There are no architects at Facebook

We get there through iteration. We don’t try to build an architecture that is failproof. Building an architecture and worrying about it for months and months at a time before you actually go deploy it tends to not get us the result we want because by the time we’ve actually deployed something the problem has moved or there are more technologies available to solve different problems.

We take it seriously enough to say “there are no architects on the team.”

We do a very “you build it you own it” process, where any team or any individual or any engineer that builds or designs something, they own it, and they do the on-call for it.

On call is where we learn, and that’s how we improve over time.

You build a system…you don’t have to be perfect. Deploy it, and as long as you have enough detection and mitigation capabilities, you will do OK. And you will learn, and you will iterate over it, and you will get better over time.

From the NANOG73 keynote: “Operations first, feature second” by Facebook VP of Network Engineering Najam Ahmad. It’s at about the 10:20 mark in the video:

3rd party JS libraries cause downtime

Facebook Connect went down hard tonight. HuffPo reports that their site was redirecting to a Facebook error page, even when people weren’t attempting to log in.

It makes me more comfortable with our decision to strip so many 3rd party javascripts from GigaOM during our last redesign.

Incoming Support Request

You haven’t fixed the BING search page on Cafe World. It comes up when I click on an oven, when I click on a mission and then everything is ruined.


I haven’t been able to play Fronterville for FOUR days. I can send gifts, but don’t know if anyone receives them but they must because I get gifts.

But I have a spouse and it is stuck. It won’t custom or random or play or anything and it freezes the whole page so I can’t do a thing and there is a white avatar that says spouse? I am sick and tired of trying to clear land and lo and behold a bear appears or a fox or a snake immediately. That is disgusting. I had FIVE bears in 30 minutes.

I even had BING search page when I clicked on Farmville and it is all white and nothing and I have to reload and it takes time.

Thank you, [name removed]

Facebook’s Favorite Metadata

Facebook’s guide to sharing details some meta tags to make that sharing work better:

In order to make sure that the preview is always correctly populated, you should add the tags shown below to your html. An example news story could have the following:

<meta name="title" content="Smith hails 'unique' Wable legacy" />

<meta name="description" content="John Smith claims beautiful football is the main legacy of Akhil Wable's decade at the club. " />

<link rel="image_src" href="http://www.onjd.com/design05/images/PH2/WableAFC205.jpg" />

As shown, title contains the preview title, description contains the preview summary and image_src contains the preview image. Please make sure that none of the content fields contain any html markup because it will be stripped out. For consistency’s sake, please use the

tag to provide text data for the preview, and the

tag for any source urls.

The title and summary tags are the minimum requirements for any preview, so make sure to include these two.

Jeeves Is Back! Does Your Organization Need Its Own Avatar/Personality?

If you remember Ask.com, you probably remember Jeeves. Now he’s back on the UK site. It turns out that people liked the old chap, and in this age of social media, it’s probably prudent to have a corporate avatar (it looks a lot better on Facebook, anyway). There’s more about the resurrection at Search Engine […] » about 100 words

Is Facebook Really The Point?

A post to Web4lib alerted me to this U Mich survey about libraries in social networks (blog post) that finds 77% of students don’t care for or want libraries in Facebook or MySpace. the biggest reason being that they feel the current methods (in-person, email, IM) are more than sufficient. 14% said no because they […] » about 500 words

Student Gets Restraining Order Over Facebook Photo

The Associated Press reports a composite nude posted to facebook has earned a UNH student a restraining order:

A University of New Hampshire student got a temporary restraining order against another student who combined an image of her face with an explicit photo of another woman’s body, then posted the composite on his Facebook page.

A judge ordered Owen Sanborn, of Laconia, to stay at least 100 feet away from the woman and barred him from posting her “likeness or name on any Internet site,” pending a final hearing.

The woman’s lawyer, Bryan Gould, said the posting was the latest episode in a series. Social networking sites like Facebook can encourage stalking-type behavior, he said.

“It’s sort of a way for someone like this to sort of test the waters, and that’s what makes it dangerous,” Gould said.