J. Nathan Matias Creative Portfolio, December 2010
Philadelphia Fullerine (documentary)
Philadelphia Fullerine (research)
Comparing Spatial Hypertext Collections
Tragedy in Electronic Literature
Ethical Explanations
Operational Media Online
Syntagmatic Browser
Tinderbox Web Viewer
Truth, Trust, and the Textual Camera
Web Art Science Camp London 2010
E-LitCamp Boston 2009
Accordion for the World
The Hacktatus: Wittgenstein Design Project
Academic Integrity Marketing
Literary Choice in Interactive Fiction
Non-Portfolio Academic Work
Emberlight: Visual Notes Online
Scaling for kgb's Super Bowl Television Ad
kgb Multiroom Web Chat Interface
Dr. Johnson: A Rapid Prototyping Framework
Dressipi Sibyl
Harbour Coffee Online Sales Interface
Elizabethtown College Admissions
Etown.edu Information Architecture
Texperts and the Knowledge Generation Bureau
Performance Testing & Instrumenting Web Applications
kgb Web Application Interface Integration
Workstation Status Dashboard
Back of the Envelope
Design & Art
Swift-Speare: Statistical Poetry
Stretchtext Authoring System
Recital: Notes from an Itinerant Mind
Exhibit: Abolitionism in Britain
Sculpture: Read for the Sky
Visual Summaries Project
Design: Competetive Debate
Radio Show: Echoes of America
Design: Edward Tufte at Intelligence2
The Normative Decisionmaking Model
Card Storytelling Software
Projects with Tinderbox
Libyan Higher Education Documentary
World University Documentary Prototype
The University Lives Collection
The Ministry of Stories
Timelines for Citizen Case Management
Cambridge Union Society E-Voting Policies
Scaling for kgb's Super Bowl Television Ad
February 2010
Scaling a microwork service for the Super Bowl

In 2010, I was part of the team which scaled the SMS microwork service of the Knowledge Generation Bureau for the television ad we ran during the American Super Bowl (along with others that day). That year, the Super Bowl had 106.5 million television viewers.

Since the kgb service is carried out by thousands of people working collaboratively on our web app, scaling our system was significantly more challenging than simply scaling a website or web application with limited collaboration.

My role involved:

  • Developing and coordinating distributed, cloud-based simulations of worker activity in order to:
    • Establish what our ordinary architecture was capable
    • Advise the business on possibilities for the ad campaign
    • Give the business information it could use to decide if it should approve the ad campaign
    • Provide the tech team with the information it needed to decide a scaling approach
    • Run simulated performance tests as part of the development and deployment process of scaling and testing our new architecture
  • Briefing our technology partners on the superbowl project, what our plans for scaling were, and discussing how to coordinate our efforts

I wrote an article on one aspect of this project for RailsInside: "How a Realtime SMS Service Scaled to Super Bowl Traffic with Rails."

Here is one of our Super Bowl ads: