Twitter Down, World Stops
Today Twitter went down at 14:00 (2 PM) Pacific for scheduled maintenance. During that time, the world stopped for many Twitter users–and not just for the no-life, shut-in kind of Twitter users.
Users were alerted to the impending outage days before via tweet, and all day of the outage via the Twitter user interface. No one really thought it would be a big deal. But it is.
I’m scanning blogs in Google Reader, and I find this article about giving good return on attention. I like it. I hit Shift+S to share it via Google reader, which pushes it along to FriendFeed, which connects to my Facebook, but then, I decide to share it in Twitter, and I realize we’re in scheduled downtime.
The moment I realize this, I get itchy. I want to share. I want to exchange information. I want to see whether people find that information useful. That last part’s the big one: did someone see the tweet, find it interesting, and retweet it or share it in some other way?
I share Chris’s frustration. At this very moment I have numerous tabs of interesting content sitting impotent, waiting to be shared with my followers via Twitter. Even as my inbox fills up with alerts about new posts and comments on Facebook, where only an hour ago those notices came from Twitter, I stare helplessly at my open tabs, unable to share, unable to contribute to the community!
Thinking it’s funny [Facebook] is now serving as the backup place to post tweets…
Haha – so where shall the uber-connected geeks like us run? Plurk? Facebook? Friendfeed? FourSquare? Maybe grab a book or take a walk?
Not that I can’t live without Twitter (I can quit anytime I want to, honest!), but seriously who does “scheduled maintenance” right smack in the middle of the day? It’s just not the same on Facebook.
Now that FriendFeed is driven largely by Twitter oAuth logins, it can’t function well while Twitter is down either. With the demise of Twitter rivals Pownce and Rejaw, there are no useful microblogging services that can serve as Twitter backups. Facebook, it seems, is the geeks’ backup social media, albeit reluctantly.
In a world that is increasingly becoming defined by 140 characters, is there life without Twitter? Has it become “I tweet, therefore I am”? And, if one cannot tweet, does one therefore no longer exist?