Archive for July, 2006

Get the Microsoft Office Professional 2007 Beta

So it appears Microsoft is having some trouble paying the bandwidth bills for their MS Office 2007 Beta 2 download.

Starting Wednesday, August 2nd they will be charging $1.50 to those who wish to download and test Microsoft Office 2007 Beta 2. It appears that the demand for MS's Office Beta was much larger than the MS budget for bandwidth had anticipated and they've had to resort to charging their beta users for the download.

We at swoosh, with infinite generosity, offer up this FREE swooshed link to Office 2007 Beta2 to rid Microsoft of delivery costs while accelerating the download to users. Moral of the story: If delivering your large files and video is generating bandwidth bills that burn large holes in your pockets (even pockets the size of Microsoft's!!), try Swooshing your links for free, fast and fun content delivery.

Get MS Office 2007 Beta 2 here by clicking this (very long) swooshed link:

Or, download using our handy-dandy MicroDLM here:

Happy Swooshing

PS: You'll need to get your own license key from Microsoft to install.

PPS: For more info on swooshing your links please visit:

Invitation to the Swoosh 2.0 Beta Program

If you had created an account in the Swoosh network, this morning you would have found this handsome email (or as near as Wordpress can render it) in your inbox. Travis complained it was a bit too “marketing” and not enough “dev”, which I think is funny given that I’m the dev guy and he’s as close as we have to marketing. Sure, maybe I went overboard with the bold, and I even have a few exclamation points in there (which Travis knows I rail upon), but I think it turned out nice.

It’s time to unveil Red Swoosh 2.0, and you’re invited to take part in the limited beta program for our entirely new, completely rewritten client software. That’s right - not only have we completely redesigned our website with a new style and enhanced developer features - we’ve secretly gone back to the drawing board and rebuilt our core product to be smaller, faster, and better than before. What does this mean to you? A better technology platform for Swooshing your site today, and a stronger architecture for rapid iteration in the coming months. Among countless minor improvements, it includes:

Faster installation . Faster downloads . Lower CPU usage . Lower memory usage
Tighter security . New JSAPI functions . New control panel

And of course it’s 100% backwards compatible with the previous client and will be rolled out via seamless auto-upgrade with zero downtime. All existing swooshed links and websites will continue to function as before. In preparation for this release we invite you to check it out and give us some real-world testing on its many new features, including:

  • A smaller, faster installer - reduced from over 600KB to a mere 72KB
  • Substantial download acceleration for long-tail (narrowly-deployed) content
  • Store client-side data using redswooshSetAttribute - it’s like cookies for Swoosh content
  • Enable and disable predeliveries from your own website using rs_enablepredeliveries
  • Automatic protection for your users by securing redswooshInitialize to your domain
  • Snappier response-times, and overall performance improvements across the board

In addition, we’re particularly eager to hear what you think about our brand new control panel:

It appears alongside the rest of your control panels (Sound, Network Connections, etc), and gives the user total knowledge and control over the client’s activity, including the ability to stop and start the client, pause and resume downloads, disable predeliveries from a website, or even remove a website altogether. This is just one step we are taking to uphold the commitments we make in our Bill of Rights, giving the user total knowledge, transparency, and control over the client at all times.

Ready to get started? Just reply to this message (or email [email protected]) with a quick intro, and we’ll hook you up with all the details. Otherwise, feel free to follow the discussion in the Swoosh forum, or just wait for the auto-upgrade to see for yourself what all the hoopla is about.

We’ve got tons of great stuff cooking over here at Red Swoosh, and between the new website and client release, you’re just seeing the start of it. We’ve got grand ambitions and bold plans in store, but at the end of the day we know that we’re only as good as you make us, and thus we’ll do everything in our power to make your website great.

So come on over to the forum and post your thoughts, questions, and off-topic rants. I think you’ll be shocked how responsive we’ll be to your questions, and how open we are to your concerns. Now is the time to be the first to take advantage of the next big wave of P2P web integration, and we’re here to help you do it right and in style.

Thanks for your time, and drop us a reply so I can get you started today!

