Twitter blames its users

I almost did a Mike Arrington headline, like the one he used recently against Wired magazine, when he was frustrated that they were calling him out. It would have been so satisfying. But, I decided to play it straight. At least here. Over on FriendFeed I let my full fury out.

What happened? Well, you can see the headlines over on TechMeme. Twitter blamed its “popular” users for its woes. Now, who could that be? Right. Venture Beat filled in the blank, if you just weren’t sure.

A business that blames its best users is one that’s in trouble. Serious trouble.

It’s so sad to watch a business make so many bad decisions like this one is doing. Right now a pretty significant part of Twitter is down. Track isn’t on. IM isn’t on. Other parts of the service are giving me tons of whale photos that say something is technically wrong. It’s so sad because I really want to use this service to keep in touch with my friends and fans and family and enemies and all that. They all were on Twitter. Now? On FriendFeed alone I now have 11,566 followers (a large percentage of which joined in past two weeks). There is a migration underway, although most people say “I really want to be on Twitter” even after trying out competitive services like Pownce, FriendFeed, and Jaiku.

Please Twitter: fix your darn problems and stop blaming your users. You now have $15,000,000 in venture. You have no excuses anymore.

Thanks to gapingvoid.com for the cartoon.

Published by

Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. We’ve been over this a lot of FriendFeed (naturally!), but I’ll repeat it here too: there is nothing in what the guy from Twitter actually says which blames the users. You’re looking at the headlines, which aren’t accurate, and blaming the company for them.

    So, no, even this headline isn’t accurate.

  2. We’ve been over this a lot of FriendFeed (naturally!), but I’ll repeat it here too: there is nothing in what the guy from Twitter actually says which blames the users. You’re looking at the headlines, which aren’t accurate, and blaming the company for them.

    So, no, even this headline isn’t accurate.

  3. Ian, once again, you are wrong. Here’s what Alex Payne, developer at Twitter, said:

    “”The events that hit our system the hardest are generally when “popular” users – that is, users with large numbers of followers and people they’re following – perform a number of actions in rapid succession.””

    That sure sounds like blaming their best users, and very specifically, me, since I’m the only user with more than 20,000 followers that behaves this way.

  4. Ian, once again, you are wrong. Here’s what Alex Payne, developer at Twitter, said:

    “”The events that hit our system the hardest are generally when “popular” users – that is, users with large numbers of followers and people they’re following – perform a number of actions in rapid succession.””

    That sure sounds like blaming their best users, and very specifically, me, since I’m the only user with more than 20,000 followers that behaves this way.

  5. Yeah, I was waiting for this to happen. How a bunch as amateurish as this managed to score $15 million, I’ll never understand.

  6. Yeah, I was waiting for this to happen. How a bunch as amateurish as this managed to score $15 million, I’ll never understand.

  7. Twits. Twitter is the anti scale. It’s currently telling me my limit has been exceeded. WTF? I just woke up and tried to login. I haven’t even had coffee yet. I haven’t begun to exceed my limit.

  8. Twits. Twitter is the anti scale. It’s currently telling me my limit has been exceeded. WTF? I just woke up and tried to login. I haven’t even had coffee yet. I haven’t begun to exceed my limit.

  9. I wouldn’t call it “blaming” their users either. Out of 9 Q&A’s, one of them mentions “popular” users and the bottlenecks they can cause. It sounds more like an admission that their architecture doesn’t scale well for users with a lot of followers.

  10. Are you using the service or are you misusing the service?

    If everyone in NYC flushes the toilet at the same time the sewer system will crash.

    If everyone picks up their phone at the same time many won’t get dial tone.

    Are these bad services?

    Systems have design parameters. You may be using the twitter system outside of it’s engineered parameters. If the system is designed for “friends” and not “followers” then 25,000 is not a reasonable number. What % of your followers are friends?

  11. I wouldn’t call it “blaming” their users either. Out of 9 Q&A’s, one of them mentions “popular” users and the bottlenecks they can cause. It sounds more like an admission that their architecture doesn’t scale well for users with a lot of followers.

  12. Are you using the service or are you misusing the service?

    If everyone in NYC flushes the toilet at the same time the sewer system will crash.

    If everyone picks up their phone at the same time many won’t get dial tone.

