Been spending some free time lately learning some new technologies and improving my knowledge of others.
End result: http://www.jubjoo.com
Implemented with C# 2012, ASP.Net, SQL 2012. Using .Net Framework 4.5, Entity Framework 5.0, WCF. Latest Telerik for Ajax release. Extensive use of Linq (Linq2Sql), Lambda expressions.
In-Memory image manipulation. Video decoding/encoding. SEO Optimization using URL Routing (no more URL Rewriter, Woo!).
The site is built for easy load balancing and scalability. Currently split into 4 servers (Front End Web, SQL, Media Storage and Web Server, and Worker (Video Encoding, DB Writes, Image scaling and branding).
This is typically how I keep up to date with latest tech. Rather than spending time going over books, I build these projects utilizing the actual technologies. I still spend a lot of time reading documentation but I find this a lot more fun and engaging.
I should note that I’m not a web designer. Hence the minimalistic approach to the site design. I can develop anything in code but it’ll just not look very good.