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FB and WP Offline [The Internet is Down] November 11, 2009

Posted by Brian L. Belen in Show and Tell, Technology.

Stephen sent me an email a few days back with the header “Your wish is my command” and an attached screenshot of Facebook. I was clueless at first (because I’m an idiot) until it dawned on me that I did ask for it when I wrote about the “whale“. (See? I am an idiot!)

Thus, prepare to be amazed (or not) by what Facebook looks like when it isn’t working:

The error message reads: “Account Temporarily Unavailable. Your account is currently unavailable due to a site issue. Please try again in a few minutes.”

Pretty underwhelming stuff, to be sure. Because it’s practically pro forma, it comes across as rather cold, if patently dull. Certainly, the Twitter outage notice is much more appealing.

In contrast, check out how something even less polished might be more effective. Here’s the message I came across when WordPress.com suffered a temporary outage:

Sure, it’s even more barebones, but it communicates a couple of things, intentionally or otherwise. Based on the look of the page and the curt message — “Writes to the service have been disabled, we will be bringing everything back online ASAP” — one gets the sense that downtime for the site doesn’t happen very often; if it did, they’d probably have a more polished error message. Second, and more importantly, the tone of the notice gives conveys the notion that the site’s administrators are working feverishly to resolve the issue. Heck, the message itself almost seems hastily composed, as if to say “Can’t chat right now; we’re working here!”

Or I could just be reading too much into these things.

Got a screenshot of what happens when things go wrong on the Internet? Send them over! We might just be able to turn it into a meme.


1. abbielie - December 6, 2009

I see…I was wondering what was happened to my wordpress, quite worry actually since that was my first time 😛
Glad I found your post! 🙂

Brian L. Belen - December 7, 2009

You’re welcome. Thanks for reading.

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