    Are these bad services?

    Systems have design parameters. You may be using the twitter system outside of it’s engineered parameters. If the system is designed for “friends” and not “followers” then 25,000 is not a reasonable number. What % of your followers are friends?

  13. Robert, no, it doesn’t sound like blaming the users. It’s saying this is what hits the system hardest. There’s a difference. You’re reading a cultural response into a technical description, and you’re just plain wrong about it.

  14. Robert, no, it doesn’t sound like blaming the users. It’s saying this is what hits the system hardest. There’s a difference. You’re reading a cultural response into a technical description, and you’re just plain wrong about it.

  15. Erik: funny, American Idol causes millions of phone calls to happen and the system doesn’t crash.

    I have 9,000 business cards. Are they not my friends? How do you define friends online? I define them as someone who I want in my social network.

    At least Facebook just limits us to 5,000.

    FriendFeed, though, already has me up to 11,556 and works great.

  16. Plus, of course, you’re selectively quoting. Alex goes on to say:

    “This usually results in a number of big queries that pile up in our database(s). Not running scripts to follow thousands of users at a time would be a help, but that’s behavior we have to limit on our side.”

    Note that last bit: Alex is saying that it’s a problem that’s on THEIR side, not something that users can fix. They’re not asking for a change in behaviour: they’re giving s description of how their system behaves under stress.

  17. Robert: That’s not blaming the users.. it’s saying that their system doesn’t have the scalability to absorb these requests..

    there is a HUGE difference.

  18. Erik: funny, American Idol causes millions of phone calls to happen and the system doesn’t crash.

    I have 9,000 business cards. Are they not my friends? How do you define friends online? I define them as someone who I want in my social network.

    At least Facebook just limits us to 5,000.

    FriendFeed, though, already has me up to 11,556 and works great.

  19. Plus, of course, you’re selectively quoting. Alex goes on to say:

    “This usually results in a number of big queries that pile up in our database(s). Not running scripts to follow thousands of users at a time would be a help, but that’s behavior we have to limit on our side.”

    Note that last bit: Alex is saying that it’s a problem that’s on THEIR side, not something that users can fix. They’re not asking for a change in behaviour: they’re giving s description of how their system behaves under stress.

  20. Robert: That’s not blaming the users.. it’s saying that their system doesn’t have the scalability to absorb these requests..

    there is a HUGE difference.

  21. Ian: well, if the service was always up, then I’d agree with you. But since it’s down, the implication is that I’m causing the system to go down by increasing load on it. The problem is that on Wednesday of last week I didn’t send a single Tweet and it still was down. So, doesn’t seem to be my behavior that’s causing it.

  22. Ian: well, if the service was always up, then I’d agree with you. But since it’s down, the implication is that I’m causing the system to go down by increasing load on it. The problem is that on Wednesday of last week I didn’t send a single Tweet and it still was down. So, doesn’t seem to be my behavior that’s causing it.

  23. Robert, as i saw you some comments ago i use Jaiku to follow the past Twitter of my friend as an alternative service. Yesterday Twitter team write a post on Developer blog talking about their problems with Ruby.
    I think that Investor are crazy to with 15M$ in the actually Twitter sistem: “Rails was originally extracted from Basecamp, a CMS. Rails excels at CRUD-style applications, and while you can wedge a messaging system or other types of applications into that model, it’s a square peg in a round hole.”

    So, i’am Italian, yesterday i talk about Twitter with my friend: she doesn’t understand why she has to use Twitter when she can use E-mail, SMS, Msn Messenger in order to contact friends. I think that is a pretty question.

  24. A few more quotes, from the same article

    “Our key problems have been primarily architectural and growing our infrastructure to keep up with our growth. ”

    “We’re painfully aware of every minute that we’re slow or unavailable.”

    “Rails excels at CRUD-style applications, and while you can wedge a messaging system or other types of applications into that model, it’s a square peg in a round hole.”

    “My understanding is that Twitter started as a one-day project to explore sharing status via SMS that rapidly took on a life of its own. That Twitter would eventually evolve into a messaging system in its own right wasn’t conceptualized from the get-go.”

