Embedded: Twitter puts outage

Hide and seek. Did I scare you?

Earlier this week, Twitter went down. It went down hard. It was scary. I know because I was there. I now officially have the PTSD. At last, I’m finally somebody.

The duration of the outage was about 45 minutes. That’s approximately twice the amount of time Apollo 13 spent out of radio contact when it was behind the moon. I just got a double dose of what it must have felt like to be in Mission Control. And I’m a non-smoker!

It was the longest outage since Twitter’s IPO and the second crash in the last nine days.

The outage was described in the strongest possible terms as the “longest outage since the IPO.” What those two things have to do with each other I have absolutely no idea.

Some in the media took the opportunity to write quippish jokes about the mayhem. (Hint: It was too soon.) Jokes, I must say, that practically wrote themselves.

  • “Twitter Suffers Outage During Biz Stone’s Panel at SXSW” – I don’t know what a “Biz Stone” is but I bet it was pissed. Source: WSJ.
  • “Twitter Outage Takes Site Down for 45 Minutes, Users Stranded” – I bet a lot of them were forced to hitchhike. Source: Newsmax.com.
  • “Twitter goes down, chaos and productivity ensue” – What the fuck are you implying? Source: Washington Post.
  • “‘We Experienced Unexpected Complications’: The Language Of Twitter Outages” – Hey, that’s the hip new lingo. Source: Lifehacker Australia.
  • “Twitter Goes Down: Something is Technically Wrong” – You have a firm grasp of the obvious. Souce: The Next Web.
  • “Twitter Briefly Goes Down, Silencing Millions Of Horrible, Unnecessary Twitter Jokes” – That hurts, that really hurts. Source: Huffington Post.

Again, as your intrepid embedded reporter, I was there on the front lines. What follows are my eyewitness firsthand accounts of the action as it unfolded.

As brave member army of an Twitter users on the front lines I was greeted with shock and awe when I was ready to tweet. Alas, that tweet didn’t make it. It was left behind in the confusion. Luckily I held on to my wits long enough to snap the following photograph.


I think it says a lot that a company can be cracking silly cartoon jokes while its flagship product is about as productive as a BP oil rig. Although the outage was caused by an upgrade attempt, the graphic euphemistically blames it on “maintenance.” Have you ever met an outage that wasn’t caused by maintenance?

Attempting to Rorschach the situation, I decided to caption the photo. “We need more ice cream. Hey, you! Go crawl up a beaver anus and get us some castoreum. We gots some ice cream to make. I’m in the mood to eat myself.” I wonder what my shrink would say about that? I think PTSD is suddenly looking pretty damn good.

Note that this graphic is copyrighted 2012. I bet the shareholders are pissed about that. Heads are gonna roll.

I noted with some interest that this graphic included a call to action. “For more information, check out Twitter Status.”

Like a naive damn fool I clicked that link.


Now that’s information I can use! At last, things were looking up. This just might be the best day of my life. For once I really feel like someone truly cares about me.

Later, after Twitter was up and my breathing had returned to normal, I noticed a new option on the Settings menu called “Analytics.” Perhaps this was the very thing that caused all the hubbub.

I decided to check it out.


Well played, Twitter. Well played!

I don’t know what any of those complicated numbers and colorful circles mean (pretty!) but I am familiar with my numeric friend right there in the the exact center of the screen. (Highlighted for your convenience.)

Not too subtle. Hey, Twitter. I’m right here. Next time try harder. If you really want me you know where to find me. (Hint: It’s on Twitter.)

Follow me on Twitter: shoutabyss

10 responses

  1. I hadn’t even noticed.
    I’m so out of it….


  2. NotAPunkRocker | Reply

    I noticed the analytics option recently. It’s depressing to see how often I have been unfollowed.

    I am surprised they didn’t bring back fail-whale, though that graphic is cute too.


    1. I don’t have a caption for the fail-whale. Perhaps something about “for hate’s sake I stab at thee” or some such. That might be boring to my shrink, though. 🙂

      The analytics are somewhat interesting. What they really need to add:

      A function that shows people who followed you first, you followed back, then unfollowed you creating an unrequited social relationship. This is super critical. I think they could call it the Trolling Douchebags Report.


  3. Snoring Dog Studio | Reply

    For 45 minutes? And a million useless bits of info didn’t get tweeted about! No wonder the stock market dived.


    1. I see you are easily able to imagine the hell. For 45 minutes the world had no immediate access to my wit and charm.


      1. Snoring Dog Studio

        I felt the earth tilt during your absence.


      2. I’ve never been called “fat” more creatively.


  4. Wait — I need to check this analytics out!

    I thought of you during the outage. I wanted to post #RememberTom on Twitter, but then I couldn’t. I was just like an O. Henry story.


    1. Twitter is my #1 work diversion. So yeah, thanks for thinking of me. But a #RememberTom hashtag could blow the internet up. I’ll keep that in reserve. Just in case.

      O. Henry indeed. What a twist. In this case, the twist is that someone noticed. Implausible, I know!


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