AddToAny Blog

Google’s URL shortener goo.gl for sharing short links

January 18th, 2011

Tonight we are happy to announce support for Google’s goo.gl, which is a fast URL shortener like bit.ly and awe.sm brought to you officially by the folks at Google.

To start using goo.gl short URLs for your AddToAny button or standalone services, please see the AddToAny¬†documentation on URL shorteners & “click-back” tracking. If you’re coding manually, just remember to drop the ‘e’ – the value should be ‘googl’ instead of ‘google’. Even we screwed that up once, twice, maybe a few times during testing. ūüėČ

This new feature comes in thanks to a Twitter message from Neasan. Thanks for the request, Neasan!

Some unprecedented downtime last weekend

December 14th, 2010

Last weekend, from Dec. 11th to the 12th, AddToAny’s static content was unavailable due to our then-CDN getting sabotaged by two upstream providers. To be clear, users were still able to share through addtoany.com, but AddToAny’s static content such as hosted buttons and sharing script were unavailable. We are deeply sorry for any and all unintended consequences that this caused publishers. SimpleCDN, and all of SimpleCDN’s customers including AddToAny were innocent parties in, as we understand it so far, a sudden and unexpected termination of SimpleCDN’s contract by their upstream providers (namely, by a company called SoftLayer).

The slowness and downtime checks we have in place were immediately triggered on the first downtime event, then we spent the weekend ensuring a successful migration of AddToAny assets over to a new CDN, which was a three-party collaborative effort between AddToAny and the CDNs. We were able to switch CDNs within hours, but it took longer than expected to get some services back online. For HTTPS, which some publishers use, we waited far too long for our CDNs to reprovision our SSL certificate, but HTTPS was fully functional by Sunday night PST.

Nothing like this has happened since AddToAny first went online in March 2006. Very rarely if ever¬†does a Content Delivery Network disappear overnight without notice. Such an occurrence¬†is truly unprecedented and we’d like to offer ways to mitigate the fallout effects of this sort of doomsday event. We don’t expect something like this to happen again in the future, but we want to promote preventative measures and let publishers know that we’ll be taking some more industry-firsts ourselves.

One key advanced feature we’ve offered for some time is asynchronous script loading. To explain the power of this feature, publishers that were using AddToAny’s script asynchronously were unaffected by our script’s downtime over the weekend. Publishers using our popular Drupal sharing module were also unaffected thanks to asynchronous loading. If you’re comfortable with code, we definitely recommend implementing AddToAny in an¬†asynchronous¬†way.

Again, we are very sorry for any slowness this caused your sites. Please contact us if you have any questions at all about the downtime, or for advice on taking relatively easy preventative measures. Thanks for the reports, your patience, and for your understanding during what was a very unfortunate weekend for all of us.

Supporting the OExchange specification

June 2nd, 2010

AddToAny has a history of supporting and driving open initiatives (like the Open Share Icon), and today we are delighted to announce support for a new specification: “OExchange“.

The OExchange spec defines a common way for sharing services to receive content, and allows third party sharing services like AddToAny to discover new sharing services.

To kick things off, we’ve already implemented OExchange-Discovery for AddToAny’s all-inclusive sharing application. Sharing services, please note, this was really easy to do thanks to the tools available. It took us less than 10 minutes! We’re excited because as more services adopt OExchange-Discovery, the process of including new services in the AddToAny platform will be more efficient.

Cheers to the team at Clearspring for their work on OExchange, and we hope to see it used across many more services on the open web.