This morning many of us social media addicts were greeted with a shock (being sarcastic here), Twitter was down. At first I didn’t think much of it, the micro-blogging service has had trouble scaling in the past. Although recently it has been holding up quite well.
But what set this morning’s outage apart from others was that Twitter wasn’t the only social media hub that was down. Facebook the “go-to” social media community online and a major Internet player was also down. The dominate social media community was viewable one second then offline the next. This continued on and off all morning.
After I realize that the outage wasn’t just Twitter having a “fail whale” moment, a slight panic set in. I called one of my associates to ask if his Twitter and Facebook were down… they were. At that point I slumped into my chair and thought to myself, “What are we going to do?! Is this the end of the world?”
No not really. I have to admit it was a bit of an annoyance not having the tools of my trade at my fingertips, but what bothered me most was that finding another service for communicating with everyone wasn’t as easy. Yes there was FriendFeed, which that worked quite well and did cure some of the withdrawal jitters, but it still wasn’t the same.
It wasn’t until two of the most powerful social media players were taken out of the equation did I realize how much we all, me very much included, had become dependent, or dare I say it, addicted to Twitter and Facebook.
These services aren’t just a way for people to waste time. They’re a way of communicating everyday and extraordinary events between people all across the world. Often times, news breaks on these platforms before the traditional media gets wind of it. Social media is becoming ingrained in the fibers of our society. Take that away and panic of varying degrees set in.
This is the post on Twitter’s status blog:
Thu Aug. 6
We are defending against a denial-of-service attack, and will update status again shortly.
Update: the site is back up, but we are continuing to defend against and recover from this attack.
Update (9:46a): As we recover, users will experience some longer load times and slowness. This includes timeouts to API clients. Were working to get back to 100% as quickly as we can.
Below is my latest video that I recorded about the events of this morning. Watch it and please post your comments on how you survive the outage either in the comments or on the video’s Youtube page.