There have been two, or possibly three, things going on lately with the Balloon Juice site.
If you don’t care about the details, know that I am working with the developers to resolve the issues. You can jump to the bottom and watch the Bob Bauer video. Bob Bauer heads Biden’s vote protection effort. After that you can click the link to listen to Letitia James (the New York AG) message to voters. You won’t regret it.
Details about the site for anyone who is interested:
The custom twitter feed plugin that automatically posts new threads in John’s twitter feed lost its mind – on or about the night of the last debate. We turned off that plugin, and the site was back to normal. We left it turned off for a few days, then turned it on again at some point that weekend. It misbehaved some more, so we turned it off again.
That’s why you don’t see John’s twitter feed in the sidebar.
I opened a ticket with the plugin developer. We will need to turn the plugin back on so they can (hopefully) catch it in the act so they can see what’s gong on. I’ll let you know when that happens so you won’t have to wonder what’s going on. I worked with them on another issue with the twitter feed plugin last December, and they were helpful then, so I have high hopes.
The WordPress search plugin is also acting out. I worked with our site developer on Thursday, and with their monitoring software, he was able to figure out the query in the search plugin that is causing the problem. While we were on the phone, he contacted the developer for that plugin (nice that our site developer knows him personally). The second thing the plugin developer said was “that’s a lot of comments!” I laughed. (We are at 5.9 million comments on BJ.)
The good news on that front is that developer has already looked at the problem and written some new code to fix it.
Our site developer has the new code and will be installing it and rebuilding the site index so we can see if the problem has been resolved. That should happen this weekend, or possibly on Monday.
Election Night on Balloon Juice is gonna give the site a workout, so I want to share the plan for that night.
Plan A: The custom twitter feed developers fix the bug in the twitter feed plugin and the WordPress search plugin people fix their respective bugs before Tuesday, and the site stops having the slowdown issue..
Plan B: If both bugs are not fixed by Tuesday, then the offending plugin(s) will be turned off for Nov 3 and as long as the election craziness lasts. Or until the bug is fixed.
I also plan to ask our site developer to keep a special eye on the site on Tuesday night, though we obviously can’t expect him to be up all night.
The third thing that’s going on with the site appears to primarily affect iPads. Other tablets are possibly affected as well, but the only devices I am aware of so far are iPads. The problem with impossibly slow loading of the front page appears to be related to twitter, but we don’t know if that’s the cause or a symptom. My strong suspicion is that the WordPress search plugin issue is affecting iPads, particularly older iPads, more than other devices.
My plan is to give the Search plugin people a chance to fix their bug and then see if the iPad issue is also resolved. If the iPad issue remains after that, then I’d like to work with a few iPad peeps to do some testing to see if we can narrow down the issue. So if you’re an iPad person and you’re willing to be part of that testing, please let me know in the comments.
Volunteers: mali muso, GeriUpNorth, Intensive Porpoises, way2blue, dmsilev, Cam-WA, dm, Erin in Flagstaff, Feathers, Madeleine
Questions? Ask away.
Bob Bauer heads Biden’s vote protection effort. Watch his video. I promise you’ll feel better.
So you’re worried Trump is going to try to steal the election? Join the club. But Bob Bauer, the Democratic super-lawyer and head of Biden’s massive voter protection effort, had a soothing message when I sat with him for @SHO_TheCircus:
“He will fail.” pic.twitter.com/b0pU0ot4yu
— John Heilemann (@jheil) October 20, 2020
Click this link to listen to Leticia James (the New York AG) message to all voters.
You won’t regret it.