Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Buddy Info page - BETA from AOL

AOL has released their Buddy Info page

The Buddy Info page is very similar to BuddyGopher - it shows you all of your friends away messages in one window. But AOL takes it a few steps further, and allows you to comment on your friends away messages -- as well as their profiles!

So, to recap- the AIM Buddy Info page allows you to see all of your friends current away messages, profiles and Buddy Icons on one screen. You can also add comments to someone's away message, or add a comment to their profile (like, "Nice lyrics - did you write those yourself?").

Kudos to the AIM team for finally embracing the decade-old habit of reading away messages!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Fall Holiday

We are taking the BuddyGopher servers down today for an indefinite period of time. Please visit our friends at Buddy4u for extended AIM profiles.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Away Message Partners Needed

Your buddies history page now shows her *15* most recent away messages.

Theoretically, we could show you unlimited pages of away message history for each buddy. Our database currently stores over 15,000,000 away messages from 200,000 buddies on the AOL Instant Messenger network. Our servers usually collect a new away message within five seconds of a user switching to Away status.

BuddyGopher was built to scrape AIM user content using the OSCAR protocol. We have been running 5,000 simultaneous OSCAR connections for over eight months now with nearly 99.999% uptime. If you are interested in putting AIM user content on your website in a legal and timely fashion, you should e-mail us!


Server Updates

Pageviews might be slow and your BuddyGopher home page might not be opening in the AIM Today window. We are aware of these problems and do not have an immediate solution.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


RSS feeds for your AIM BuddyList

BuddyGopher serves RSS feeds of your AIM Buddy List away messages. Look for the "Enable RSS feed" button on the bottom of your home page.

We actually launched this feature a few months ago. Kudos to Marek for implementation and Zach for the pushed suggestion!


Servers Restarted Today

Has BuddyGopher been slow or unresponsive during the last few days? Marek vacuumed the PostgreSQL database tables several times today and re-signed on our entire array of AIM screen names. There are over 12,700,000 away messages in our database now, but home page loads should be dramatically quicker.

Monday, June 13, 2005


A BuddyGopher Stats E-Mail,

or What Alexa Doesn't Know (or Care About).

Hey Nick,

I checked the query stats once again, and:

<day id="2005-160" count="647219"/>
<day id="2005-161" count="650676"/>
<day id="2005-162" count="715400"/>
<day id="2005-163" count="122136"/>

(the last record is from today, it's just 9:43 am there)
the # of messages being collected:

2005-06-13 29769
2005-06-12 187654
2005-06-11 171867
2005-06-10 171402
2005-06-09 179001

Yesterday, there were nearly 14,000 messages in one hour during the peak
time. Here is the hourly breakdown.

away | 4859907 | 2005-06-12 21:00:00.207647 | 9972
away | 4849935 | 2005-06-12 20:00:00.701177 | 12836
away | 4837099 | 2005-06-12 19:00:01.20629 | 13834
away | 4823265 | 2005-06-12 18:00:02.535994 | 13889
away | 4809376 | 2005-06-12 17:00:01.316456 | 13627
away | 4795749 | 2005-06-12 16:00:00.490273 | 12390
away | 4783359 | 2005-06-12 15:00:01.790025 | 11932
away | 4771427 | 2005-06-12 14:00:00.575841 | 11791
away | 4759636 | 2005-06-12 13:00:00.877939 | 8465
away | 4751171 | 2005-06-12 12:00:00.352284 | 10956
away | 4740215 | 2005-06-12 11:00:02.504937 | 12193
away | 4728022 | 2005-06-12 10:00:00.643144 | 10652
away | 4717370 | 2005-06-12 09:00:00.988379 | 10153

We have 99,766 live buddies in the array now.


Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Other Frequently Asked Questions

user95: is there anyways to get messages of buddies who change their message, when they are still away?

We have been running a light-weight BuddyGopher away message crawler to manually check away messages of every online&&away buddy in 90 minute intervals. This is in addition to our OSCAR array that always collects your AIM buddies new away messages. Manual away message collection helps to ensure the accuracy of our status database, and it increases our live content accuracy. Hooray for standards!

We use a lot of Perl, Berkeley DB and PostgreSQL to accomplish this big data collection on our present node.

