Category Archives: Site News

Four Years of Speed Force

Can you believe it’s been four years since the first post at Speed Force?

Amazing, isn’t it?

Back when it started, it was just me, running WordPress on a shared webserver at work. It’s since grown to four regular writers, the occasional guest writer, a bunch of regular commenters and lots of readers.

This was a time when the iPad didn’t exist, the iPhone had only been around two years, and Android had yet to release a single phone. Digital comics were something that the print publishers still looked at as maybe a threat, or maybe a fad, but certainly not something viable, even though webcomics had been around for over a decade. Wally West was still the main Flash and Barry Allen’s return had only been hinted at on panel. The previous Comic-Con International had still sold tickets at the door, and the next Comic-Con wouldn’t sell out until about a week before the event. No one had ever complained that Twilight “ruined” Comic-Con, because the movie hadn’t come out yet. No one had heard of a Black Lantern.

For comparison, here are the covers of the most recent Flash issues at the time the site launched vs. today.

Flash v.2 #240 Flash #9 cover

Hmm, two relaunches (three if you count Flash vol.3 separate from Flash: Rebirth) later, and they’re still monkeying around…

I launched Speed Force on June 15, 2008, because I wanted to write about the Morrison/Millar Flash run being collected. A few days later I lucked into my first “scoop:” images of the Flash in Mortal Kombat vs. DCU. That and the reputation of Flash: Those Who Ride the Lightning helped the blog hit the ground running (so to speak), and it’s been a mad dash ever since.

Over the next four days, each of us at Speed Force — me, Devin, Greg and Lia — will be writing something special for the event. We’ll have a contest, too, so be sure to check in over the weekend!

Thanks to all of you for coming along on this ride!

Better Continuity with Facebook and Twitter

Speed Force has gotten a little more Social. So to speak. We’ve been sending new posts to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Tumblr for a while, but until now the conversations out on those social networks have been completely separate.

Now, you can comment here using your Facebook or Twitter ID, and have the option of sharing your comments there as well.

Better yet, if you reply to a story on our Facebook page, your comment will appear here too…and replies to your comment here will get copied over to Facebook.

One big conversation instead of three separate ones. (Tumblr’s a different sort of beast, and Google+ is on the radar, but not supported yet.)

Think of it as the worlds of Facebook, Twitter and Speed Force comments merging together, only without Pandora or the Anti-Monitor!

As with any big change, there’s the chance that something could go wrong. If you run into something that isn’t working, please let me know, either by commenting here, mentioning @SpeedForceOrg in a tweet, or emailing speedforce - at - pobox - dot - com

Planned Downtime on Thursday Wednesday

Heads up!

You’ve probably noticed a few site outages here at Speed Force over the last few months. Well, here’s warning for another one. My webhost will be upgrading the network this Thursday evening after 10:00 pm PDT.

DreamHost is allowing four hours for the planned maintenance, but they expect actual downtime to be “minimal.”

With luck, the improvements will prevent the sort of unplanned downtime that’s been a problem lately.

In the event of an extended outage (this week or any other time), you can usually find me on Twitter at @SpeedForceOrg, and you can catch up on recent posts on the SpeedForce Tumblr. If you don’t see anything about it in one of those places, please let me know – it’s possible I’ve missed an alert and don’t know yet.

UPDATE It looks like either I misread the announcement or Dreamhost swapped the LAX & Irvine plans (judging by the URL on the now-404ed original post, I’m guessing the former). In any case, the site was down for about half an hour Wednesday evening during the maintenance window. The funny thing is that I spent three hours tonight working on a network migration for my job. Now there’s timing!

We’re Back!

Sorry for the extended outage last night. It was one of those perfect storm situations: Ordinarily, it would have rebooted on its own and been back up within minutes, but it locked up instead. Ordinarily, I would have been reading my email and seen the alert quickly, but I didn’t turn on my computer until almost midnight, and wasn’t reading it on my phone. Ordinarily, rebooting the webserver manually would have solved the problem, but it couldn’t connect to the DB. Ordinarly, tech support would have responded to my trouble report sooner, but they were doing planned maintenance on another system.

For the techies & tech-curious: Something caused memory usage on the web server to spike and lock up. Rebooting (hours later) solved that issue, but the web server couldn’t connect to the database. As far as I could tell the DB server wasn’t responding, but when tech support got involved, it turned out to be a network issue on the webserver.

It’s really frustrating. There were problems earlier last year, but they’d mostly settled out by late summer. From then on it was a few minutes here, a few minutes there. In fact, there was no downtime at all between early December and last Thursday. And now to be out for ~10 hours? It’s especially frustrating because I just consolidated all my domain names at Dreamhost last week.

In the future, if the site’s down and you want to know what’s going on or whether I already know about it, please check @SpeedForceOrg on Twitter. I’ll post updates on the site status there, and you can read the page even if you don’t have a Twitter account. If you don’t see anything there, please e-mail me at speedforce at pobox dot com. And if you just want to read recent posts, you can always check the Tumblr blog.

Speed Force: Top Posts of the Year (2011)

It’s been a great year for Speed Force, with Greg and Lia coming on board to join Devin and myself as regular contributors. Plus of course the Flash’s profile was raised with this year’s DC mega-event, Flashpoint, bringing in more people curious about DC’s super-speed hero.

Before we continue, I’d like to give a huge thank-you to Devin, Greg and Lia for their work on this site. I’d also like to thank everyone who contributed guest posts, and everyone who’s read and commented.

So, without further ado, here are the top posts of 2011! Continue reading

Flash #3 Preview and Google Plus

Google has finally opened up brand/group pages on Google+ yesterday. DC Comics was one of the first to sign up, and their second day of posting features a four-page preview of The Flash #3. Last week I got a sneak peek during a conversation with Brian Buccellato at Long Beach Comic Con, and let me tell you: this is only the beginning. The issue looks amazing.

You can also find Speed Force on Google+ now, so if that’s your preferred network, please drop by, say hi, and add us to your circles!