About Eric Goldsmith

Eric Goldsmith, Operations Architect at AOL, has more than 20 years of experience providing technical leadership in the areas of product development, engineering and operations. At AOL he has led efforts to deliver the highest levels of performance and availability for top Web sites, including: AOL.com; AIM.com; and AOL Video; among others. His areas of expertise include Performance Analysis, Capacity Planning, Network Engineering, and Software Development. Prior to AOL, Eric worked for companies such as UUNet, WorldCom and CompuServe, as well as telecom and Internet startups. He holds a BS in Computer Science from The Ohio State University.

Improving Ad Performance

There has been a good deal of work around defining guidelines, best practices, etc. for improving Web page performance (i.e. delivery speed). As Web page publishers have worked to implement these best practices, they inevitably reach a point where they can go no further to improve their own content. The long poles in the tent are outside their control, often in third-party content – in many cases, ads.

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Best IM Client for BlackBerry

Someone recently asked me what Instant Messaging client I use on my BlackBerry.

Last fall I was looking for an AOL IM (a.k.a. AIM) client for my BlackBerry 8800. After much searching and evaluation, I settled on JiveTalk. It connects to virtually all IM networks (via gateways), and is a true IM client application – not a wrapper around SMS, like some products.

It’s not free, but the cost is minimal, and it’s truly one of the best products I’ve found. Highly recommended.

AOL Releases PageTest

AOL has released an open-source tool for measuring Web page performance called PageTest. It shares some similarities with Yahoo!’s YSlow, but works with Internet Explorer (6 and 7).

You can run PageTest as a browser plug-in, or use a hosted version at webpagetest.org (this is still being built out, so please be patient).

We’ve been using (what has evolved into) PageTest at AOL for years. Give it a try.

YSlow update – offers more complete picture

Yahoo! released version 0.9 of YSlow recently. The release notes offer the highlights, but this blog entry by one of the developers provides more details.

I haven’t had a chance to spend much time with the new release, but it promises to address what I saw as the biggest shortcoming of prior releases – that it only crawled the DOM and didn’t capture network traffic. The new version promises to do both, providing a much more complete picture.

I was a bit disappointed to see that a bug I had reported in prior versions still remains – YSlow falsely identifies redirects. For example, today on www.aol.com there are 3 redirects, but YSlow identified 20 – the other 17 are listed as “redirects to <blank>” .

Nevertheless, a great tool.