I don’t have a Twitter account and after today I think I never will. Twitter was down today, apparently because of a malicious Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS) – and the twittersphere went crazy. The blogosphere followed immediately with avid speculations and reports, one more alarmist than the other. Some even went so far as to mark this day in their diaries with a short note that says “Twitter down august 6.” I wonder who added some other notes near that piece of information. Like: Hiroshima day, August 6; or Alexander Fleming’s birthday, Scottish scientist, Nobel laureate…
Take a look at the image below and you will soon understand that instead of saying “no, it’s not the end of the world when Twitter is down” the people of the Web went crazy looking for explanations instead of trying to spend this “twitter pause” doing something more constructive like… reading a book for example. But hey, no one wrote a book that’s only 140 characters long.
Earlier today I wrote a post expressing my disappointment that the web is looking for nude pictures of Vanessa Hudgens instead of marking the Hiroshima Day in their calendars. Looking for the reasons why Twitter was down is not more noble today by any extent. Twitter was down, Facebook was down… could it be that the Universe is trying to tell us something? Could it be that instead of wasting our time online chasing false gratifications and wind we should actually take some time to pray for those who are gone?
Somehow I fear that I am wasting my time writing this article. Somehow I fear that the few who will read and agree will go back to the chase… the wind chase that is.
You know, I think that the worse thing anybody can do when a network like Twitter goes down is to go to another social network to announce the event. The trends are scary if you think about it. There are more people addicted to Twitter than there are people addicted to “nude pictures” – at least looking for pictures of pretty girls seems a bit healthier than obsessing about some social network.
I understand Twitter’s value and I can also see how this network could affect a great deal of people if it ever goes completely offline – especially all those startups that count on Twitter for their livelihood. But for the users… I think we all should have the intelligence to understand that there is no eternal glory on the web. Yahoo! Google and a few others are the only few that can talk about “longevity.” Life on the Web is somehow shorter than ten years. Nothing really lasts and only companies that are flexible enough to change with the trends can thrive. Twitter’s success is only based on the people who think that they need it. But after this outage today you should seriously ask yourself: do I really need Twitter? Is this the only way to keep in touch with my friends? Is this the only place to store my favorite links and is this really the only place to share information?
Actually, all social networks and all online businesses can, sooner or later, be victims of a malicious Distributed Denial of Service attack. This raises a few other questions I will not discuss here – related to the security of data in the cloud.
In the meanwhile, I think that the best answer to “what to do while Twitter is down” is whatever comes to mind, anything but obsessing over the event. Read a book, write a poem, water your plants, go out with your sweetheart, but don’t, I say don’t, go on FaceBook, FriendFeed or elsewhere crying for help. Twitter will eventually come back online, and if it doesn’t… so be it. There will always be another network to hang on!