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If this were a normal day on Twitter...

Monday, April 21, 2008 by Dave Winer.

A picture named bigfly.gifIt wouldn't be a normal day, because tomorrow is the Pennsylvania primary and a lot of polls are coming out right now, and they're presenting an interesting story. But that story can't be told, because our main communiation platform, Twitter, is down.  Permalink to this paragraph

Yes, it serves me right, and I, of all people, know better, than to build a network on a single point of failure, depending on one company, that is known for producing unreliable systems in an industry with incredibly thin skin (how can they get better if they won't listen). In other words, this is hardly Murphy's Law, it was easily predictable. It was likely. Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named crankygeek.jpgIn my own defense, we were lulled by months of relatively reliable service from Twitter into believing they were on the path to even more reliability. I stopped encouraging potential competitors to enter the market, now look where we are. No second source (Pownce, as much as I like it, is not a replacement for Twitter, neither is FriendFeed, though I thought they might be, but they said they weren't interested when I visited with them).  Permalink to this paragraph

We need some big infrastructure companies to get into this game. One is not good enough. We also need standards so that tools that are built to work with one work with the others. There's no time for a standards body, so if you're getting into this business, please, just use the Twitter API, as imperfect as it may seem.  Permalink to this paragraph

No matter how reliable Twitter seems in the future I won't change my mind about this. We need them to have serious competition, so we have a Plan B when something like this happens, which it will, not a matter of probability, imho. Permalink to this paragraph

Update: A new strategy for dealing with Twitter outages. A "rainy day" RSS feed of downtime tweets. Important if you depend on my twitterings. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

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I'm a California voter for Obama.

© Copyright 1994-2008 Dave Winer Mailto icon.

Last update: 10/20/2008; 8:22:33 AM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

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