In the summertime months, one might question this extreme dedication to unique micro-content.

BuddyGopher ~ We Love Away Messages

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Mahlen works for eBay now!

EBay pays $620m for shopping site SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -- Online auction site eBbay said Wednesday it agreed to buy, which enables consumers to compare products online and to read consumer reviews.

This is also a great excuse for an update to our Development Blog.

Otherwise, all systems go. Thanks for keeping up with us and using our software to read your friends away messages.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Buddy4u and BuddyGopher partnership

Buddy4u logo

We're happy to announce that Buddy4u, one of the most popular AIM profile enhancement websites on the internet, is now showing BuddyGopher personal away message history for all of their new users.

If you take a look at my Buddy4u profile, you'll see a link at the bottom of the page that says

[View nickgraywfu's BuddyGopher Page]

BuddyGopher personal away message history is turned on by default for all new Buddy4u user accounts, and users can easily enable or disable it at any time. BuddyGopher personal away message history is also available to be turned on or off for Buddy4u's 535,000+ existing members.

Buddy4u and BuddyGopher are third-party web-based services that enhance the sharing power of AOL Instant Messenger. We're really excited about this new partnership with Owen and the entire Buddy4u community.

Monday, May 09, 2005


AIM now has 250 max buddies!

200 ***250***

Big news today for AIM Buddy List enthusiasts on juberti's AOL Journal:

I've said it before - there's going to be a lot of great stuff coming out of AOL this summer. Today's improvement is a new buddylist limit of 250 buddies per list (up from 200).

Cool! I know I've neared the 200 limit on my personal Buddy List, especially after AOL started that whole Recent Buddies group. (By the way, did you know that AOL has a registered trademark on the phrase Buddy List?)

For BuddyGopher, this means that capacity behind the biggest custom-built Buddy List in the entire world just increased by 25%. Our server can now support 1,250,000 unique AIM buddy names. Thanks AOL! We're all looking forward to AIM 6/Triton.

50 more buddies!  I made this graphic in Photoshop. I gotta get outta the suburbs!

We're still looking for BerkeleyDB and Perl programmers. If you've got experience with memcached, let's go on a date.

Saturday, May 07, 2005


Happy Summer! We even wear green undershirts.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


New Privacy Policy

BuddyGopher now has a public privacy policy.

We will never contact the buddies on your Buddy List, and we will never release your list of friends to the public... (but) you should assume that any motivated, computer-savvy individual could "hack" this data.

When you submit your AIM screen name to sign up for BuddyGopher, we start collecting your Away Messages. When you submit your friends names to add to your BuddyGopher BuddyList, we start collecting their away messages, too. Unless you have your Privacy settings turned on in AOL or AOL Instant Messenger, we will collect away messages for screen names in our database as often as possible. We reserve the right to collect these away messages and save them to our database for infinity time period.

To learn how to turn your AIM privacy settings on, and to prohibit BuddyGopher from collecting your away messages, click here.

Friday, April 29, 2005


Cross Our Fingers.

This is just a placeholder post! We totally promise to update this development blog to tell you about the neat things we are working on.

Update 05/05/05 Remember all that cool stuff I told you we were working on? Well, instead of building neat new feature sets and funny blinking text buttons, we've spent the last week improving what we do best: Collecting Away Messages.

BuddyGopher is now doing manual Away Message checks for all buddies in the system at a rate of once every hour. Even though BuddyGopher is built on the real-time presence awareness of live instant messaging, the occasional away message has been known to slip through our cracks. Usually this is due to users who change their Away Message without clicking the "I'm Back" button in AIM. It should never take more than five seconds for a new away message to appear in our database, but in the event that our records are innacurate, BuddyGopher will now catch the error within sixty minutes.

So we will continue to focus our BuddyGopher development efforts on building scalable and reliable server software that crawls and archives public user data on the AOL Instant Messenger network. Less fluff, more buff.

If you have BerkeleyDB and/or memcached experience, we'd love to get some outside advice on server architecture! Please contact us today.

Friday, April 22, 2005


We're back.

a tulipBuddyGopher is now on-line and fully functional. You will have to sign up again and input each buddy on your BuddyGopher Buddy List.
Please send me an IM if you experience anything strange.

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