with a closed door and a leaky tin-roof. Twitter a live thread, FB a live thread, Yahoo alt. ....etc. There are other options to keep in touch with other FReepers, it is just FReepers are a stubborn bunch. They'd rather complain at times than really communicate.

I did not even waste my time last night with FR and I won't bother election night either. The more that kind of stuff happens though, the closer to irrelevant FR becomes. And that is a shame, because there are some brilliant minds posting here.

27 posted on 10/23/2012 4:42:42 AM PDT by EBH (0bama is guilty of willful neglect of duty.)
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To: PittsburghAfterDark

FRiend,
The site is always stressed when THE NICE GOVERNMENT MEN want to silence the citizens’ VOICE OF FREEDOM., like during a national presidential debate.

Pure and simple. This is what fascist control looks like in Obama’s America. It is a wonder the Obamunist have not closed the site altogether. believe me, they read every word. So we have a choice: diminished responsiveness, during debate times, or none at all, which will be the norm if the commie is re-elected and FR is shut down as a hate site against gays commies and non Christian perverts and terrorists trying to destroy our world... Hang in there, we are in a battle for freedom.

Endure, grin, bear it, and be thankful when we are allowed to exercise 1st A rights, for we may not have them for long.

Did you ever consider, you or family members may one day be civil war veterans?

FE


28 posted on 10/23/2012 4:52:05 AM PDT by FlyingEagle
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To: PittsburghAfterDark

A hobby-related forum I visit will give a message that the post you are trying to enter is the same as the post you just entered. It keeps those multiple posts down to zero. Last night there were about 650 posts in what should have been a huge debate thread. About 50 of those were the same post over and over.

Someone mentioned the site works faster if you are logged out and only reading. I tried that last night, took most of the debate to log out and finally got on the debate thread with a few minutes left. Meanwhile, I had several other working options going on from other sites, but this is my favorite. I wish it worked.


29 posted on 10/23/2012 4:52:27 AM PDT by eartrumpet
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To: John W
Uh, radio is different than the Internet. Just thought you would want to know. Rush makes in two weeks what this site makes for a year.
30 posted on 10/23/2012 4:52:27 AM PDT by prof.h.mandingo (Buck v. Bell (1927) An idea whose time has come (for extreme liberalism))
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To: prof.h.mandingo

You do know you sound Like Obama last night?


31 posted on 10/23/2012 4:54:02 AM PDT by John W (Viva Cristo Rey!)
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To: PittsburghAfterDark

You’re always free to leave. This is my home and I’m sticking with it. Does it need some remodeling, yes but I love it. You can list it.


32 posted on 10/23/2012 4:59:23 AM PDT by McGruff (SNARKY is the keyword for today.)
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To: sushiman
It does seem slower than Pre-2K, and I have often wondered as an IT guy if it was a combination of DNS and network implementation. I believe that it is a combination of this AND that the entire Internet is at capacity due to the volume of people using this medium.
33 posted on 10/23/2012 4:59:27 AM PDT by Jumper
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To: PittsburghAfterDark

I agree with your observations. It is maddening that FR hangs up at these times. Not sure what the problem is or how to solve it, but I think it is long past time for a professional consultant to come in.


34 posted on 10/23/2012 5:03:15 AM PDT by IndyTiger
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To: j_tull

What? You mean MORE money? You sound like Obama


35 posted on 10/23/2012 5:04:14 AM PDT by stuck_in_new_orleans
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To: PittsburghAfterDark
Her is my personal opinion. I don't care if it crashes during the debate. I AM HERE FOR INFO. I CAN'T FIND ANYWHERE ELSE. I really don't care what someone’s take is on the debates.Especially in real time. I didn't watch a single debate. They are not debates in the “classical” sense. The townhall and last night are Jerry Springer without the cool “skinheads, Nazi's, KKK, and trailer trash wives.” It is a problem but I will still contribute and come here for what the site really is.
Has anyone realized how much more traffic has been generated in this election cycle. Everyone is more worried, energized, etc. than ever before. Do we need a bigger “pipe” for the four nights every four years this may happen? Maybe as has been suggested we need more expertise on the site itself. OK. But please remember what this site is really about.
36 posted on 10/23/2012 5:06:32 AM PDT by prof.h.mandingo (Buck v. Bell (1927) An idea whose time has come (for extreme liberalism))
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To: All

What is notable thusfar on this early thread is that there has not been a single comment from any FR administrator or moderator about what they think is causing the problems and what they are doing about it. Disappointing. But perhaps we’ll hear something later this morning.


