Twitter – The service that wasn’t.

About seven months ago, Brad pointed out this bizarre but compelling service. It was “microblogging”. 140 characters or less. And I didn’t really get it at first. But as I started to get some stuff figured out, it kept getting more and more integral to my day. Instant Messenger integration was the first watershed moment. Then using TwitterWhere to find people nearby. Then using Twittervision to locate amusing tweets on the public timeline. It became a beloved pastime, watching the small handful of members I’m getting notifications for scroll past. It’s relaxing. It’s amusing. It’s a great place to vent bile when work is kicking me directly in the cock.

But more and more often, I find myself in the thrall of halfassery. It’s amazing to me, looking at how really basic the Twitter service is (all of the tools I mentioned, aside from the IM integration, are third party), that the fucking service is down three days out of five. It’s almost as if nobody told them about how to run a service, like nobody at Twitter settled down and realized that it’s possible to upgrade and transition and move shit around WITHOUT TAKING IT DOWN. THOUSANDS OF COMPANIES do this EVERY DAY. I do it, for god’s sake, in my own limited way, at my fucking house. There are even sites now, that you can use to FIND OUT IF TWITTER IS DOWN. It would be embarrassing, to me, to have a product that was so broken that others made tools to track my failures. Not internal bugtracking, external fuckup tracking. And more often than anything, the site is half up, half down. Your profile page will show up, but you can’t post. The site will be up, but the IM integration is fucked. Sometimes it will simply eat posts.

The most amusing portion of this is reading their blog. It’s a constant hillbilly doublespeak of backhanded compliments to infrastructure hosts, and then two days later, switching somewhere else. One day they’re going to take a ten hour outage in the daytime (?!), the next, the outage was fine, everything is cool.

There are some alternatives, but so far, I haven’t gotten an invite to Jaiku, and Pownce has no IM integration. I am nonplussed.

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