Friday, September 25, 2009

eBaum Nation v2

Nation,

If you haven't noticed, we launched version 2 of the site today and it's live (sorta) right now. We decided to push live and test on the fly so you'll notice some things aren't quite working yet, but we'll get them squared away shortly. Here's a quick recap of what's new:

  • New Logo & Design
  • Improved Navigation
  • Picture Gallery Improvements
  • New Flash Video Player / Larger Default Viewing Area
  • Revamped Comments
  • Larger Thumbnails
  • Improved RSS Support
  • Lots More, just look around!
Most importantly, we also took this opportunity to completely restructure the way we handle further updates and improvements to the site, which should allow us to roll out new features much more quickly. Once we finish this launch, I'll update everyone on the status of our most requested additions (eReps, private messaging, etc).

Drop us a line and let us know what you think: general@ebaumnation.com

Thanks for your support!
Jay

PS. A special thanks to our senior software engineer, Vic, who led the entire development and integration of the new version of the site, front and backend, and everything in between.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Lebron Tape, Scooping TMZ, and Why Does Digg Hates Us...

I thought we should update our viewers on how we found ourselves in the middle of yesterday's hoopla, the release of the now infamous "Lebron Gets Dunked On" Video.

About 2 weeks ago, when news first broke about Nike confiscating a video of Lebron getting owned by a college kid at basketball camp, we were contacted by one of our lawyers, who claimed to have a colleague, who represented a guy, who was in possession of the mysterious footage. Our Executive VP, Neil Bauman, immediately saw the value and potential in this tape and opened up a dialogue with all the players involved. Some time went by, where it appeared the owner of the tape was shopping it around, with no luck.

Then, yesterday, gossip-rag and celebrity-trash website, TMZ.com, announced they had a copy of the footage they would release at 6:45pm EST. They teased the video with a grainy cell-phone screenshot and claimed they had the only existing footage. This was our chance :)

Around 2pm, we contacted our source and negotiated a very fair deal for exclusive rights to the clip. By 3pm, the tape was delivered to us and by 4pm, with the help of our awesome partners at BitGravity and our incredible content and development staff, we had the clip live on the site and the news got out quick. Not only did we scoop TMZ (forcing them to release their copy before their self-planned launch), but we had a better quality clip, shot at a better angle. The media ate it up, by 5pm, we were on the front page of Yahoo, ESPN, SI, CNN, and quickly rising the charts at the "community-driven" news site, Digg.com.

We watched our story get dugg so quickly that within an hour or 2 we had moved to the 1st spot of their "Hot in All Topics" list, a spot which is almost always followed by a frontpage feature. Except when it's eBaumNation apparently. Suddenly and mysteriously, the story fell completely off that list, and all listings for that matter, which as anyone who is familiar with Digg will know, this effectively kills the future of that story and any hopes for making the frontpage.

I reached out to Digg Support and asked about the problem. Several hours later I was told that it was buried as a duplicate, which is impossible since it's an exclusive story and video, a well-publicized one, that any decent moderator should of been able to recognize. We personally posted it to Digg ourselves before we officially featured it on our own site, to purposely avoid the duplicate issue.

We've had trouble getting stories publicized on Digg before, but for something like this, we thought they'd be a bit more helpful in making sure a few ebaum-haters couldn't game their system to bury a legitimate, exclusive story. It's quite disappointing and we're seriously reconsidering the value of promoting Digg so heavily throughout our sites when it's so incredibly obvious that they have very little control over how their community manipulates the rankings.

In the end, I'm not convinced that the whole Digg-failure really mattered too much. Our story was still covered by every major sports publication on the web, and even general news sites like Yahoo and CNN. Within the first few hours of posting, over 1 million people had viewed our exclusive video. Today, the total is at 5 million and counting.

After beating TMZ at their own game, we've received hundreds of emails and phone calls asking if we pay for exclusive or breaking video and content. The answer is yes, we always have and we will continue to do so, and we're prepared to try to match or beat any offers from TMZ, or anybody else. If you have any breaking news, video, stories, anything, please contact our editors at content@ebaumnation.com and we'll have a representative get back to you to work something out. In the next couple days, we'll also be setting up a toll-free tip line to directly reach a rep by phone.

So that's that, thanks for the support, and stay tuned, we've already gotten our hands on some more exclusive material related to some VERY topical subjects that we're in the process of finalizing as I write this. You don't want to miss it!

Jason Martorana
COO, eBaum Nation LLC
jasonm@ebaumnation.com

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New Site Name

Hi all,

I'm sure you've noticed by now that we have migrated over to our new name, eBaum Nation! No need to worry, you should find the place just as you left it :). There should be absolutely no bad side effects from this move, the worst thing that could happen is that you may have to relog in. We apologize for any inconvenience, and if you have any problems please feel free to contact any staff member.

Please make sure to update your bookmarks to point to eBaum Nation!

Thanks,
Matt (mgunit)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Groups, profiles, high scores, new features

We just launched some new features in yet another round of updates you'll enjoy. Now on eBaum.TV, you'll find new ways to interact with your friends and be entertained.

