Tumblr (Still) Down
Tumblr, the popular, correction – very popular, mini blogging service went down for 24 hours beginning on 6 December 2010 causing much frustration and consternation in the online community. That popularity is the cause of the problem according to Tumblr “during planned maintenance that was not intended to interrupt service, an issue arose that took down a critical database cluster. This brought down our entire network” “Frankly, keeping up with growth has presented more work than our small team was prepared for — with traffic now climbing more than 500M pageviews each month.”
Some of the comments included the facetious remark that those who are upset over the outage should demand their money back. This does raise the point that a free service can leave you in the lurch and you have no real comeback. So, do you avoid free services? Of course not, who wants to give up Twitter, Facebook and the myriad of other free services, but if you consider your blog to be critical to your business then it would certainly be far better to have a hosted WordPress installation. If there is an outage of your blog then you can immediately chase up your Hosting provider and can reasonably expect that it will be back online quickly. Your hosting provider should have in place redundancy options that ensure your website is never down for a prolonged period of time. In case your wondering, 24 hours is a very considerable period of time. Ouch!
All online services that are any good and well publicised experience growing pains, for example Twitter and Facebook. It’s no reason to abandon them but you can’t rely upon them for “mission critical” services. Rather they should supplement your website and general online experience.