When Rackspace Goes Down, Twitter Lights Up
Twitter is a central gathering point to talk about live events, both real world and virtual. So when popular web hosting company Rackspace experienced a major outage today, causing all kinds of online mayhem – websites from the well known TechCrunch were offline to the relatively obscure Online Media Cultist (my blog, that’s how I found out!) – people headed to Twitter to vent, inform, commiserate, and twiddle virtual thumbs.
Searching “rackspace” on Twitter search caused a massive torrent of activity to return. Quickly I noted Robert Scoble’s (as ever) omnipresence. He pointed people to a Twitter List he created of Twitter feeds of Rackspace employees and news sources. Tracking that list shows a quick transition from tweets about impending snowstorms and how “my cat Dracula caught a Hummingbird” to real time updates about the widespread service outage.
The RackStatus Twitter feed also announced that Rackspace is “experiencing problems and are actively investigating their source. Please follow @RackStatus for more updates.”
Less than 20 minutes later, the issue seemed to have been mostly resolved, and the Twitter masses again related the changed status, reminding me of late night website development builds where production teams often frantically instant message each other with “are you up?” and “what are you seeing?”
TechCrunch’s MG Siegler notes that other affected websites included, “37signals, Brizzly, Scoble’s blog, all of the sites hosted by Laughing Squid, Tumblr custom domains, and many others.”