SlideShare down due to ServePath outage

SlideShare is down and has been down for the last several hours. Our dedicated hosting provider (ServePath) is experiencing catastrophic network problems. For a while we were able to keep the site live by pointing our DNS to specific servers that were available on the network: this strategy is no longer working (the paths that still work on the network are changing as ServePath technicians try to fix the problem).
My sincere apologies to all SlideShare users. We’ll be taking stock once this outage is resolved, and we’ll evaluate what to do long-term at that point. Right now there’s not much we can do besides wait for the network to get back online.
UPDATE: as of 7:45, we seem to be back in business! Doing the happy dance (and checking the servers every 5 minutes to make sure we can still get to them).

AJAX and Flash mistakes

I gave a little talk on “AJAX and Flash mistakes: lessons learned building SlideShare” at SXSW08 last weekend. The audience was great, and the conference in general was a helluva lot of fun (as always).
I talked a lot about the interplay between AJAX and server-side performance … how AJAX often seems like a performance solution, but often introduces new problems. I also talked about the need to design entire processes, rather than simple modal dialogs (which are so easy to design that your design skills for building multi-panel flows can get quite rusty if you aren’t careful).