    And there’s more. Once you put Alex’s quote into context, it is VERY clear that he’s not blaming the users for anything – he’s explaining the limitations of the architecture.

  25. A few more quotes, from the same article

    “Our key problems have been primarily architectural and growing our infrastructure to keep up with our growth. ”

    “We’re painfully aware of every minute that we’re slow or unavailable.”

    “Rails excels at CRUD-style applications, and while you can wedge a messaging system or other types of applications into that model, it’s a square peg in a round hole.”

    “My understanding is that Twitter started as a one-day project to explore sharing status via SMS that rapidly took on a life of its own. That Twitter would eventually evolve into a messaging system in its own right wasn’t conceptualized from the get-go.”

    And there’s more. Once you put Alex’s quote into context, it is VERY clear that he’s not blaming the users for anything – he’s explaining the limitations of the architecture.

  26. Robert, as i saw you some comments ago i use Jaiku to follow the past Twitter of my friend as an alternative service. Yesterday Twitter team write a post on Developer blog talking about their problems with Ruby.
    I think that Investor are crazy to with 15M$ in the actually Twitter sistem: “Rails was originally extracted from Basecamp, a CMS. Rails excels at CRUD-style applications, and while you can wedge a messaging system or other types of applications into that model, it’s a square peg in a round hole.”

    So, i’am Italian, yesterday i talk about Twitter with my friend: she doesn’t understand why she has to use Twitter when she can use E-mail, SMS, Msn Messenger in order to contact friends. I think that is a pretty question.

  27. “So, doesn’t seem to be my behavior that’s causing it.”

    Robert, of course your behaviour isn’t causing it. No one is saying that it is. You’re reading into this something that just isn’t there.

  28. “So, doesn’t seem to be my behavior that’s causing it.”

    Robert, of course your behaviour isn’t causing it. No one is saying that it is. You’re reading into this something that just isn’t there.

  29. From Scoble: “That sure sounds like blaming their best users, and very specifically, me, since I’m the only user with more than 20,000 followers that behaves this way.”

    Ouch Scoble that hurts, you say you are their best user just because you use it a lot? I must be one of the worst users then since I have only a few friends and only a few posts.

    I guess that means spam emailers are the best emailers because they send the most mail.

    As noted earlier, the comment from twitter is stating a fact that their system is hurt the most by heavy users, I don’t call that blaming, I call that plain and simple fact that can be proven by data. They are working it, they have said this several times now.

    The reporter asks: “if there’s anything users can do to lighten our load.”

    Twitter responded by saying, yes, our heavy users need to back off for a bit while we work on the issue.

    Headlines are wrong, the report used your name not twitter.

    Calm down already.

  30. From Scoble: “That sure sounds like blaming their best users, and very specifically, me, since I’m the only user with more than 20,000 followers that behaves this way.”

    Ouch Scoble that hurts, you say you are their best user just because you use it a lot? I must be one of the worst users then since I have only a few friends and only a few posts.

    I guess that means spam emailers are the best emailers because they send the most mail.

    As noted earlier, the comment from twitter is stating a fact that their system is hurt the most by heavy users, I don’t call that blaming, I call that plain and simple fact that can be proven by data. They are working it, they have said this several times now.

    The reporter asks: “if there’s anything users can do to lighten our load.”

    Twitter responded by saying, yes, our heavy users need to back off for a bit while we work on the issue.

    Headlines are wrong, the report used your name not twitter.

    Calm down already.

  31. $15,000,000 in venture capital and they can’t handle a flow of 3kbytes/second because of the wrong algorithm choice… wow!
    We should have a contest to see who can program the best replacement. It shouldn’t be too hard to generate a synthetic load of 10,000 tweets/second for a baseline.
    –Mike–

  32. $15,000,000 in venture capital and they can’t handle a flow of 3kbytes/second because of the wrong algorithm choice… wow!
    We should have a contest to see who can program the best replacement. It shouldn’t be too hard to generate a synthetic load of 10,000 tweets/second for a baseline.
    –Mike–

  33. Robert, the telcos invest tens of BILLIONS of dollars in infrastructure to support events like AI. Even then, they want to know about major events in advance to prepare. Even with those tens of billions in infrastructure, the phone system still crashes with unexpected peaks.

    This is all about contention based systems. It’s about peak to average ratios.

