The Social Web Is Falling: Facebook’s Continuing Outage Problem

(Last week I had a Facebook project that needed some attention. The Facebook failure was much more painful at that moment than today’s Facebook outage. Is this stuff being reported by Mashable yet?)

Stories of Facebook denial of service attacks over last week were not all that interesting, as my account was not affected. TODAY, however, with a Facebook-dependent project to launch, Facebook’s face plant is much more painful to me.

Facebook outage on June 4, 2012 - the sky is falling

So let’s imagine Facebook is a critical sales channel for your business. [It’s hard to imagine, but I’ll suspend disbelief.] And you wake up, bright and early on Monday morning to check your numbers only to find out, you can’t even log-in.

(Aside: Anyone else underwhelmed by Facebook’s mobile app? I know the tech industry has some doubts about their mobile strategy all together. I guess the $1 billion Instagram gamble was part of shoring that weakness up.)

Facebook is still down - June 4, 2012

How are those numbers for ya? Dear Facebook, Whenever You’re done, I’ve got a client who is waiting to see some ads this morning, and you are messing it up.

And again first thing this morning, I get this message for about 10 minutes.

The Facebook Servers May Be Overloaded

You know all those little times you pull down a menu to view someone’s comment on your post? When you select it and Facebook goes nowhere. Again, I think that’s a burp in their server capacity. I recall a post years ago about how much server power Facebook was having to ADD daily to keep up with new memberships. I’m sure the pace has quickened. (Anyone have that number, please post in the comments.)

So now that Facebook is a big, public, over-valued corporation. What do you think it’s going to take before the hacker group Anonymous starts a few “denial of service” attacks? I don’t think it will be long, if it’s not already happening.

As I’ve said previously, I’m not a huge fan of Facebook. It’s all we’ve got at the moment, but it’s flaming death would probably be a great win for all the other services trying to find a niche underneath or beside the big ass Zuckerberg-Gorilla.

So here’s to the inconvenience and the outages of Facebook. For the moment they are a mere irritant. Facebook is not mission critical for me or any of my clients. (It’s part of the mix, but not a core strategy.) And you’ve got to DO Facebook, “cause everybody else is doing it.”

Actually the real logic behind Facebook presence these days is this, “Your customers ARE on Facebook. If they search for you within the walls of Facebook, you DO want to show up.” And the corollary, “If you HAVE a Facebook page, please, please, please, pay attention to it. If someone asks a question via Facebook, you need to answer. And the time between the question and answer DOES illuminate your commitment or understanding of Facebook in general. If you DON’T answer (And the statistic is like 70% of Questions to businesses on Facebook go unanswered.) you are really blowing your reason for being there.

Bottomline: Facebook is struggling. We are struggling to figure out how to work with Facebook. Until something else shows up en masse, you’d better get your Facebook house in order. Even if Facebook itself continues to mess up, fall down, invade your privacy, make unannounced changes to services… Even after all that, YOU HAVE GOT TO DEAL WITH FACEBOOK. (I apologize for shouting.)

It’s all about how critical Facebook is to your business. If you depend on it, then these are serious problems. (As they were for myself and a client last week.) If Facebook is still just about high school reunions and sharing photos with friends and family, not so bad. But I tell you, the pain is coming for Facebook, and the cracks are already showing.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

Two critical-path Facebook posts:

Get all the Facebook posts here: The Complete Facebook Page

Some more for your LEARN box of social media:

Most people don’t really enjoy being mean; they do it because they can’t help it. (from Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement)


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