Twitter has been down quite a bit, in fact, according to royal pingdom, they’re the social network that has been down the most over Q1, 2008. Most suggest it’s due to the lack of ability to scale, and as more and more users come, and more and more friend connections come, you can see how infinity complex the site becomes as people (like me) pump out thousands of messages to thousands of users. If the volume of messages on twitter were graphed, it would be a quickly accelerating curve, getting steeper and steeper.
With that said, web users (like myself) are fickle, we find the lowest barriers to communicate, go there, and tell others. In fact, I’ve noticed many conversations shifting over to Friendfeed, as I pointed out in my last post.
Twitter has been good to me, and to you, it’s a communication platform like none other, where news (good and bad) breaks before anywhere else (LA fires, bombs in Times Square, China Earthquake, Arrested in Egypt, etc), it is perhaps the fastest communication network we’ve ever seen (esp as mobile devices are now ubiquitous), there are no editors to create filters, no barriers, (other than downtime). Of course, it has it’s downtime too, for example the 140 characters limited my ability to communicate an upcoming research project, and it was mis-interpreted
On the other hand, many argue that customers ‘owe’ Twitter nothing, and this is what to expect from a free service. Let the market decide –capitalism at it’s finest. In many ways they are right, and ultimately the market will decide, we vote with our clicks.
Despite our frustrations, a few months ago, I signed the customer company pact (186 others did too), it’s an agreement, designed to the age of social computing and the voice of the customer to prevail. It asks us to be patient, understanding, and to show the company the same respect that you’d want to show you. As you know Twitter themselves last night put up a graph of their downtime, and are demonstrating some openness.
I realize that we’re getting close to a breaking point, with Groundswells (where users take over) calling for Twit-outs, and if the downtime persists, Twitter is going to lose members –starting with the influencers who will drag their communities.
So before you pack your bags, leave that “Dear John” letter, make sure you’ve spent all your ‘patience points’ before walking out that door.