  34. Robert, the telcos invest tens of BILLIONS of dollars in infrastructure to support events like AI. Even then, they want to know about major events in advance to prepare. Even with those tens of billions in infrastructure, the phone system still crashes with unexpected peaks.

    This is all about contention based systems. It’s about peak to average ratios.

  35. I said this on he FF discussion, but I like to practice typing :-P

    This is like a B$M retailer telling its customers to go away because the weight is cracking the foundation. Better yet, telling its overweight customers to go away. If it cant handle the load then shut down, rebuild, and have a grand reopening. Dont have strange hours and keep the customers guessing as to when you’ll be open.

  36. I said this on he FF discussion, but I like to practice typing :-P

    This is like a B$M retailer telling its customers to go away because the weight is cracking the foundation. Better yet, telling its overweight customers to go away. If it cant handle the load then shut down, rebuild, and have a grand reopening. Dont have strange hours and keep the customers guessing as to when you’ll be open.

  37. OK, let’s take it another way. The service is still freaking down. Track is down. IM is down. Replies are horribly slow. SO are DM’s. So, something is still going wrong. What is it? Is it noisy popular members? I don’t think so. I’m the only “noisy” “popular” member and I haven’t been noisy tonight. Service is still down. So, if that didn’t have an effect, why bring it up?

  38. OK, let’s take it another way. The service is still freaking down. Track is down. IM is down. Replies are horribly slow. SO are DM’s. So, something is still going wrong. What is it? Is it noisy popular members? I don’t think so. I’m the only “noisy” “popular” member and I haven’t been noisy tonight. Service is still down. So, if that didn’t have an effect, why bring it up?

  39. For completeness, you should probably reference what was said properly. On the twitter developer blog, in an effort to be more open (which people have maligned them for not doing in the past), Alex wrote:

    “charles asks if there’s anything users can do to lighten our load. The events that hit our system the hardest are generally when “popular” users – that is, users with large numbers of followers and people they’re following – perform a number of actions in rapid succession. This usually results in a number of big queries that pile up in our database(s). Not running scripts to follow thousands of users at a time would be a help, but that’s behavior we have to limit on our side.”

    http://dev.twitter.com/2008/05/youve-got-qs-weve-got-as.html

    If you really want to read into it, what they are saying is they have scalability problems, and actions that have a lot of side effects – not limited to the ‘big’ users – stress the system. Are you surprised? They are not blaming anyone, rather answering what users can do to help if they choose to.

    You may be the biggest user, I don’t know, but please don’t bash Twitter when they actually start opening up, especially when they haven’t ‘blamed’ you!

  40. For completeness, you should probably reference what was said properly. On the twitter developer blog, in an effort to be more open (which people have maligned them for not doing in the past), Alex wrote:

    “charles asks if there’s anything users can do to lighten our load. The events that hit our system the hardest are generally when “popular” users – that is, users with large numbers of followers and people they’re following – perform a number of actions in rapid succession. This usually results in a number of big queries that pile up in our database(s). Not running scripts to follow thousands of users at a time would be a help, but that’s behavior we have to limit on our side.”

    http://dev.twitter.com/2008/05/youve-got-qs-weve-got-as.html

    If you really want to read into it, what they are saying is they have scalability problems, and actions that have a lot of side effects – not limited to the ‘big’ users – stress the system. Are you surprised? They are not blaming anyone, rather answering what users can do to help if they choose to.

    You may be the biggest user, I don’t know, but please don’t bash Twitter when they actually start opening up, especially when they haven’t ‘blamed’ you!

  41. Umm, because there are other popular people besides you Scoble, hence why you shouldn’t be taking this so personally.

    BigCheeze, I see signs all the time for weight restrictions on trucks on certain roads, so why can’t their be for an online service?

  42. This is funny. When Dare said this exact same thing about popular users being a major issue behind Twitter’s downtime, you were adamant about how you understood Twitter better. You were quite interested in pressing your point, too.

    Are you willing to man up to being wrong?

  43. Umm, because there are other popular people besides you Scoble, hence why you shouldn’t be taking this so personally.

    BigCheeze, I see signs all the time for weight restrictions on trucks on certain roads, so why can’t their be for an online service?

