status.twitter alert on Thursday afternoon
When my Twitter client – Tweetdeck – stopped returning messages, I wondered what was going on. After all like many interested in social media and new communications technologies I’ve found it a very useful service. Wondering if this was and API call problem, or even my own network infrastructure, I first tried Twhirl, then checked Twitter.com – nothing.
A quick check of the web showed my network was functioning, so I piled over to status.twitter.com.
Their first message was simply Twitter was down, later it came up as a denial of service attack.
According to Wired Twitter hasn’t been down since May 8 – and it has become noticeably more reliable (although I did see the fail whale earlier on today, but then I use desktop or mobile clients to access Twitter for the most part).
This does raise an issue for journalism though. If we us third party applications and services – particularly hosted on servers that don’t belong to us (or any organisation we may work for) – then how can we risk manage for someone else’s servers being under attack.
Lots of journalists and journalism organisation use Twitter to distribute RSS feeds, talk to the networks they are involved with, crowd source, share and just be humans in an online setting.
But what happens when that goes down – is it in one sense like your rented printing presses going down or your leased delivery vans stopping working. Or maybe more appropriately, somone cutting a phone line and disconnecting the network.
An interesting question for anyone interested in distributed journalism.
There’s no point in looking back though, or starting to worry about whether we should use a bespoke Twitter-style tool – after all Google pulled the plug on Jaiku. Just a thing to consider when we are looking at the costs and infrastructure that happen. It might be Free to use, as Chris Anderson suggests, but using someone else’s infrastructure is one business cost worth thinking about.