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It is known that Server is extremely critical in web application.  Imagine you are a huge business and your server down all of the sudden because of increasing number of users, you are very likely to lose huge money as well as your reputation. Server is becoming a very difficult issue when it comes to social media sites, because these sites are more likely to have a burst of increasing user due to sound viral loop in very short time.


Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) turns out to be a good solution since it is elastic. It allows us to quickly scale capacity, both up and down, as your computing requirements change.

There are some good parts that I find:

1)       Elastic, we can increase or decrease capacity within minutes.

2)       It works in conjunction with Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), Amazon SimpleDB and Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS). It can also use Amazon web services.

3)       It is to some extent secure since it is protected by Amazon firewall

4)       It is not hard to run Drupal or WordPress on EC2.

Drupal :


5)       Price is good.



Thomas(Xianglai) Kong


Although we test out our site and get feedback from users based on our function of site, we are considering to do some design for the site. In fact, web design is critical for the usability of the site along the working flow of the user function. People will have the first impression of our site by web design in less than 5 seconds. Therefore, simple and clean design is needed.

I looked for design theming template for news site and selected four with which the design style may be suitable for our site. The usual key part of web design is always in details including color, fonts and layout.

Design 1 I chose with blue as background and black as menu fonts with the fonts looks not formal. This design is suitable to convey to idea of freedom, easy-communication and relax.

Design 2 with color system in blue ( dark blue, light blue changed in grey scale), with Serif font is suitable to convey the idea of professional and high quality.

Design 3 with black as main color is used to convey the idea of telling truth and being serious.

Design 4 with white as main color is used to convey the idea of wide range, intenational.

Therefore, more discussions are needed in the team to determine which information we’d like to convey to users through web design.

Xianglai Kong

I was new to Drupal when I came to the team and work at the programming part of the site with Venkat. And I learnt quite a lot of Drupal during the process.

We decided to use Drupal 7 because Drupal 6 will be stopped support from the community. However the Drupal 7 is quite new and not all modules are incorporated well with the core, in fact, quite a lot of troubles came out when dealing with facebook modules for Drupal.

Regarding quite a lot of social networking function of our site by Drupal, unlike Buddypress for WordPress and JomSocial for Joomla, it seems that we have to build many functions from many modules and develop them in Drupal.

Compared with WordPress , based on the “loop”, Drupal is quite complex with contents organized by “notes” and event function implemented by “hooks”. It took me sometime to understand this idea of hooks, with the name convention which triggers events. For example, if there is some events happening with the user, functions like XXXX_user() will be called from a lot of related modules.

Facebook module is quite important in the site and it helps us to integrate site with facebook platform in order to promote the site. For registration we think and survey that using facebook connect, we can make sure to some extent that the user in our site will have some information in order to guarantee our discussion quality. Also the people who discuss on our site can invite friends from facebook so that our site can be reached out to more people. On the contrary, some actions on our site may also be posted on the facebook wall. These are all done by facebook for drupal module through facebook api, fbml, fbjs.

Facebook for drupal module is quite incomplete with Drupal 7. A lot of troubleshooting was carried out during development like Undefined index, Facebook API exception Error validating access token and etc. Some part of the module hooks are also only integrated with Drupal 6.