Twitter needs to level with us and open up about their problems

@jack, @biz

I'm not going anywhere... at least not for a long time.  So, don't consider this a threat to go over to Pownce or anything. 

In fact, anyone who threatens to move isn't really thinking properly, because if we all moved to a different service at once, I'm sure we'd experience the same issues. 

But, posting blog posts titled "Happy Happy Joyant" when you've had so many outages lately and your user base has little confidence that you're going to scale for the Superbowl and no confidence that you'll make it through SXSW without a hitch...  its just not the right sentiment.

You guys built a fantastic service and we all love it, but we've all seen how scale problems can take down a business.  (Friendster)

And while the service is popular, it's not THAT popular.  Most of your userbase is still pretty technical and it wouldn't really take much more of this before people started leaving en masse.  It's exactly because they're pretty tech savvy that you have a unique opportunity to open up a discussion about your recent problems and engage your userbase.

Let's start a discussion about whether Ruby scales or how you diligence a host.  Is it a matter of just throwing more hardware at the problem or are database and architecture redesigns in order.  If I were Lee Mighdoll, I'd make it a point to blog almost everyday, even a short one, about the problems I'm facing and steps I'm taking to address the issues, so at least people feel like something's getting done.

Take a cue from Six Apart, who experienced serious uptime issues in the past and seems to have gotten over them.  If nothing else, their tone during and immediately after their problems was the right way to go.

"We are truly sorry for the frustration and inconvenience that you’ve experienced, and will provide as much additional information as possible as soon as we have it."

The Twitter blog hardly ever provides any information and there's yet to be a discussion of what the scaling issues are or timely accoutns of them.

Here's another post where they Six Apart recapped exactly what happened with one of their outages:


"Before we get into the details, we want to reiterate just how sorry we are for the inconvenience this has caused. We know our customers rely on us to provide superior service and performance, and that on Friday we let you down. The fact that Friday's outage came on the heels of our performance issues in October is obviously frustrating, both for you and for us."

Then they go into a pretty lengthy blow by blow account of what was going on.  People want to know that because they want to feel like something's being done. 

You guys should know that from dealing with your cable or phone companies as a regular consumer.  Waiting in silence for somebody to fix something sucks.  And it sucks even more when the service doesn't level with you about the fact that their are issues. 

"Happy Happy Joyant" just feels like mocking, to be honest, and doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. 

Here's your opportunity to be an "us" company or a "them" company with regards to this issue.  It's a critical point in the life of your young company. 

I'm rooting for you guys to approach it the right way.
   

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