Create and join a group with your friends! You can now create a group, and have others join it. After joining a group, you can post on your group's wall, allowing your group members to keep in touch. Also, you group has its own photo album to which you can upload photos. If you're curious what your friends are doing, make sure to check out your group's recent activity.

In addition to groups, each user now has their own profile wall where other users can leave messages. A user's profile now also shows a user's recent activity, and the groups to which they belong.

High score games have been added! You can now keep track of your high scores in various games throughout our games section, and see others' high scores. Go ahead and try your luck at Helicopter, Bloody Penguin, and Chopper Drop!

It's now a lot easier to share media with your friends. We have added or improved Digg, Facebook, MySpace, and StumbleUpon buttons, and we now also let you send an email to a friend about a media item. Besides these, a few bugs with embed codes have been fixed for videos and pictures. Picture galleries also now display the first image automatically.

We've got a bunch of new changes coming next week, so stay tuned to eBaum.TV!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hosted media, games, chat, and more!

As you may have noticed, tonight we pushed a slue of new features. We've been working hard on these over the past week, and hope you enjoy what we've put up!

You no longer have to just paste embed codes in submissions. You can now upload your media files straight to eBaum.TV! Just click on the Submit tab, and fill out the form. We now officially support:
You can also now rate our media. We decided to use a thumbs up and thumbs down rating system, which should be easier to understand than other types of ratings.

In addition to these new media features, we've also updated our Community section with a new chat room! Join other eBaum.TV members here to talk about anything from Pacman to 911 calls about chimpanzee attacks!

We've also brought you some new commenting features, including comment conversation viewing and comment ratings. Use the conversation feature to track what's going on throughout the comments on a page, and easily see who said what. The comment ratings should help everyone rate down trolls in the comments, so that users can easily identify posts not worth reading!

Have a Facebook account? Share your eBaum.TV favorites with your Facebook friends! Just browse to any media item, and in the sidebar click the Facebook Share button to let everyone know what you're tuning into.

We've also made it easier for your to Digg your favorite eBaum.TV media, by adding a prominent Digg button to every page. Remember that Digg is an easy way to let others know that you're enjoying your time here, and it's an easy way to let your friends know about your favorite videos, pictures, and games!

Look forward to many more substantial improvements very soon, but until then please enjoy the new features!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Site LAUNCHED!

It has been about 2 weeks of countless hours of work and I am very excited to announce that our site has finally launched. Some of the features may not work perfectly and the design may seem a little rough around the edges. Please bare with us and be patient as we iron out some of the details. Over the next 2 weeks we will be polishing up the site and adding new features and enhancements. Please, join our forum or email us your input or suggestions. Trust me, we read everything!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

New Systems, Tons of Work, Greatness

It's been a long, extremely busy week here at eBaum.TV. I've been prodding Cody to write this post, but I think he's exhausted; I don't blame him.

In preparation for some huge changes around the corner, Cody and I took a trip to our host to setup all new systems for eBaum.TV. We left Monday morning at around 7:00am, expecting to arrive around 1pm. What a mess it was getting there. We got stuck in traffic at an absolute halt for two hours, because of a huge accident a few miles up I-80. There were about 4 semi-trailers involved. Seeing the aftermath of it was pretty nuts. Cody snapped a photo of one of the trucks with his phone. The others were in similar or worse shape.


After we passed the trucks we made pretty good time the rest of the way to the data center. Once we got there, our good friends had already taken care of a bunch of the stuff for us. All we really did was rack a few servers, install them, and move the current iteration of eBaum.TV and the forum to the new systems. Things went smoothly with the exception of a $2700 mistake I made in ordering the systems, heh. Because of that mistake, we've now got two more servers being over-nighted to the data center from Dell.

In total, we've got five servers running right now, with the other two en route. We forgot to take some pictures of the systems (I'm not even sure we were allowed, you need to get past some security guards, a biometric scan, and some coded doors to even access our servers,) but our friends hooked us up with this picture of our rack so far, for your viewing pleasure.

We're running Ubuntu Server edition with various services. It's been working out great for us so far. The servers shown in the pictures are pretty beastly, dual quad core Xeons. Hopefully these will make your time on our sites much more enjoyable! From our perspective, we noticed a substantial increase in site performance as soon as we switched over to these new servers.

Cody and I stayed at a Hilton hotel, but we didn't really have time to enjoy it. We ate Chinese food at the data center with our buddies, got back to the hotel late, and drove back to Rochester at 8:00am the next morning. The trip back went much more quickly, and the minute we got back we started working on something that you'll be enjoying very, very soon. I think eBaum has already hinted at it.

We've literally been doing nothing but eating, sleeping, and developing. We're excited to let ZVUE know exactly what we think of them by bringing up three iterations of eBaum.TV within a week of them firing us. I sincerely doubt that the four "developers" they have working on eBaum's World now (who seemingly are also the people doing every other site function) are nearly as capable as our team for eBaum.TV. To give you some idea of what I'm referring to, their now lead developer used to be their office secretary, and was the one who gave some of us our exit interviews. It is my personal feeling that the Hobbit/secretary, as he's now known, just told the ZVUE CEO that our jobs were easy, and that he himself could do it without us. The irony... So, when I say that we're about to deliver a great new system, I mean it.

Peace,
Vic