Is Twitter Down?Twitter (20278)

You might find yourself asking this question often, because of the frequency for which Twitter seems to be down or unavailable.

You've been there before. You're bored, and you want to read some tweets. Or, you have something amazing that you want to announce to the world. You log into Twitter, excited to share your thoughts with everyone when you see this screen:

Twitter Over Capacity

You're furious. Every time you have something good to say, you're stuck without an outlet to express it. Why does this happen? Does this happen to everyone, or are the Twitter gods conspiring against you?

The truth is, Twitter has become a massively popular service. What about blogging sites or other social networking sites, you ask? Well, those sites are often geared toward longer interactions. A blog post generally exceeds 100 words. "Tweets," however, are limited to 140 characters. If you have a lot to say and you only use Twitter, you will create a lot more activity than on a blog where you might only interact once per day or once per week.

Because of the character-limited nature of Twitter, many people are also able to read a lot more. If you pull up a 20 page blog post about someone's vacation in rural Kentucky, you might not have the patience to read beyond the opening paragraph. Twitter, however, keeps people engaged with its short messages. It really fits well with our current attention-deficit society that seeks instant messaging and instant gratification or else it gets bored.

Looking at it from a technical angle, Twitter's servers simply can't handle the stress of everyone logging in to tweet about what they ate for their mid-morning snack, or to "retweet" a not-so-clever-but-still-trying-to-be-clever tweet from a B-list celebrity who doesn't even write his own tweets.

The bottom line is, Twitter needs to increase the memory resources allocated to its service so that Lady Gaga and your 8 year-old sister don't have to deal with server downtime. And what's with the picture of the birds carrying the whale? It seems all too easy for eight birds to be able to lift a whale - a far bigger accomplishment than one of the world's most popular social networking sites keeping its servers active without fail for more than a day.

One day, I hope to live in a world where Twitter is up and running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so that my productivity outside of Twitter stays at an absolute minimum. Honestly, without Twitter downtime, I'm not sure how I would ever get anything completed at work. For right now, it will remain a pipe dream of mine.

If you've made it to the end of this article, Twitter is probably working again. Go ahead, check it. I know you're dying to.