Friday, September 22

Godaddy shuts down MacCast podcast

There was and maybe still is a sh*t storm (pardon my french) brewing on the yahoo podcasters group and in the blogosphere.

This is mostly an issue of due cause and crisis management on godaddy's part, but it's much more interesting than just how godaddy handled it.

On Thursday, Godaddy shut down without any prior notice1, 2. Apparently the MacCast Podcast had become to popular and was eating up NOT to much bandwidth or storage, but most interestingly to many processor cycles.

This is a new twist on an old theme. The big problem with GoDaddy is no prior notice was given before they pulled the plug. Lack of due process is always a critical issue in said takedown situations. Sure MacCast's processor utilization could have spiked unexpectedly but more than likely this problem could have been spotted weeks or even months in advance.

One thing is beyond debate, GoDaddy better invest some time implimenting some sort of notification system for processor utilization, because Adam Christianson of MacCast had NO way of knowing there was a problem. More thoughts on this later.

Luckily, and I think this is a quick recovery, within 24 hours, possibly do to outside pressures Godaddy's VP of Technology contacted Adam and they got it back online pretty quick. Godaddy err'd yes, but a quick recovery. Adam was lucky.

So, I'm not certain wether people will think this reflects poorly on godaddy or positively. I'm interested, but there's no sense on my debatting it... let's just wait and see what others have to say. For my part I'll just say... they left some room for improvement, but responded suprisingly quick. Overall a B+. Flame away.

The questions I have are these.

1) How are processor cycles specified in contracts? Specifically Godaddy's, but what about other hosts like Dreamhost. Who else is popular and how are they covering processor cycles in their contracts.

2) What good is are these contracts if we have no way to track processor cylces as consumers of their services?

3) Is this increasingly becoming and issue? Because it appears that hosting providers are increasingly beefing up the selling points of bandwidth and storage and perhaps ignoring and underselling server cycles on shared hosting plans.

4) What can we podcasters and video bloggers do to protect ourselves?

I don't have the answers to points 1, 2, and 3... I'm hopping others will jump on them.

What I can say in this... while it may seem like a great idea to put everything on one server for tracking and organizational purposes, just like with your financial portfolio diversification is a damn good idea.

Off hand there are three things that can save your butt... not just with hosting issues... but also with DMCA takedown notices... if you're pushing that legal edge of fair use.

1) Host your website on one provider.

2) Host your media on another host.

3) Use a 3rd party for your feed such as

If these things aren't self evident then let me just say... that all these things have seperate and VERY specific needs.

1) Your website is most likely to use processor cycles unless it's a site... or some static HTML. Most platforms like Moveabletype and Wordpress are getting better at scaling with traffic, but processor cycles will always be an issue. If your blog is hosted on from Moveabletype, or or from blogger... those aren't bad cheap solutions.

2) Meanwhile your media has two major requirements, server space and bandwidth, bandwidth, bandwidth. On a side note, it might be nice to have all your media hosted on a nice domain you own so you can mirror it if any problems... like say But don't be putting it up at simply Even small time or beginner podcasters and videobloggers can quickly run into problems. Better to have a $5-10 a month blog... and a $10-20 a month media hosting server than a $20 a month server hosting everything.

3) Finally, a service like feedburner is a given... not only do they provide excellent added services and added value, but even if your site is down you can STILL get a show out and people using aggregators or directories like itunes will still be able to find and subscribe to your feed and and people using search engines will still be able to download your episodes when they stumble on them. If your feed and website are on the same domain and your domain goes down, so does your feed, and potentially if you're using tracking or redirection on your server so does all access to the media even if it is hosted elsewhere.

Also a great read on MacCast. My Word with Douglas E. Welch: On Podcasting: - Web hosts that don't host

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