  44. This is funny. When Dare said this exact same thing about popular users being a major issue behind Twitter’s downtime, you were adamant about how you understood Twitter better. You were quite interested in pressing your point, too.

    Are you willing to man up to being wrong?

  45. Micah: Fair enough. But you can see those signs ahead of time and plan an alternate route. You dont get half way across the bridge and then feel the road start cracking and caving as the road crew is putting the sign up on the OTHER side…

  46. Robert, read the comments that I pulled out above. They’re NOT even saying that popular, noisy users are the *only* problem. Events like those are the ones that hit the system hardest – but even those won’t always cause a system outage.

    Bare in mind, too, that they’re constantly working on the system – as they put it, replacing the bits which won’t scale with bits which will. Maintainance can always cause downtime which has little to do with user traffic. Saying “it’s down, and I’m not tweeting, so therefore high-numbers users can’t be a problem” is silly.

  47. Robert, read the comments that I pulled out above. They’re NOT even saying that popular, noisy users are the *only* problem. Events like those are the ones that hit the system hardest – but even those won’t always cause a system outage.

    Bare in mind, too, that they’re constantly working on the system – as they put it, replacing the bits which won’t scale with bits which will. Maintainance can always cause downtime which has little to do with user traffic. Saying “it’s down, and I’m not tweeting, so therefore high-numbers users can’t be a problem” is silly.

  48. Micah: Fair enough. But you can see those signs ahead of time and plan an alternate route. You dont get half way across the bridge and then feel the road start cracking and caving as the road crew is putting the sign up on the OTHER side…

  49. Scoble it’s time for you to clean up your act then buddy. You’re only allowed to post once to twitter a day and maybe twice on Sunday. You can PM 4 netsecks all day long on twitter as long as no one post a public reply to your pm @Scobleizer. Let’s see how long it takes for Friend Feed to start hating you:D

  50. Scoble it’s time for you to clean up your act then buddy. You’re only allowed to post once to twitter a day and maybe twice on Sunday. You can PM 4 netsecks all day long on twitter as long as no one post a public reply to your pm @Scobleizer. Let’s see how long it takes for Friend Feed to start hating you:D

  51. BigCheeze, your right that you can see the signs and plan ahead, just as Twitter can see signs that “popular/heavy” users put the most strain on the network, so they ask their heavy users to please back off for a bit while they change the path to make it better.

    Seems clear enough to me.

  52. BigCheeze, your right that you can see the signs and plan ahead, just as Twitter can see signs that “popular/heavy” users put the most strain on the network, so they ask their heavy users to please back off for a bit while they change the path to make it better.

    Seems clear enough to me.

  53. JayD: yeah, I am probably wrong, if Alex’s comments are right. It’s very interesting that FriendFeed says that I won’t be a problem and that they even test their system to make sure my account won’t slow down while Twitter is saying in public that I’m a problem that they don’t know how to deal with. I know where I’m spending more and more of my time lately.

  54. JayD: yeah, I am probably wrong, if Alex’s comments are right. It’s very interesting that FriendFeed says that I won’t be a problem and that they even test their system to make sure my account won’t slow down while Twitter is saying in public that I’m a problem that they don’t know how to deal with. I know where I’m spending more and more of my time lately.

  55. Twitter’s (uptime) incompetence might be tolerable were it not coupled with their arrogance.

    I’ve read such incredible things about Evan, so that doesn’t make any sense.

  56. Twitter’s (uptime) incompetence might be tolerable were it not coupled with their arrogance.

    I’ve read such incredible things about Evan, so that doesn’t make any sense.

  57. Everyone here has quite a good point. Yes, Twitter were only trying to explain the circumstances, and yes power users probably cause them problems. But Robert is right to be cross that they’ve singled any user group out. Blaming your users is rude.

    Twitter has been around for a while now, and yet they don’t seem to have figured out how to enable people to use their service. Blaming people for trying to use the service isn’t going to help matters. Do they want users or not?

    What makes it worse is that Robert has been a great evangelist for the service for a long time. His posts made me join, and probably encouraged lots of others too. That makes any insult (real or supposed) cut deeper.

