Waiting For Twitter

Twitter has had major connection problems over the past few days. Twitter fans are a loyal bunch but it is still frustrating to be repeatedly denied access. Twitter throws up error messages like the one below. Sometimes you manage to get logged in but then Twitter eats your posts as they go into a Twitvoid or Twoid in cyberspace and are never ever seen by anyone ever again. And you didn't use Control-C and you can't remember it exactly like it was even though it was only 140 characters long. That's frustrating.

Twitter Cat Photo

Man With No Blog blogs about whether this latest outage could mean the end of Twitter.
Well over the last four days, Twitter has been non functional more than it has been in the past. It's been constantly loosing tweets, or missing tweets in the feed, or the servers have just been down (those cats seem to be have been a constant problem). This is Twitters longest period of technical trouble. Maybe Iím seeing more of it; having access when the rest of the world is asleep, and a good period for downtime adjustments, but it has been very flaky.

This has lead to a fair number of people, who are new to Twitter to just abandon it really before they got started. This is not good for any startup company. Or as Miles Burke has suggested maybe a name change in jest, is the way to go. The longer term users of Twitter are also starting to suggest that maybe they should be looking for a better alternative (remember people tell that Gen-Y is fickle).
Other bloggers talk about leaving for Twitter alternatives or clones (see here, here and here). Twitter has been fun to use but there have been many periods where Twitter fans have had to be patient while the cats (see graphic above) are fixing the servers. This isn't the first time it has happened. After the last outage ended everyone flocked back to the service. The last several days have been another period where Twitterers have had to endure frequent outages and vaporized Tweets. Hopefully, Twitter will find its footing again soon.

The reason people will stick around and endure all the glitches and hiccups is because they want to talk to their Twitter friends and read their tweets. Posts from Dave Winer and Robert Scoble explain that it is the people using Twitter that makes it so worthwhile not the technology. There are good and interesting people -- many in the technology and new media industry -- using Twitter. All of us have been patient while Twitter gets the kinks out of its rapidly growing service. Lately some news outlets have started disussing aspects of marketing with Twitter which encourage people to at least register an account on Twitter. This is no doubt driving even more people to sign up for Twitter and creating even more demand on Twitter's servers. There are a couple posts here and here about the possibility of a premium service. That may happen in the future but Twitter, Inc. is probably intensly focused on getting a reliable free service operating in the short term. In the meantime we will continue waiting...

When Twitter is working you can follow us on Twitter here.

Posted on May 15, 2007

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