The recent Twitter outage

Twitter had some growing pain burps these past few days. They upgraded the software to provide faster service, and found many Tweets weren’t getting through in a timely manner. There was much gnashing of teeth as Twitter addicts went into forced semi-withdrawal.

The problems have been mostly resolved and TechCrunch sums up what we’ve learned.

But after a three day weekend outage I realized that in the last two months a subtle shift occurred: I now need Twitter more than Twitter needs me.

Their monopoly power via the network effect they’ve earned means they don’t have to worry much about downtime. We’ll all still be sitting here patiently, waiting for it to return.

Not only does Twitter have a hugely devoted (and fast growing) following, the core is early adopter geeks. And where they are now, the mainstream of the Net often follows.

For those who may not know, Twitter is a free service that exists somewhere between IM and blogging. You can send messages (called Tweets) up to 140 characters. Whoever is following you reads them, ditto for Tweets from whoever you follow. You can read them online, with third party software, with IM, or with SMS on a cell phone.

During our upcoming trip across the country moving to S.F. I plan to have my cell phone tweeting away and to be posting updates as we go. I’m polizeros on Twitter.

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