Twitter Stumbles

Twitter is certainly popular. I can’t walk down the street without hearing a conversation about it. And if I do succeed in walking a full block without one mention of Twitter, my cell phone will almost certainly ring at least once because of some person’s tweet somewhere. I upgraded my text messaging plan to unlimited just to get tweets. Obsessive, no? I’ve kept up my end of the bargain, but what about Twitter?

Twitter Is Over Capacity

Twitter Is Over Capacity

As I (and thousands of others) become more ensconced in the Twitter universe, I expect a certain level of reliability. Sadly, I’ve been noticing more and more slow downs in my barrage of tweets. I can expect text message delivery to be late by several hours at least once a month–and it’s becoming more frequent. Twitterrific pops up with errors during the day because Twitter is overloaded. There are problems visiting directly, too. How am I suppose to keep the world abreast of my instantaneous thoughts in 140 characters if I keep getting oddly soothing images of a cartoon whale? Mind you I only need to refresh before things work again, but that’s not the point!

Should a service that so many people have come to abuse be allowed to have down time? I think not. It’s a problem! There are web sites dedicated to following this “downage phenomenon.” is a perfect example! Well, ok, I might be exaggerating the problem slightly, but it could happen!

It’s the same old story. How can we webizens rely on a service that can go down at any time? Yes, I know it’s free. But if they could come up with a business model, our product loyalty should pay the bills. Use Google as an example. It gets hoards of adoring fans. The multi-billion dollar corporation gets non-stop page visits and, in return, Google keeps the lights on. When it goes down, the world ends (or might as well end).

Twitter works much less often and is growing fast. How about a new data center or something? It’s not unusable yet, but as it continues to grow, if Twitter doesn’t keep up, it can and will get replaced. Remember MySpace? Of course you do. Chances are you have an account, but use Facebook; it’s just better. Changes came to MySpace too late. Let’s hope Twitter doesn’t go the same way.

If they keep things running smoothly, I’d be willing to throw in my dozen-a-day visits. All Twitter needs to do is to keep the lights on. That being said, I absolutely love Twitter.

Update: According to cnet’s Caroline McCarthy, the “Twitter fail-whale” (also noted above) was in full swing. He contests major outages are now rare, and I’d agree, though I still firmly believe that Twitter has some serious growing to do.

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