- David and the rest of Team Swoosh

BR trumps PR

What is BR you ask?  BR is the informal, cooler, no-spin, no b/s alternative of PR (public relations):  

With our latest launch we scrapped all plans for PR.  We want to be seen for what we are by people who understand what we do.  Fewer compromises in just being ourselves.  So why not leave it to the blogosphere? We’re trying to reach the web development community and what better way than to go to fellow bloggers and let them decide? Now this isn’t the traditional way of doing business and not traditional at all when it comes to launching a product, so why BR over PR?  There are many reasons.  Here are a few: 

Niche News:
How many geeked-out web developers turn to the marketplace section of the Wall Street Journal?  How many savvy web marketing gurus get their cutting edge web technology news from the LA Times?  Ummm. . . Bueler, . .. . Bueler. . . nobody raising their hand??  In fact, the online generation gets their news from niche, expert sources, brought together by massive aggregators. The web devs that matter don’t get the latest from Forbes, the wall street journal, or the Baltimore Sun.  They get their news from other webdevs who share their experiences and their insights with their peers. . .folks like ,  maybe with pointers from digg or  The audiences in aggregate are far bigger than traditional media, and the news at each site far more relevant.

Linking Ecosystem:
Newspapers don’t link to stories outside of their “media amusement park”.  They want to bring you in and then keep you there and read all the other “amusements” they have in today’s edition.  Newspapers would rather you not even know what your alternative news sources are, let alone point to them.  Online versions of newspapers will rarely link to other sites, let alone other news stories on the same topic.  Not so in the blogging world.  It’s all about linking to others to give props to those you respect, and to be open about your detractors because on the net — unlike in paper — you can’t hide from them.  In practical terms, I heard from a number of bloggers “that’s pretty cool. . . I’ll point to ya’”  Don’t think for a second you would ever hear that from a mainstream journalist.  If it’s compelling, the blogosphere takes over from there.  That one “point to ya” turns into dozens of blogs with hundreds of links talking about the story and pointing to your site.  Story filters and aggregators like Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious, and others were by far the biggest referrers to our new site during our launch.  The blogging ecosystem multiplied the effect of our news many times over and far outpaced any amount of traffic we would have gotten if we did the PR path.

Bloggers Get It:
Bloggers love what they do, have an expertise at what they write about (at least the good ones do), and they work for themselves.  In a meritocracy, good ideas float to the top and the bad sink to obscurity.  The blogosphere is built on this tenet.  Far too often journalists lack the passion or expertise that’s necessary to find the good stuff.  A good story speaks for itself, and I’m glad I didn’t have to explain what “Swooshing your links” is to USA Today (they wouldn’t point readers back to Red Swoosh anyways).

A few quick anecdotes from our experience of BR vs. PR:
- Bloggers are passionate about the Internet, Newspapers fear the Internet
- Journalists work for the Man, Bloggers work for themselves. - Newspapers follow the casino model (once you get in, it’s hard to get out), Bloggers build around the flea-market model (let the best content win).
- Bloggers see the world as an ecosystem, Big Media see it as a zero-sum game.
- Bloggers write about what they care about, journalists often just have to write on what they’re told

And to finish up, a little shout-out to some of the folks we found pointing to us, who themselves have quite interesting things going on: Must check this out.  A Firefox plug-in that shows people the latest cool stuff on the web.  I didn’t know about them, but they came out huge for Swoosh during the launch. TechCrunch is the leading blog on web 2.0 period (whether you like the web 2.0 moniker or not).  Michael Arrington at Techcrunch cuts to the chase and is what I would call a “lead bull” in the blogosphere — people follow.  We all know, mmm yummy. . .  All the cool sites out on the net with the most-creamiest of designs.  When creating this site, I had to turn to my friends’ sites as guides for design, what works and what doesn’t. . .I’m going to use these guys for expert guidance the next time around  This is for all the CSS’ers in the house, with a special thanks to our Polish CSS masters at for making it all look so shiny.      


Big day at Swoosh

we came, we launched, we didn’t sleep,

Our new site is where the old one used to be:

Let me know what you guys think.  We’re still getting feedback and tweaking as we go.  We made a strategic decision to go with BR vs. PR, and wow the payoff was huge.  I couldn’t list here all of the blogs that gave the Swoosh some love, but here’s a smattering of a few interesting ones:

Robert Scoble with a vision for vlogging at Scobleizer

Arrington with the full scoop at TechCrunch  

Matt Marshall with the finance tip at SiliconBeat

We were rockstars on Digg for the day making it to the TOP of the home page. Digg is a top 100 site that gets more traffic than the NYTimes -  400+ diggs today!

