Twitter Zombies! Last Week’s Twitter Outage, Explained


F.O.M. (“Friend of Mediaite”) Caroline McCarthy explains last week’s Twitter outage, demonstrating that she knows what “DDOS” means. She also uses the uber-cool phrase “Zombie PCs.” THE ZOMBIES ARE COMING! THEY WILL EAT YOUR TWITTERY BRAINZ! Hear her explain it in less fear-mongery terms below:

Here‘s McCarthy’s piece from CNET about what happened, from last Thursday; our own Andrew Cedotal made some smart guesses as to the problem earlier in the day, though “vengeful Georgian hacker” was beyond the bounds of even his perspicacity. McCarthy traced the problem in detail, and made this salient point:

Way back when, Twitter outages were so commonplace that it was worth reporting when it didn’t crash–as when it stayed afloat during the entire South by Southwest Interactive Festival in 2008. Now, a few million dollars of venture capital later, the service is far more stable.

Twitter wants to establish itself as a communications standard rather than just a social-media brand. It’s been a crucial platform for information exchange in the face of global events where more traditional means of broadcasting have been inaccessible or blocked.

But according to McCarthy, it’s still got a ways to go:

…But the Facebook outages were not on the same scale as Twitter’s by any means, said Ben Rushlo, a senior consulting manager at performance firm Keynote. “There’s been a few slow data points but you couldn’t even put them in the same sort of stratosphere of comparison,” Rushlo told CNET News.

In the battle of all-powerful social media tools, point: Facebook. (Poor MySpace didn’t even rate a mention until somebody piped up down in the comments.)

Here’s something else I noticed from this clip: Melanie Notkin’s got some serious fans over at MSNBC, with TWO @SavvyAuntie screenshots, at 0:46 and 0:48. Though upon closer inspection, it’s less fandom than efficiency: That’s stock footage from circa March, and I actually know that because back then I noticed it too, and if Twitter Search let you search back more than a WEEK I’d be able to prove it. But note that it seems to be a screenshot of results for searching “@JimmyFallon” – hence the inexact placement of the stock footage to March, when his show launched.  Why do I know these things? Perhaps I need some sort of life. Maybe you do, too — this post ceased to be useful a long time ago. Take it away, Keyboard Cat!

Video via our pals at @NewsPolitics

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