Friday, May 30, 2008

Hey, Twitterites and Scobleites - Chuck Bryant speaks about the question that started it all

This is a followup to my previous post "From Chuck Bryant to Robert Scoble, something explodes".

Regarding this tempest in a teapot and "popular" users, people have talked a lot about what Robert Scoble said (note: Scoble has since met with Twitter), and they've talked a lot about what MG Siegler said, and they've talked a lot about what Alex Payne said.

But there hasn't been a lot of time spent looking at what Chuck Bryant said. As a reminder, here's the question that started the whole ball rolling.

Thanks for the update. Are there any user-side solutions to help balancing the load in the meantime? Like asking people to use SMS and IM rather than the website during peak times? Would privileging third-party API-based apps over the website help?

Now here's the interesting part. All of these comments and jokes and everything else were floating all around the Internet, and Chuck Bryant didn't even know about it. If nothing else, this proves how small and somewhat irrelevant the 2.0 tech community is. 99.9% of the people weren't thinking about what Chuck Bryant said; they were thinking about what Kobe Bryant did. (OK, maybe I exaggerate since I live in southern California. But still.)

Here's what Chuck tweeted this afternoon (about mid-afternoon Pacific Time):

oh, my. apparently i caused some ruckus about twitter. awesome.

Bryant was also kind enough to leave a comment at my previous blog post about this topic. Here's part of what he said:

For clarification, my original question was intended to elicit some indication of which methods of accessing Twitter caused the heaviest impact and, by extension, suggest that those features be throttled -- and not necessarily by user/community voluntary behavior. I was just being polite; as in, "we" (the users) might be willing to live with occasionally reduced functionality, if it means the service would stay up while "they" (Twitter's developers) continue to repair and re-build it. I don't know if my question indeed prompted them to consider throttling the service, but clearly that's what they have done and it didn't happen until after I posed the question. And, with some user grumbling, it does appear to be working. Mission accomplished.

I leave it to more technical people to determine whether the steps that Twitter took specifically address the problem as they see it...or whether the steps that Twitter took are sufficient.

P.S. It's good that Bryant's Twitter name is @fishwreck; it would be bad if it were @birdwreck.

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