In the early hours of Thursday according to US Eastern Time our beloved Twitter was down. In a way the world stood still. I was also surprised by the outage in spite of frequent Twitter downtimes in recent months. Maybe it was surprising due to the fact that there was no “fail whale” sorry page but just a browser error that showed up on Twitter.com
I felt like an amputee.
I got so used to the Twitter background chatter I could access any time that I felt lost in a way. That was another surprise as I use several other social sites throughout the day, most notably
- YCombinator Hacker News
Nonetheless I missed Twitter the minute I couldn’t access it and looked for a quick alternative for real time social networking. I turned to FriendFeed and there a condescending message by Twitter celebrity Robert Scoble about the downtime greeted me:
“Twitter is down. Oh, what will the SEO experts, the celebrities, the spammers, the bots, and the social media experts do?”
Also I had just tweeted a new post on my blog, a fairly good one I thought and then Twitter went offline so that it did not get the attention it probably deserved.
Long story short: I relied too much on one service.
The old saying of not putting all eggs into one basket was ever present.
Although I thought I didn’t in reality I did put too many eggs into the Twitter basket. What Google is for search, Twitter is for microblogging. It’s almost a monopoly by now. After two other competing services have been discontinued only
have some significance left but who really uses them? You can’t export your network and connect with your followers elsewhere immediately.
In a shaky Web 2.0 world you have to connect to your friends and allies all over the place using several services.
Otherwise you might end up one day without them. Even as an early adopter and social media power user I have neglected that. I have far less connections elsewhere.
This time it was a DDoS attack, next time you might get banned “by accident” or on purpose or the service goes bankrupt. Last but not least: Twitter may go the way of Friendster when a newer and shinier service comes up. Maybe it’s already the, maybe it’s even one of the above.
Social networking on Twitter is a new form of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) when it comes to business.
Treat Twitter as a social CRM tool but add your friends, those people you follow or those who retweet you etc. as contacts to your “real” CRM system.
I’ve neglected that as I still haven’t found the perfect CRM solution. Disclosure: I have been working for a while for a big international CRM company. Due to their NDA they won’t get any publicity though.
I have found some decent looking web based CRM solutions but didn’t have the time to test them all yet. I tried Zoho CRM but it didn’t have the look and feel I was comfortable with. Which CRM solution do you use? This is the time to stop relying on brittle social sites. It’s time to forge real business connections and manage them professionally.
Btw. does your CRM app allow you to export your contacts/data in a format you can use elsewhere?