The Evolution of myScoop

It has been over 4 years since I created myScoop, the once called “the real time South African blog aggregator”. Let’s face it, aggregation is dead. As with all things in life, change should be the only constant and this is the reason myScoop has been completely overhauled into something new – a premium blog network that offers bloggers the opportunity to monetise their blogs and offers advertisers the opportunity to get their message out to millions of South Africans in a relevant and unique manner.

The idea

I have been playing with this idea for quite some time now. Just like AdDynamo’s “sponsored tweets” concept, the concept of “paid blogging” is relatively new to South Africa and there have been a few discussions around it over the past year. I have been working full tilt to get the system up and running and I’m finally proud to announce the relaunch of myScoop.

How it works

It’s quite a simple tool at the moment. Bloggers have their choice of which campaigns they would like to be a part of and get paid according to how popular their blog is. Advertisers create campaigns within myScoop and then choose which blogs they would like to have writing about their brand, product or service. For ethical reasons, all sponsored posts need to be fully disclosed on the blogs. All of this is controlled through the myScoop App.

myScoop has over 1000 South African blogs registered giving potential advertisers the luxury of choice as to when and how their message is spread throughout the millions of South African internet users.

 

myScoop’s first WordPress Plugin – “myScoop Rank Display”

Its been quite some time that I’ve been wanting to develop a WordPress widget for myScoop users. I have finally put something together. Once activated, this plugin will let you be able to select a Widget to display on your blog. This Widget will automatically connect to myScoop and display your blogs rank history for the past 14 days.

Its been quite some time that I’ve been wanting to develop a WordPress widget for myScoop users. I have finally put something together. Once activated, this plugin will let you be able to select a Widget to display on your blog. This Widget will automatically connect to myScoop and display your blogs rank history for the past 14 days.

Some background information:

  • The plugin comes packaged with the source for Open Flash charts.
  • The widget connects to myScoop to retrieve a data file and displays information relevant to your DOMAIN.
  • This could potentially be a very processor-intensive widget for myScoop (not your blog). Therefore I am looking at creating a cache file with your blog’s rank information for less server stress and quicker display on your side. This will be available in the next version.
  • There are currently no configurable settings for this widget. Simply install and activate – Once activated the widget will be available for use.
  • In future versions I would like to let the user be able to select whether or not they would like to display the graph or their current rank within myScoop.

Before officially releasing this I would need to do some testing and stability checks. Are there any bloggers that would be willing to help with this? All I would need from you is to install the plugin and give me feedback on any bugs or errors that you find, as well as any suggestions.

myScoop WordPress Rank Widget
myScoop WordPress Rank Widget

Rank History now available on myScoop

Its been a while since I released new features on myScoop. Things have been increasingly hectic here on my side of the world. However, I apologise for the lack of updates!

Its been a while since I released new features on myScoop. Things have been increasingly hectic here on my side of the world. However, I apologise for the lack of updates!

I have just finished installing a new feature in myScoop that allows you to track your blog’s rank history. This feature is available in the “Stats” section of your blog. Every day, myScoop automatically calculates your myScoop Rank, Alexa Rank, Active Rank and User-engagement Rank. You now have the ability to see how your blog has performed over the passed few months. See the below picture for an example of what you should expect. (This is a good example for those of you bloggers out there that don’t post often, like myself. You’ll notice that my myScoop rank increased steadily over time.)

myscoop-rank-history

If you are as observant as myself, you would have noticed that the “Active Rank” stayed constant over this time. This is a bug. I have fixed this bug and your “Active Rank” will now be correctly calculated every day.

Please note that I am working on many more exciting features and these will be available in the next few weeks.

Thanks for your support!

myScoop has a new home!

myScoop has moved over to its new host with only a few glitches here and there. The near-seamless transition took place during the hours of 8pm on Saturday 13 March to around 6am on the 14 March. This new host has tons more power than the previous and allows for a larger amount of bandwidth usage which makes way for more innovative features that you will be seeing soon. The host is also running off a more secure backend which in turn means more security for you.

myScoop has moved over to its new host with only a few glitches here and there. The near-seamless transition took place during the hours of 8pm on Saturday 13 March to around 6am on the 14 March. This new host has tons more power than the previous and allows for a larger amount of bandwidth usage which makes way for more innovative features that you will be seeing soon. The host is also running off a more secure backend which in turn means more security for you.

The reasons
As any South Africa web entrepreneur would know, the cost of bandwidth in South Africa is hellishly expensive. One of the main reasons for moving the server to England was due to this problem. Keep in mind though that with access to more bandwidth and processing speeds offered by the new host, I can develop many more features that would be of interest to you in the management and reporting of your blogs and blog statistics.

The “glitches”
I need to apologise to everyone as during 4am this morning whilst attempting to transfer a 1gig database, I accidentally deleted ALL visitor statistics for the 12 March 2010. It was a silly error on my side and I apologise for the loss of this data. There will also be some data loss for today as whilst the propogation was taking place throughout the internet, some stats were being recorded on the old server and some on the new. The reason for leaving the old server up in these times is due to the fact that I did not want to jeopardise the loading speed of your blog’s webpages by it not being able to find the source for the traffic badge.

The “new home”
For those of you that’s interested, here is some information regarding the new server:
Bandwith Allocation: 200gb
Gaurenteed RAM: 128mb
Burst RAM: 256mb
CPU: 4 x Xeon
OS: CentOS
Location: England

The feedback
With a big move like this, and the new server being a completely different operating system, bugs are inevitable. If you find any bugs or experience a problem on the site, please get in touch with me at nickduncan.sa@gmail.com

Once again, thank you for your patience and understanding while myScoop made its move to its new home. Until next time, happy scooping!

Possible upcoming myScoop downtime

With myScoop growing every day, it’s time myScoop got a more powerful and scalable home. With that being said, I have opted to host myScoop in England. This is due to the insane bandwidth costs in South Africa and by hosting in England and not America, Ill be keeping the lag to an absolute minimum.

With myScoop growing every day, it’s time myScoop got a more powerful and scalable home. With that being said, I have opted to host myScoop in England. This is due to the insane bandwidth costs in South Africa and by hosting in England and not America, Ill be keeping the lag to an absolute minimum.

Possible myScoop downtime may occur between Friday 12 March and Sunday 14 March.

The worst that can happen during this move may be that your stats will not be recorded for some time and the tracking image from myScoop will not show. Obviously I am aiming for a completely smooth transitition but as you know, anything can happen. Please bear with me as myScoop makes its move to the UK.

For those of you that know what I’m talking about, my ping to the current myScoop server is 152ms on average and my ping to the new myScoop server is 315ms on average. Once again, this is only due to the fact that I simply cannot afford to host myScoop in South Africa anymore and by making this move, I will be able to introduce new features and functionality as well as release the long awaited quality tracking badges.

The address of myScoop will not change and you will not have to update your tracking codes.

Thank you for your co-operation and patience.

Nick