Today we added video results to our sports news search engine. Say for instance that you just heard that Chip Kelly took the Philadelphia Eagles head coaching job and you wanted to learn more. A search would return the latest news stories with related videos alongside the right hand side of the page:
This column replaces Twitter search results. With some of the new rules and restrictions on Twitter’s API, we’ve decided to go in a different direction for now. We certainly may add it again in the future as we continue to improve the search results because it is a very valuable source of real-time news.
Questions/comments/suggestions? Leave us a comment or shoot us an email!
We’ll be performing some routine server maintenance this evening, Friday 11/16/2012 starting around 9 PM ET. If all goes as planned, you’ll probably notice that our site is down for a little while, then back up through the night, and then down again for roughly an hour on Saturday morning. By Saturday afternoon everything should be back to normal. We won’t be sending our Daily Newsletters out on Saturday, but they will resume on Sunday morning. I’ll post any further updates to this blog or to our Twitter account.
In preparation for next week’s launch of Windows 8 we’ve released a few improvements to help integrate LockerPulse with Internet Explorer and Windows.
In Windows 7 and Windows 8, you can now pin LockerPulse to your taskbar so that you can launch LockerPulse like a native Windows application.
The next time you log in to your LockerPulse account in Internet Explorer, you’ll notice a prompt:
Simply drag the icon to your taskbar:
Now, you can launch LockerPulse from the taskbar like a native application. You’ll notice that it opens in a LockerPulse-themed version of Internet Explorer:
By right clicking on the LockerPulse icon you’ll be able to quickly access the most popular sections of your account with just one click:
In Windows 8, you can pin the LockerPulse tile right to your Windows 8 Start Screen:
There is a lot more that we can do with Windows 8 in the future, such as notifying you of new stories right in the tile. For now though, this is a great simple way to integrate LockerPulse into your existing Windows environment so that it’s even simpler and quicker to get your news!
As always, leave feedback, questions, and suggestions in the comments below.
Today we released several improvements to how we display video news, video highlights, and video commentary. Your custom Video page got a nice aesthetic overhaul, as well as a new system for showing you the videos we think you’ll want to see most based upon your favorite teams:
We don’t just show you the latest videos for your teams though. We also mix in the latest breaking videos from NFL.com and ESPN.com so that you won’t miss a hot story. You will however notice videos for your teams hovering towards the top for a bit longer than the rest of the videos to ensure you don’t miss anything important.
You can access your customized video page by clicking Video on the top of any page while logged in to your account. If you don’t have a LockerPulse account yet, you can sign up for free in just a few seconds.
In other video news, we’ve also fixed some issues that were causing the ESPN videos not to show up in your My News feed as a story. You may still see a few inaccuracies, but we are working on cleaning those up. We’re also considering adding videos for your Fantasy players to your Videos page. If that’s something you’d like to see, or if you have any other video-related suggestions, be sure to leave us a comment below.
Over the past few weeks you may have noticed that LockerPulse was extremely slow and unusable from roughly 8 AM – 9 AM Eastern Time each morning. We’ve been working extremely hard with our server team to determine the cause of the issues and the to implement a solution. After much trial and error, we think we’ve got it. There were a few unnecessary processes that ran each morning that were causing a drastic load spike, the ripple effect of which was taking down our MySQL database. These have been disabled and this morning everything ran normally during that time period. We’ll continue to monitor the situation. We know many of you rely on LockerPulse for your morning sports fix. We’re sorry for the interruption and we hope that this issue is now behind us.
We’ve recently made several notable improvements to LockerPulse. In case you’ve missed any of them, here’s a quick summary.
Videos now include highlights and other video content from NFL.com. If you follow a NFL team you should already be seeing the highlights in your My News as long as you haven’t specifically unsubscribed to video updates. You can also see these videos by visiting your Video page.
“More News” Available When Filtered
The More News button to browse older stories is now at the bottom of all filtered news in addition to your main My News section. This way if you fall behind on a specific team or source, you can go as far back as 30 days by just clicking More News. Stories older than 30 days can be viewed in our Archives.
NCAA and EPL standings have been updated to work for their new seasons. We also added GB (games back) to MLB and NBA standings, which was missing due to an oversight on our part. As of today all standings should be accurate, and should stay up to date on a daily basis.
Share to Google+
We’ve added a Google+ button at the bottom of every story so that you can now share stories to your Google+ account in addition to Twitter and Facebook. This was a common request from our users.
The Brooklyn Nets have been added to the NBA, and new EPL members Reading, Southampton, and West Ham United have been added to our soccer coverage. We will be expanding our sources for the new EPL teams within the next few days so that coverage matches the variety of the rest of the teams in the league.
Custom Publisher Icons
We’ve added the ability for our publishers to have custom icons displayed next to their stories to help their content stand out. If you’re a publisher, be sure to contact us to have your icon added.
We’ve created a video demonstration of using LockerPulse to keep track of the news for your fantasy football team. The video shows how simple it is to add your team, view your customized news stream, filter news by player, see live updates as news happens, and more. Enjoy!
With the fantasy football season kicking in to full swing tonight when the Giants and Cowboys square off, there’s no better time than right now to set up your squad in LockerPulse. We’ll deliver you the latest news on your players as it happens from all of the best fantasy football sites on the web.
If you’ve never entered a fantasy team before, you can do so by clicking “Fantasy” in the main navigation and then “Manage Players”. Just start typing your players names and you’ll see them pop up in our autosuggest box. Click “Add” and you’re all set!
Just like the rest of LockerPulse, fantasy player tracking works great on any device so you can get the latest headlines on your computer, tablet, or phone.
Enjoy the game tonight and good luck with your fantasy teams!
We’ve continued to have issues related to our backups since our last server migration so we’ll be doing it over again this Friday. From roughly 11 PM Eastern Time Friday evening 8/10 through approximately noon Saturday we will likely have some intermittent downtime.
We’ve got some great new features in the works so hopefully my next post will be announcing those in a week or two. Those posts are far more fun to write. Thanks for bearing with us during our growing pains!
If you happened to have read our downtime post from Friday and then checked the site on Saturday, you may have been surprised to see how much of the day LockerPulse was either unavailable or not working very quickly. We did our best to provide updates on our Twitter account, @LockerPulse.
Here’s the a quick explanation. We use a cloud server powered by Storm On Demand. The combination of the scalability of cloud hosting along with the excellent tech support that LiquidWeb provides is ideal for LockerPulse. We were notified early in the week that “We need to perform some maintenance on the parent [your server] is on. To this end, we would like to move the server to a separate parent. ” After further questioning on our part, we were told that this would take 4 – 8 hours, but only result in two short periods of downtime lasting “a few minutes.” I scheduled the move for 6 AM Saturday and made myself available in case there were any issues. Roughly 15 hours later after all was said and done, we were down for about 3 – 4 hours. We were doing everything we could to keep the site up, but in large part it was out of our control. Just after 9 PM the move was complete and the site stabilized.
We sincerely apologize to our users. Unplanned downtime for that amount of time is totally unacceptable. We’re working with the LiquidWeb team to minimize the risk of this happening again. They provide a fantastic platform and fantastic customer service, so we view this as an aberration rather than the norm. We’ve had many servers with them over the years and never had any sort of issue like this.
If you have any questions or feedback don’t hesitate to leave a comment or drop us an email.