Yesterday, social media faced it’s first serious, and seemingly co-ordinated, attack. Twitter, Facebook, Google apps engine and Live Journal were all affected by a DDOS attack that had Twitter out of action for about 3 hours. The sites affected are now working together to investigate the attacks.
There have been different theories knocking around about who is responsible – some say 4chan, some say Iran, some say Conficker. Whoever, or whatever it was, brought the social media industry to its knees for the longest period of time I can certainly remember.
Where did you go during this time to communicate?
I headed to Friendfeed and kept an eye on Read Write Web and Mashable to see how things were progressing.
What is interesting is that there was a feeling of helplessness, very much one of a cable being pulled out and an uncertainty exactly of what to do, within the group of people who were affected. Quite what this says about us, I’m not sure.
But it made me think – where would we go if this had been a permanent blackout? Would have all gone our separate ways, ending all of the small connections we’ve made, or would we have all stumbled back into each other on a different platform?
Where would Twitter users migrate to, if Twitter disappeared tomorrow? Would it be Freindfeed, Tumblr or back to Facebook?
My initial reaction was Friendfeed because it is real-time and I have imported all of the feeds of the guys who I follow on Twitter over to this platform. Others did the same. The thing is, since Twitter came back to life, I’ve not returned to Friendfeed to check on my inbox, as I know my contacts would respond to me on Twitter anyway.
That feeling of loss and helplessness was not pleasant and indeed was almost disorientating, strange though it seems, Twitter’s ability to connect instantly one person to another, and then end that connection is even more compelling when it’s not there.