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'This Is Now' on Nodejitsu

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A couple weeks ago we discovered that a little site called was absolutely blowing up on Nodejitsu. The project, entitled This Is Now, is a real time Instagram feed from 8 different cities around the world. It was crafted by Lexical Gap, a Sydney-based team of creative technologists made up of Marcio Puga, Mauricio Massaia, and Per Thoresson.

This is Now

The app is a mosaic of images which gives you a window into the lives of people in cities around the world. You check out NY and find photos of sky scrapers, Brooklyn street corners, and people's pets, while the London feed still reveals remnants of the 2012 Olympics. I caught up with Marcio who explained that this project was Lexical Gap's first foray into node.js. The Lexical Gap team used to communicate with the Instagram API via Instagram-node-lib to deliver a smooth real-time experience.

This Is Now also turned out to be a great opportunity for our team to test what happens when apps running on our small drone servers get hammered with traffic (i.e. 500 concurrent connections per drone). We were able to quickly scale up the app by running it on multiple drones, seamlessly handling the burst of interest in the app, spurred on by several articles in the press - the more popular cities, like New York and Los Angeles, were peaking at well over 2000 concurrent websocket connections. While there were a few regressions, we jumped in to handle them quickly, and everything went great.

To quote Marcio "We received a private beta account from Nodejitsu on the 21st of April, and we have never left. The platform provided a robust suite of functionality that assisted in the development, management, and deployment of our Node.js applications. The deployment tools are definitely the most user-friendly in the industry. Everything highlighted above would be already enough reason for us to be convinced to use it, but our respect/admiration really grew when we met the guys behind Nodejitsu."

Thanks. :) Congrats to the Lexical Gap guys on the success. We can't wait to see what community turns out next.