About the Author

Chris Shiflett

Hi, I’m Chris: entrepreneur, community leader, husband, and father. I live and work in Boulder, CO.

All posts for Aug 2004

Fired for Blogging

I just read Joyce Park's blog entry about her termination from Friendster. The opening paragraph sums it up pretty well:

So I was terminated from Friendster today. The reason given was blogging.

If true, this paints a poor picture of Friendster, a supposed social networking resource. It seems to me that if the Friendster management had any foresight, they would be trying to think of ways to improve their primitive idea of social networking and combine blogging, job hunting, matchmaking, and every other online social activity into one. In this industry, you innovate or die, and it looks like Friendster has chosen to die.

Many people have been cancelling their accounts as a result of Joyce's termination, or more accurately, because of the reason given to Joyce for the termination. I would probably do the same, but I never signed up for an account (the abysmal performance was too intolerable).

You might recall that my summary of Friendster's switch to PHP was mentioned on Slashdot. I can't help but think that this added tremendous exposure to Joyce's blog entry on the topic. In fact, Joyce mentioning the transition in her blog is what sparked all the attention, and it seems like Friendster benefitted tremendously as a result.

So, Friendster is dying, and now it's pretty public. Will orkut succeed where Friendster failed? Based on the lack of innovation there, it seems unlikely.

Social networking seems to be a huge market waiting to be tapped. Maybe the FOAF project will come up with something creative. If you're looking for a good research area or wondering if there are any big ideas left to be discovered, you might want to consider social networking. With a little creativity, you could easily find yourself leading the way.

PHP at ApacheCon

The schedule for ApacheCon has been published, and it looks like it will be a great conference for PHP developers.

I will be giving a 3 hour PHP security tutorial on Sunday. If you missed the one I gave at OSCON, you're in luck, because I plan to work hard to make this one even better. I'll also make some enhancements to the PHP Security Workbook and provide that as the handout.

In addition to the tutorial, I'm giving a 60 minute talk with mod_perl core developer Geoff Young about testing PHP with Perl (two great tastes that taste great together). Geoff is a fantastic speaker, and this talk should be very fun and entertaining. Mixed in with the inevitable banter between us, we hope to provide some practical and useful information that you can apply directly to your PHP development.

Among the other interesting talks are a 3 hour tutorial about scalable Internet architectures by Theo Schlossnagle, a 60 minute talk on PHP 5 by Andi Gutmans, and Adam Trachtenberg's popular talk, Why PHP 5 Sucks! Why PHP 5 Rocks!.

I usually spend most of my time at conferences in the halls and social gathering places, but I think I'll be attending quite a few talks this year. It's good to see such a nice lineup of talks. I'm definitely looking forward to it.

Hope to see you in Vegas.

The Race Begins

Security Corner

For those of you who read php|architect, you're probably familiar with my monthly column on PHP security called Security Corner. After a very successful first six months, I'm happy to announce the free availability of the first column, Security Corner: Session Fixation.

As a result of an arrangement with php|architect, I will be able to make each column freely available six months after publication. So, now that the first column is available, you can expect a new one each month. Of course, if you want to keep current with the latest, you'll want to subscribe to either the electronic or print edition of the magazine.

Many thanks to php|architect for their role in helping to educate PHP developers about security.