Social Media Takes a Little Break

This morning both Twitter and Facebook experienced some trouble. Let’s just say, in layman’s terms, they were all hosed up. (I’d be even more “layman”, but this is a family friendly blog…kinda.) The problems were somewhat complex, and possibly not coincidental. Clearly the Twitter “crash” was much more substantive keeping the service down for some two hours.

While it was going on, I could imagine all of those Twitter and Facebook junkies wanting to tell somebody that Facebook and Twitter are down…but couldn’t…because Twitter and Facebook were down. You get the idea. I also started thinking, maybe this is chance for some extreme social media users to actually go outside and add some color to their pasty white complexion. (I know, a bit of a stereotype…but do use the SPF 35.)

I decided since there was a bit of a social media black out I’d actually call and talk with some of those that I follow on Twitter and ask “What are you doing?” Needless to say I caught a few folks by surprise and I couldn’t reach some. Which hopefully means they were busy doing other things and not curled up in a the fetal position babbling in short 140 character phrases.

Those I did talk with?

Steve Borsch (@sborsch)-Steve was actually hard at work tinkering away on WordPress and overseeing the plumber who was part of the crew finishing his basement. He did comment that he had received an email from a colleague that “Twitter is down!” At least email is somewhat handy as a Twitter substitute. Imagine if the US Postal Service was the only fallback. Two days later: Dear Steve, Twitter is down.


Tom Webster (@webby2001)-Tom did a vocal double take when I was just calling to ask what he was up to. After shouting to the room something like, “Twitter is down and Phil Wilson is calling instead.” he informed me that he was writing and listening to a bass/drum thing from a UK record label that he found help him to write.


Meg Canada (@megcanada)– Meg was at work at the Hennipen County Library. She sarcastically noted that she was “a bit shaky” without Twitter. She was one her way to grab some coffee before attending a meeting with the Web Services staff. The reason for the meeting to establish the time line for a new website for the Library. There you go…a little sneak preview.


Graeme Thickins (@graemethickins)-Graeme, my fellow Minnov8’er, was knee deep in a post for Minnov8 about Fanchatter. If you know Graeme you know he is not a man of few words. In a very untwitter-like manner, I got to enjoy a lengthy conversation about all sorts of topics including Facebook’s Twitter-like struggles on this day.

Talking instead of tweeting with these folks was great. Though many were surprised by the question “What are you doing?”, the very same that Twitter was built on, they were more than happy to chat. I can guarantee you that it was much better than a 140 character tweet.

That being said, I also was reminded of why I like Twitter to connect with these friends and colleagues. I get to virtually pick their brains more than once a day and from more of them. I often talk about the time social media can take from you if you let it. Imagine trying benefit from the knowledge of even this small group via phone or in-person meeting everyday. You’d never get anything done.

Let me make this suggestion. A few times a week, call some of your Tweeps (people you follow on Twitter) and talk with them. It will lead you to some great conversations…maybe with people you’ve never talked to before. The result will be a larger appreciation of all that they share with you via Twitter…which is back up and running, by the way.