Where I Was Last Week

First, my apologies for not giving fast email replies while I was out last week. For about 7 days, I was without fast access to email or the Internet.

I flew to Colorado Springs for the USA Racquetball sponsored “High Performance Racquetball Camp”. For 5 days, I lived with my 23 fellow racquetball campers in the US Olympic Training Center where a million+ other athletes have trained before (including Lance Armstrong).

Not every camp applicant was accepted, so it was an honor to train with some of the finest in the country. Technically, it was for ‘open level’ players, so yeah, I felt the pressure.

One of the ways I keep myself sane from working long hours is via Racquetball (with a triathlon, handful of duathlons, 10k runs for cross training). I’m a sponsored player thanks to TeamHead, and I’m also the racquetball trainer for the (4) local YMCA’s and I’m the assistant racquetball coach for about 15 racquetball Jr’s at our local club.

As an entrepreneur, I couldn’t have been more pleased with the way the EzineArticles behind-the-scenes team handled the place while I was gone. Perhaps I should leave more often? ;-)

If you’re mega-active on EzineArticles.com, you may have noticed a few speed bumps along the way as we’re radically rewriting the way we manage the site over the past few weeks.

It always feels like we must take a few big steps backwards before we charge forward again… and that is exactly what we’re doing.
In the past, I’ve shared almost every step along the way, but lately it feels like many of the actions we’re taking are not relevant (server changes, training systems for our editors, new quality control queues that we’re developing) to the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) viewpoint of the author/publisher.

Here are some fun stats to share with you:

11 – Number of whiteboards that we use to track the EzineArticles projects

20 – Number of flat screen monitors our team uses to do their respective jobs

20.1″ – Smallest flat screen monitor in the office

3 – Number of new servers turned up this week

1 – Number of team members who use a trackball instead of a mouse (1 and he’s a bit of a freak)

4 – Number of refrigerators in our office.

1 – Number of volleyballs in the office.

864 – Number of times our servers were checked by a 3rd party for uptime in the last 24 hours.

90% – Percentage of team members that wear shorts to work.

2 – Number of telecommuting team members that might not wear anything to work (good thing we don’t use webcams)

6 – Number of languages spoken at the office (English, Spanish, German, PHP, PERL, XML)

1,000+ – Number of watts in amplied subwoofers in the office, sorry to the neighbors

1,204 – Number of articles approved by our article approval team yesterday.

30 – Number of new EzineArticles membership accounts created since midnight this morning

21 – Number of unsolicited requests we get daily for link exchanges that we ignore

1 – Number of times I got hit in the butt from a high speed racquetball during the tournament last week

Now that you’ve heard our selective numerical stats, what’s your number?


Howard Stidwill writes:

Simply a fun article to read. It rounds you out as more than simply a “computer whiz” or entrepreneur.

P.S. I used to play a lot of squash

Comment provided August 10, 2006 at 9:00 AM


Ed Howes writes:

Thanks for the progress report Chris,

As irregular as they seem, I love them. I was watching the new author odometer roll over 30k and the next day the number was about 240 higher. Now I have to check every day to see if it was a spike or is a trend. 3 new servers makes it sound like a trend. Speed bumps or not and no response to the only two Emails I’ve sent in a month or more, I hope you take time outs whenever you like, at least as long as you report as you have been, upon your return. Permission granted. :-)

Comment provided August 10, 2006 at 9:27 AM


Kammie K. writes:

Good on ya Chris!

As a life & career coach, entreprenuer and human BEing…I applaude you taking some time out for YOU.

I don’t know that I believe balance is possible, but I do believe in trying to live as well rounded a life as possible. Sounds like you’re doing just that!

6 – number of articles I need to write to reach platinum status. Thanks for sharing…

Kammie K.

Comment provided August 10, 2006 at 10:04 AM



I checked, and Yeah, there was an issue with the total authors number not updating correctly.

Actually Ed, I see 9 emails from you between June 11th and August 7th. I also show that we emailed you June 12th, June 26th twice and June 28th. Watch for some private responses via email for the 3 emails we received in August that I see no replies for yet…

Comment provided August 10, 2006 at 10:07 AM


Edward Weiss writes:

8 – Number of seconds I usually have to wait before one of my EzineArticles pages loads. (I have DSL)

Sorry to be negative here but I’ve noticed that load time has gotten very sluggish lately. I know I only wait around 4-5 seconds and if a page doesn’t load by then… bye bye. I assume others are also in this camp.

Comment provided August 10, 2006 at 10:31 AM



Ed W,

Yeah, hence the reason for why we are adding more servers.

One of the big loads right now is the left search box on the site. Soon, search services will have its own dedicated set of servers and we hope this will speed things up.

In July we focused our dev time on improving the back-end speed for our editorial team’s ability to slice through and review/approve articles. Reason: Enhance productivity and give faster approval turnarounds.

This month we’re working on staying ahead of the demand curve with another set of servers added plus lots more dev work to integrate them.

Know that it has our attention and we won’t rest till everything is sub-intra-second response.

Comment provided August 10, 2006 at 10:42 AM


Ed Howes writes:

Connections everywhere.

I have an article in the works about cyber anxiety, patience and attention spans. No such thing as coincidence.

Comment provided August 10, 2006 at 10:52 AM


Edward Weiss writes:

Just checked and the EzineArticles pages are loading faster! I don’t want to sound ungrateful. I am grateful for this site and the work you do. Just concerned that potential article readers will abandon the site do to slow load times.

Comment provided August 10, 2006 at 10:58 AM


Lance@carwashguys.com writes:

I thank Wally for personally handling my question and email during your time away. Very efficient, to the point and thoroughly rectified the situation. I agree the team did well. So that is my personal observation, never even knew Chris was away. Smooth sailing, good management and a great team indeed.

Comment provided August 10, 2006 at 11:29 AM


Dina writes:

Chris: you look so happy! I like the guy on the end, flashing the peace sign.

Comment provided August 10, 2006 at 1:05 PM



The smile on my face is because I had just pushed the countdown timer on my digital camera and raced to be in the picture before the flash went off (it was my Sony R1 that took the picture).

Guy with the peace sign is “Drew” and he’s from Madison Wisconsin. You should see what happened to his racquet!

(it broke under pressure… perhaps he should have had a “HEAD” brand racquet ;-)

Here’s a picture of myself standing next to Drew:

Comment provided August 10, 2006 at 1:26 PM


Pamela Beers writes:

Welcome back, Chris! Looks like you had a great time. What happened to Drew’s racquet?

Your team is awesome.

Comment provided August 10, 2006 at 2:48 PM


Jennifer Thieme writes:

This blog made me smile. :-)

Comment provided August 10, 2006 at 5:00 PM


Keith Renninson writes:


Yes, there is a lot to be said for letting the office staff run the joint for a while, builds confidence and morale.

2-the number of 11.000′ passes in the Colorado Rockies I rode over last weekend on my bike…84 miles in total 6,000 feet of climb in 5 hours 34 minutes…not too bad for an old fogey!

Hope you had fun at the training camp; next time you’re going to be in Colorado let me know we can have dinner, I’m close to Colo. Spgs.



Comment provided August 10, 2006 at 9:37 PM


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