37 posted on 10/23/2012 5:11:39 AM PDT by glennaro
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To: John W

No need to insult someone trying to educate you as to the differences in media. I am not decrying Rush’s success just pointing out a fact. It is not my concern if you “like” the fact or not.


38 posted on 10/23/2012 5:11:39 AM PDT by prof.h.mandingo (Buck v. Bell (1927) An idea whose time has come (for extreme liberalism))
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To: prof.h.mandingo

Go away.


39 posted on 10/23/2012 5:13:44 AM PDT by John W (Viva Cristo Rey!)
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To: prof.h.mandingo

I don’t come here for live chat either. I can yell at my tv/radio/computer without having to type it into a thread.

I too come here for information not found elsewhere. That is what this site is good for. It isalso good to know others agree or to hear a neocon’s perspective vs. a libertarian perspective of some events. Live chat? Not so much.


40 posted on 10/23/2012 5:18:34 AM PDT by cizinec ("Brother, your best friend ain't your Momma, it's the Field Artillery.")
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To: IndyTiger

Run a trace route on FR.


41 posted on 10/23/2012 5:28:30 AM PDT by Salamander (Can't sleep. Clowns will eat me.)
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To: PittsburghAfterDark

Music soothes the savage beast.


42 posted on 10/23/2012 5:30:18 AM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (Winning is Everything.)
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To: PittsburghAfterDark; Jim Robinson; John Robinson

Without the snark (and dude, you snarked a lot), I agree on the facts. FR needs load-testing and techical upgrades. I hear that the server is physically present but uninstalled. Might be a mistake to switch that RIGHT now, should have been done a month ago... JohnRob, I hope all is well, personally, with you....Prayers for all, for health and peach in your lives....


43 posted on 10/23/2012 5:34:15 AM PDT by Lazamataz (The Pravda Press has gone from 'biased' straight on through to 'utterly bizarre'.)
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To: PittsburghAfterDark

To me it seemed like there was way too many multiple posts, personally I don’t think its necessary to have an epileptic fit with the send/post buttons just to get a message across, and I saw this over and over.

I suggest Jim needs to get some software adjustment that prevents an identical post repeat withing a specified time.

FR was definitely under attack, but it was done by anti-Romney groups that are daily FR posters that are fully aware of the weaknesses of FR, which they exploited.


44 posted on 10/23/2012 5:36:16 AM PDT by Eye of Unk (OPSEC)
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To: glennaro

You posted this at 5:11AM PST, and you are surprised no one official has commented?


45 posted on 10/23/2012 5:36:53 AM PDT by Lazamataz (The Pravda Press has gone from 'biased' straight on through to 'utterly bizarre'.)
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To: prof.h.mandingo
Rush makes in two weeks what this site makes for a year.

Apples to oranges. JimRob has decided to fund the website off member contributions.

I'm sticking with Jim.

Traffic will return to normal in two weeks, when the elections are over. The Obamabots will return to their caves.

46 posted on 10/23/2012 5:39:09 AM PDT by Night Hides Not (The Tea Party was the earthquake, and Chick Fil A the tsunami...100's of aftershocks to come.)
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To: Eye of Unk
FR was definitely under attack

You don't know that. Besides, if FR was under attack, it would be constant, not just at high-demand times.

This is some sort of load issue.

47 posted on 10/23/2012 5:40:09 AM PDT by Lazamataz (The Pravda Press has gone from 'biased' straight on through to 'utterly bizarre'.)
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btrl


48 posted on 10/23/2012 5:44:03 AM PDT by Clinging Bitterly (I will not comply.)
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To: Lazamataz

Sure it was a load issue, posters sending the same message two dozen times! One poster was very adamant that everyone knew that GM did something with 7 out of 10 cars, because the post was done over and over and over I just blanked him out.


49 posted on 10/23/2012 5:45:09 AM PDT by Eye of Unk (OPSEC)
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To: Eye of Unk
Sure it was a load issue, posters sending the same message two dozen times!

That's the social feedback loop. The load issue is the fact the first post cannot get posted.

50 posted on 10/23/2012 5:46:55 AM PDT by Lazamataz (The Pravda Press has gone from 'biased' straight on through to 'utterly bizarre'.)
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