Hello everyone. I am writing today to provide an update to our readers on several matters (i.e., Renee’s surgery and our server issues), and to make a plea for votes in the ABA Blawg 100 contest — IPWatchdog is in the IP Law category.
First, as many readers know, Renee had surgery last Thursday to correct a severely herniated disc in her neck. See Social Media Diva to Have an Anterior Cervical Discectomy. This came upon us rather quickly. Upon having an MRI and seeing her doctor surgery was immediately scheduled. The surgery went fine and Renee was discharged from the hospital on Friday, and has been home resting comfortably. She was told to plan on doing little more than sleeping for about 10 days, and she has been complying with doctor’s orders in that regard.
In talking with the surgeon after the surgery we learned more about why surgery was so quickly scheduled. Apparently some of the shooting tingling down into her legs in the days leading up to the surgery is indicative of near imminent and possibly irreversible failure. Glad I knew that after the surgery! In any event, there was no damage to her spinal cord and she is expected to make a full recovery and be better than new. It will just take some time. So she will be on hiatus through at least the end of 2012 and taking it slow as she eases back into the swing of things starting in January.
Thank you to everyone for the well wishes, e-mails and telephone calls. Your care and support is greatly appreciated.
Not that there is ever a good time for server issues, but with so many other things going on, including the ABA voting, this was particularly bad timing. Starting on Thursday and running through mid-afternoon yesterday we were experiencing server issues, which lead to outages. I apologize if anyone tried to access the site while we were down.
As I have mentioned on our Facebook page several times over the past several months, our server has had difficulty keeping up with our increasing traffic. It seems that no matter how many resources I was adding to the server traffic spikes could not be handled and then as base traffic increased the site was slow occasionally even when there was no obvious spike. Increased traffic is a great problem to have. Prior to these server issues we had over 52,000 unique visitors in the first half of December 2011, which would put us on a pace to exceed our highest monthly total of unique visitors by approximately 25%.
Obviously, something needed to be done because the stop-gap server increases were not able to keep up. I did what I could to keep us running in early December and then decided that since I would be out for several days tending to Renee and family matters it would be as good a time as any to get to a better, stronger, faster server. This was accomplished, but unfortunately not without hiccups. If you have ever launched a website or upgraded a server you probably can feel the pain. Everything seems smooth now and I understand our server now has far more capability and is also far more scalable. I’ve also contracted the services of a Webmaster for us, so moving forward I am feeling good about our server and team.
Please Vote IPWatchdog.com
Sometimes during the year it is easy to wonder whether what we are doing really matters, but then something we publish gets interjected into debate on Capitol Hill, we go to events and become energized by fans or we get a note from a reader thanking us. We appreciate all of that very much. In the legal blogging community, however, there is probably nothing that compares with the folks at the American Bar Association noticing and selecting you as one of the best at what you do.
After selecting the top 100 the ABA steps back and let’s the public decide who is #1. Last year our “secret weapon” to get out the votes was Renee and her social media “diva-like” skills. This year she will be sitting on the sidelines, which leaves me to get out the vote.
Renee and I would like to ask you to please vote for IPWatchdog.com in the ABA Blawg 100 voting (we are located in the IP Law category). Registration is required, but literally takes less than 30 seconds. There will be no e-mail confirmation sent, and I have never received any e-mails from the ABA Journal. I think they just want to make sure that everyone gets one vote. So please vote for IPWatchdog and if you could help spread the word to family, friends and co-workers and get them to vote that would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, and happy holidays!