It’s a wild west world out there in the blogosphere. Everybody comes out of the woodwork and it’s on the record.

Now it’s back to the work of getting web developers to Swoosh those links

 - chief swoosher

Red Swoosh Refresh

For most of you, Red Swoosh is new to you.  It’s a fresh thing of Web 2.0 brilliance.  Cool, disruptive technology but practical, and easy to use.  Our mission: to rid the world’s webmasters of bloated bandwidth bills. . . man that’s web2.0-dotcom -p2p-diggnatious. . . 

. . . okay, that was a bit much.  But we are good stuff, . . .no? 

What most of you don’t know is that Red Swoosh has been here for years.  

Yes, long before Bittorrent was a sparkle in Bram’s eye, we got going on the company in the final days of 2000 and launched our first Swooshed website, in 2001.  

Well, we were a bit early to market. . . . ummm, about 4 years, and we kept a tight ship as we waited for the big wave of digital distribution to hit.  We kept things tight and pulled in customers where we could, ultimately doing great work for mostly really large websites paying 1000’s of dollars per month. 

We even got our first major investment from Mark Cuban last year, and signed dozens of customers since. 

But really, things still weren’t lighting up the way we think they could have or should have.  We were so Web 1.0.  We had “brochure-ware” that we put up on the site, and you could sign up for a newsletter.  Then we would call you. . . old skool stylez, the equivalent of the  rotary telephone for the Internet-set. 

Well, we knew that had to change.  More and more folks were calling us for services, but most of them didn’t have the money to even register into our normal pricing schemes, and we certainly didn’t have product or the customer support infrastructure to support them. 

So we went to Thailand to Offshore Ourselves for 6 weeks in May and June, and we’ve come back with a vengeance.

  • Self-service portal  
  • Swoosh Developer community site 
  • Javascript API and cool P2P widgets

And can you say FREE content delivery for everyone. . .?

Here’s a teaser screenshot of the home page:


We’ve got lots coming up over the next few days. . . even a little sumptin’ sumptin’ from the top martial arts Vlogger on the planet. . .stay tuned. 

Right this way folks, the mysterious mind of the user awaits.

As an engineer I am not always on the same wavelength as the end user. What I feel is interesting and innovative might induce reluctance, panic, or hunger in the user. Our jobs depend on catering to these puzzling beings, whose rationale we may never understand. Fortunately, we can observe them in their natural habitat and adjust accordingly. Altering the users’ environment and seeing how they react helps us to create a better environment for them. This does not tell us ‘why’ they like this more than that, but I doubt the users themselves can answer that question.

The investigation into the users’ collective mind began with the release of our new installation page, or ‘the bar’ as we like to call it. For those of you who are not familiar with Red Swoosh, our installation page is where users are sent if they click on a swooshed link but do not have the Red Swoosh client installed. Man, that bar looks good (left). And, it kept the referring customer’s page in a frame below it preserving context for the user. It was going to send installation figures through the roof. On the contrary, after its release, we noticed that installation rates dropped significantly. Was the bar broken? No, for reasons we could only guess at, the users did not like it as much as our old full page installation screen.

Our model changed. Rather than trying to give the users what we thought they wanted we decided to give them what they actually preferred. Randomly sending a subset of the potential swoosh users to various installation pages gave us invaluable information. How much better is a full page installation screen than a frame based one at converting users? Does the inclusion of a referring customer’s logo matter?

Over three iterations we removed poorly performing installation pages and replaced them with variations of the ones with high conversion rates. Here are a couple of fun facts we have discovered.

  1. Quickly whipped up variations of the full page installation screen convert at 10%-15%, where as the variations of the bar did not exceed 5%.
  2. Including the referring customer’s logo, making the installation page look really nice, changing the wording, hardly affect the conversion rates.

Our Darwinian approach to installation page selection is only in its infancy, but the results are already noticeable. Hopefully we can reach an understanding of the users to clearly convey the good will of Swoosh, and even conquer their habit of clicking ‘back’ or closing the installation page.