Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Twittercheck - what will we see at 2300 GMT?

Obviously, there's been a lot of talk about recent #twittout conditions on Twitter during major scheduled events such as Steve Jobs' speech. Various Twitter representatives have assured the Twitterverse that performance improvements are their number one priority, but that you can't wave a magic wand and have things fixed immediately.

All of us - Twitter employees, Twitter users, what have you - know that the system is about to be tested about 3 1/2 hours from now - 3:00 pm my time, 6:00 pm Eastern time, 2300 GMT - but, most importantly, 4:00 pm Arizona Standard Time - the time that the Super Bowl begins.

In general, there have been a number of questions about what will happen. At 1514 GMT, I asked:

we are having a partial #twittout. items are not showing up on my mobile recent page - what will it be like in 8 hrs when #superbowl starts?

At 1656 GMT, Doug Haslam weighed in:

So-- are we brining Twitter to its knees again tonight?

And Rex Hammock even joked about it at 1859 GMT:

Just wondering - If we all start tweeting during the Superbowl to see if Twitter can handle it, is that like an unintentional DoS attack?

Shashi Bellamkonda wanted to say something that took more than 140 characters to say, so he wrote a post that touched upon the general issue of Twitter reliability. He didn't explicitly talk about the forthcoming Super Bowl, but he did ask the question: "What will it take for Twitter folks to move to a Competitor?"

And this is just what people are saying publicly. I'm sure that there are NTT employees in Japan and North America who are monitoring the situation. As are folks from Joyent.

So, even under normal circumstances, a lot of people will be watching the 'Net and asking the question, Is Twitter Down?.

But these aren't normal circumstances. For better or worse, a LOT of people are going to be watching Twitter at that time to see how it performs.

I've already blogged about Jeremiah Owyang's @superbowlads account that he has set up as a forum to review the Super Bowl commercials in real time. And it sounds like this isn't just an isolated thing that a few twitterers will be playing around with. Jeremiah reveals some additional interest. For example, in resopnse to my question about whether ad agencies will be watching what has been dubbed (by David Armano) as the "Twitter Bowl," Jeremiah replied:

I’m positive some will, as I know several PR people will be participating, and therefore advertising and interactive agencies.

But the one that really struck me was this post from Lionel Menchaca from Direct2Dell (for purposes of this post, I'll ignore his choice of a favorite team):

Even though the Dallas Cowboys won't be playing, I'm looking forward to tomorrow's game. I'm interested to see the reaction to the commercials tomorrow, and welcome your comments here.

Beyond that, I saw that Jeremiah Owyang set up @Superbowlads on Twitter to allow the community to rate Super Bowl commercials in real time....

I'll post the Dell (PRODUCT) RED Super Bowl commercial here in this post once it airs tomorrow. We welcome your comments here, and I'll be watching the overall reactions via @Superbowlads in Twitter and the Terraminds RSS feed.

Now I don't know Menchaca's relative position within the Dell hierarchy, or whether or not he has evangelized @superbowlads within his company, but what will the reaction be at Dell if this conversation occurs on Monday morning?

MICHAEL: So, Lionel, what was the online reaction to the ad?

LIONEL: Well, went down, so no one could vote on the ad.

MICHAEL: (expletive deleted)

At this point, I don't think any of us know what is going to happen. Will the switch to NTT America pay off for Twitter, or will they be troubled by the same type of #twittout problem that has been plaguing them for the past few weeks?

A lot of people will be watching.


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