Whew… This blog is back up! Like many thousands of other TypePad users I experienced today what was referred to on the SixApart status blog as a “temporary service degradation.” Huh?! OK, I’ve heard that euphemistic phrase before. But it went on for several hours. I was getting weird error messages that sounded like the death of my blog. Stuff like: “Zero Sized Reply – Squid did not receive any data for this request.” Whatever that means. Scary.
So reading about a “temporary degradation” on SixApart’s status blog wasn’t making me feel better. I put in a help ticket but didn’t receive a response for almost an hour. (No, I’m not patient.) I poked around their site and the only other hot news I could find was a jubilant notice posted yesterday about TypePad’s 2nd birthday. Some way to celebrate.
Here’s my well-intentioned advice to SixApart. You’ve got a crisis (and yes, it’s a crisis to your customers even if it seems like server down-time to you). You’ve got a blog. Talk to us! Tell us what’s happening! Don’t sling around phrases like “service degradation.” Use your blog to defuse the anxiety that thousands of your customers are feeling.
I’m a truly loyal customer (yes, I really like the SixApart folks) so I picked up the phone and called Anil Dash, one of their VPs and a terrifically savvy guy. “Anil,” I said. “Quick! Post something in plain language that explains better what’s going on. People are terrified that the blog monster has swallowed up their blogs.”
Minutes later, he did. Or someone did. See below for what just went up. I wish he’d signed it himself. Guys, this is the whole point of blogging, remember? A blog is written by a person and not a collective anonymous entity (uh, Six Apart Ops?). And blogs are real-time and urgent and real. I do wish Mena would post something reassuring right now. Or maybe someone could do it for her.
UPDATE (12:02 PM PDT). One of the
main servers which displays your published blogs has crashed. We are in
the process of restarting it. Right now we have no reason to believe
that any data was lost, but we are taking the time to verify this and
restart all affected servers.
We apologize for the inconvenience, and we will post an update here as soon as possible.
Posted by Six Apart Ops at 11:16 AM Pacific
And puh-leeze. Spare me the little orange, red and green balls on the status page. There’s a red one as I type. Hopefully it won’t be there by the time you read this. I live in Washington DC, home of the color-coded terror alerts. Which we all hate. Don’t remind me.
Addendum: Anil just called back to thank me for alerting him to post more “human” info to the blog. Said he really appreciated the “kick in the pants.” OK, now you guys are getting it right… Hey it’s a bloggy bloggy world out there.