Downtime credits are being calculated and applied now. Thanks for your patience!
If you’re a publisher who found your sites loading a bit more slowly than usual during the downtime, now that we’re back up, be sure to go to “My ad boxes" -> "Get code" and upgrade to the async code. This code is downtime-immune and replaced our older code a few years ago - it’s always good to upgrade!
projectwonderful.com is down right now, due to a DDOS attack that has affected our host. We’re not yet sure when we’re back up, but during this downtime a few things will happen:
- publishers will still make money from advertising, even though ads aren’t showing
- advertisers will be refunded for any charges incurred when the downtime has ended
So if you’re a publisher, you’ll get paid as you normally would’ve, and if you’re an advertiser, you won’t be charged during the downtime. You may get notices about bids changing status or your account’s funds, but rest assured that any money spend when you couldn’t control your advertising will be refunded in full.
That said, any downtime is not acceptable to us, and events like this do not make us happy campers. A distributed denial of service attack is when lots of machines (usually hacked or under the control of other people) overload a server with requests. Our machines are built to handle a large volume of small requests from a large number of people (that’s what online advertising is, after all!) but the machines upstream of us that we don’t control were slowing down, and this was affecting other clients.
We will have more in the future! For updates, be sure to follow us on Twitter: @project1derful
When you take your funds out of Project Wonderful, we put that request in a queue that gets processed in one business day.
In the past, we’d just put in the request and then process it. But if you spent your funds during that waiting time, this could mean your withdrawal would then not go through because there were no longer enough funds in your account!
Today we’ve changed it so that when you request a withdrawal, those funds are put on hold until the withdrawal is processed. So if you have $100 and request a withdrawal for $90, your available balance will drop to $10 right away. If you decide you’d rather spend those funds than withdraw them, you can cancel your withdrawal request, and your balance will go back to $100 again.
It’s a pretty simple change, but it should help out our members who sometimes had their withdrawal requests fail when they became the high bidder again.
As always, thanks for being a Project Wonderful member!
The new code we mentioned in the last post is now live. We did the rollover today at noon, so today’s stats will be a half-and-half mixture of the two tracking mechanisms, but from tomorrow onward it’s all 1:1 sampling. Nice! As usual, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ve got any questions. And thanks for being Project Wonderful members!
Tracking the traffic an ad box gets seems like a straight-forward problem, right? Mark whenever you get a display, and call it a day. If you see the same IP address (roughly equivalent to the same person) then you know they’ve hit the site twice.
Turns out it’s not that easy, and that’s one of the reasons you’re never likely to get matching data from two different hit-tracking applications.
Next, WHAT are you tracking? Do you care about people who load the site entirely, or who just access it before clicking away? Our answer is simple: we care about who sees the ads. So if you put an ad box at the top of your page, and one at the bottom, those two ad boxes will likely record different hits, because not everyone will always wait for the full page to load. You’ll see more traffic on your top ad box, and that’s great, because that ad box is actually seeing more traffic. More people are looking at it!
Finally, there’s the matter of volume. If you’re recording every hit on a page, that means at the minimum recording what page it was on and which IP accessed it - for every single hit across the entire network. And you need to be able to process, analyze, and summarize this data in real time. Imagine all the traffic from every single site on your network being funneled into your servers. You need to be keep up!
In the past, Project Wonderful’s hit tracking scaled up as sites did: if you got 100 hits a day, we tracked every one of those, but if you got 50,000 then we would randomly sample the traffic stream. It’s sort of like how surveys work: you don’t call up every single person in the country to ask them what they think about Doritos, you call up a representative sample and extrapolate from there. But the problem with random sampling is that there’s that pesky “accurate to within 1 percentage point, 19 times out of 20” phrase you’ve often heard afterwards. When you’re randomly sampling, you’re never 100% sure you’re capturing everything, because you are by definition missing some things. It’s really unlikely, but something could slip through!
Because of this, we’ve been investing in infrastructure behind-the-scenes to move away from random sampling. Very soon, Project Wonderful will be turning on our new hit tracking code. Every single page view is now logged, processed, and analyzed in real time, and random sampling is a thing of the past. It’s an impressive feat (one that’s normally only possible when you have Google-level infrastructure) but it was something we wanted and it lets us support some new features, so it’s been something we’ve been working towards for months. This code has actually been running in parallel with our current hit code a while, which has let us debug it and ensure everything’s working as it should, but very soon we’ll be switching over and displaying this new data exclusively.
We’ll make a new post when it’s online, so you’ll know. Smaller sites will notice no difference, as random sampling doesn’t affect them. Larger publishers won’t notice much of a difference in their numbers: page views will be almost identical, but unique visitors will likely be smaller (now that we’re tracking every single display, we can give more accurate numbers here).
Stay tuned, and we can’t wait to share the exciting new features we’ve got coming down the pipe!