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Ontario Technoblog

Ontario Emperor technology blog.

This blog has been superseded by the mrontemp blog
Location: Ontario, California, United States

Sometime audio artist. Email comments on this blog to the gmail account mrontemp.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

More on the MySpace Power Failure

From Netcraft:

Social networking site MySpace.com is offline tonight, and attributing the downtime to a power outage in its data center. The site is among the most popular on the Internet, with some services estimating that it is now the most visited destination on the Web, surpassing Google and Yahoo.

MySpace.com was completely inaccessible for more than 90 minutes, and then displayed a brief message alerting users to the problems: "Hey everyone! There's been a power outage in our data center. we're in the process of fixing it right now, so sit tight. - Tom" (presumably MySpace co-founder Tom Anderson)....

The message at MySpace did not specify which of its data centers had experienced the power outage. Over the past several days MySpace.com has been alternating between two IP addresses, one at CWIE.net in Tempe, Ariz. and another in a new Equinix data center in El Segundo, Calif. The temporary message was being displayed from the Tempe IP address.

MySpace.com is ranked in the top 10 most visited sites on the Web by some Internet research services, but places much lower (77th overall) on the list of most popular sites among users of the Netcraft toolbar. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. bought the site for $580 million last July. In May MySpace said the expansion into Equinix's data center will allow it to improve peering with network service providers, which will help in managing traffic surges and high-bandwidth features such as multimedia streaming.

But this article, posted July 24 UTC (July 23 today), actually misses part of the story. The outage actually started on July 22, as elitestv notes:

Myspace.com posted an announcement tonight at 6:40PM PST time that their data center had a power outage. Tom went on to post the following message:

"hey everyone! there's been a power outage in our data center. we're in the process of fixing it right now, so sit tight. hopefully we'll be back online within the hour. its 6:40pm PST now. wanna place a bet? -Tom"

There were many bets placed to Tom and he has lost since it is now 9:40PM PST.

I saw the message above on Saturday night. Rechecking a few times today, the site was giving error messages, then appeared to be up at one point, but last I checked appeared to be back down again.

According to Drew Olanoff, it's not just MySpace that was affected:

Soaring California temperatures prompt record power use, outages - Myspace reports they had power loss, and many Yahoo services are down, also due to power loss

For the record, my home in Ontario, California lost power twice today. But this did not affect the computing habits of millions.

Meanwhile, Mashable posted this (emphasis mine):

Hear that? That’s the sound of 80 million people hitting the refresh button.

MySpace, one of the world’s most popular sites (perhaps the most popular), has suffered a major outage today - the URL fails to load at all. At 6:40pm last night, Tom posted a message on the leading social networking site stating that a power outage had taken out the MySpace servers. The site came back to “normal” service within a few hours, but after some unreliable performance today, MySpace.com is down completely....

It’s pretty significant when such a massive site goes down for an extended period of time - can you imagine what would happen if Google, or even Yahoo, went offline for hours at a time?...With MySpace, however, it’s almost expected: users regularly see errors and the code is notoriously poor. It’s not clear whether this current downtime is caused by the power problem, or something else....

Here's an up to the minute Technorati search on the words myspace power failure.

Perhaps in a few days we'll know how much of the problem was caused by the power failure itself, and how much was caused by "something else." However, even if this was an instance of MySpace bugs keeping the system down, J. Botter notes that it may not matter:

MySpace is not what it is because of software. Friendster, Orkut, Tagged, and several other startups all have better software and backend applications than MySpace does. MySpace is buggy, it’s shady, it stops working quite often; not exactly the hallmark of a killer app. It is a killer app, however, because of the sheer amount of people who traffic through the site every single day.

After looking at the Alexa data for myspace.com, Botter continues:

When a social networking site to go from low traffic levels to one of the top twenty sites on the entire internet, you’ve got to step back and take a look at it in comparison to competition. By doing this, we can see just how the rest of the social networking startups fared against MySpace’s monster traffic levels.

After looking at Friendster (the outfit that fired Troutgirl), Botter says:

Friendster is dead in the water. It’s not peaking, and it’s not even going through a valley where there might be some hope on the other side. It’s just there, sitting listlessly, waiting for people to start using it again and hopefully make it the darling of the Valley again, but it ain’t happening.

Botter also looks at Orkut and Tagworld, but doesn't see any serious competition for MySpace - at present:

The main thing to keep in mind here is that MySpace has a stranglehold on the social networking space…but it’s not gonna last forever. There are better services out there like TagWorld that have a legitimate chance to grab more of that market share simply because MySpace ain’t fixing what is clearly broken.

Yes, MySpace has the largest grip on this space. It’s holding it fast and is dominating the actual BEST social networking service (TagWorld) just by sheer amounts of ACTIVE user accounts.

So what does this say for TagWorld? What can they do to start drawing people over from MySpace and have those people stick around and become active members that invite friends, post comments, and generally use the bad ass TagWorld System to prove that TagWorld is eions better than Myspace?

It’s gonna take people jumping ship. Spreading the word to friends, telling them to try TW because it kicks the ever loving shit out of MySpace. MySpace is broken 65% of the time you’re trying to use it anyway, so why not give TagWorld a try at least? Anyone who has a MySpace account needs to go and invite their friends to try out TagWorld. I double-damm guarantee you that people who try out MySpace and then try out TagWorld will notice a gigantic difference, a HUGE difference, and they’ll want to get their friends checking it out, and it’ll grow from there. This is where the social networking pieces fit — because TagWorld is so much better built for social networking than MySpace is.

Meanwhile, Matt Heerema also voices the "buggy, but" opinion:

I hate MySpace. It is programmed in .NET, is buggy, full of annoying ads, and is EXTREMELY ugly. However, it is an amazing social phenomenon. 50 million users. Wow. Insane. Amazing....


Blogger Jimmy said...

the myspace issues just keep getting worse. I understand that it is a free site for users, but imagine the amount of ad-time that is lost because people can't get onto the site, and give up. I don't know why they can't get it right...


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