Hello World! – IsNSFW Edition

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series IsNSFW

Back in 2009, I launched a service called IsNSFW (Is Not Safe For Work). It was a URL shortener that allowed the sharer to tag a link as NSFW, so when the user clicks the link they get a warning and a chance to turn back.

The need arose from the services like twitter where character real-estate was in short supply and everyone started turning to URL shorteners like bit.ly.

That was all fine and dandy, except the end user never knew what was behind that beautifully-short URL. That’s a problem!

So… IsNSFW was born!

We enjoyed some online success. We had quite a few articles written about us. Some in Italian; some in Russian; some in Spanish; some in French; some in languages we didn’t even know.

And then… catastrophe!

Our CC lapsed on our hosting provider and we didn’t know it. They have a pretty strict policy. They don’t just turn off your account — they delete it!

Our database was gone, and I didn’t have the energy to try to rebuild the hype and following.

until now!

I wanted to play around with some new tech and design patterns. I didn’t want to just fake through it with some sample projects from the web; and I didn’t want to dive in with one of my “this is gonna make me millions!” ideas*. So, I settled on IsNSFW.

Over the next (insert estimated post count here) posts, I’ll be taking you through a series of commits and explain what I did and why. I’ll be doing this for a few reasons:

  1. I feel like a lot of articles I read jump in to the middle and getting started can be tough. So I want to try my hand at explaining things and see if I can help others.
  2. While my goal is to tackle specific technology and design patterns, I might not have done it the best way! I’m not perfect. I’m hoping that by sharing my story, in addition to helping others, I hope others help me! Iron sharpens iron, my friends.
  3. Lastly, I’m going to be writing these blog posts to keep myself accountable. I want to keep things moving, but I don’t want to move so quickly that I’m neglecting the real purpose of the project — to learn! By “Stepping Back” (hah!) from the keyboard and really planning things out, I’m hoping for better results and more consistency.

IsNSFW is available on github. Feel free to play around with it. And as always, suggestions and comments are more than welcome!

* Actual amount of “millions” being generated may vary.