  58. Micah: Lol, I agree to disagree with you my friend :-) It should have been made much clearer much sooner that this system was not meant for any type of heavy strain, and that notice needed to come from the devs. I just dont see why they didnt impose limits or some sort of throttling well before this. But I think we both make good points from opposite ends of the view :-) Thanks for the good discussion. The funny thing is, Ive only sent MAYBE 3 tweets EVER… lol.

  59. Everyone here has quite a good point. Yes, Twitter were only trying to explain the circumstances, and yes power users probably cause them problems. But Robert is right to be cross that they’ve singled any user group out. Blaming your users is rude.

    Twitter has been around for a while now, and yet they don’t seem to have figured out how to enable people to use their service. Blaming people for trying to use the service isn’t going to help matters. Do they want users or not?

    What makes it worse is that Robert has been a great evangelist for the service for a long time. His posts made me join, and probably encouraged lots of others too. That makes any insult (real or supposed) cut deeper.

  60. Micah: Lol, I agree to disagree with you my friend :-) It should have been made much clearer much sooner that this system was not meant for any type of heavy strain, and that notice needed to come from the devs. I just dont see why they didnt impose limits or some sort of throttling well before this. But I think we both make good points from opposite ends of the view :-) Thanks for the good discussion. The funny thing is, Ive only sent MAYBE 3 tweets EVER… lol.

  61. It’s your blog so you can think what you want and act like it’s the truth, but nobody else seems to believe they’re blaming the users. The guy offered explanations for their problems, said that *they* need to do something to solve it, and you choose not to believe them and accuse them of blaming you (because apparently everything that happens at Twitter is all about you). This stuff can be *hard*, you know. Do you think these kinds of things can be solved overnight?
    This pisses me off because I’m a software engineer and you sound like every idiot who has a complaint and thinks it should be fixable in ten minutes. Chill out and let them work on it.

  62. It’s your blog so you can think what you want and act like it’s the truth, but nobody else seems to believe they’re blaming the users. The guy offered explanations for their problems, said that *they* need to do something to solve it, and you choose not to believe them and accuse them of blaming you (because apparently everything that happens at Twitter is all about you). This stuff can be *hard*, you know. Do you think these kinds of things can be solved overnight?
    This pisses me off because I’m a software engineer and you sound like every idiot who has a complaint and thinks it should be fixable in ten minutes. Chill out and let them work on it.

  63. Robert –

    Friendfeed doesn’t have the same traffic that Twitter does so your comparisons aren’t valid. The scale counts. I would be surprised if the top users on FF follow the same number of people they did on Twitter (and you alone as a datapoint doesn’t count – you’re just one user among thousands).

    Saying that you’re their only popular user is assigning a wee-bitt too much importance to yourself, IMHO.

    Twitter’s post was nothing more than them trying to explain what’s causing them problems. You’ve pulled their quotes out of context and written a highly inaccurate headline. They’re blaming no one but themselves

  64. FWIW, I didn’t just call you an idiot, just that this rant *sounds* like those kinds of idiots. :) “Oh, it crashes when I do this big series of things that you never expected the app to have to do? Well, just fix it and let me know in a couple hours when it’s done.”

  65. Robert –

    Friendfeed doesn’t have the same traffic that Twitter does so your comparisons aren’t valid. The scale counts. I would be surprised if the top users on FF follow the same number of people they did on Twitter (and you alone as a datapoint doesn’t count – you’re just one user among thousands).

    Saying that you’re their only popular user is assigning a wee-bitt too much importance to yourself, IMHO.

    Twitter’s post was nothing more than them trying to explain what’s causing them problems. You’ve pulled their quotes out of context and written a highly inaccurate headline. They’re blaming no one but themselves

  66. FWIW, I didn’t just call you an idiot, just that this rant *sounds* like those kinds of idiots. :) “Oh, it crashes when I do this big series of things that you never expected the app to have to do? Well, just fix it and let me know in a couple hours when it’s done.”

  67. Following 21.000 people is not what reasonable humans consider a fair and adequate use of a *free* service.

  68. BigCheeze, :) Software development takes time, and there are certainly plenty of reasons they didn’t do much ahead of time to prevent issues.

    Turning things off may have been just as damaging, maybe they didn’t have proper ways to turn things off in a good way. etc. etc.

    Scoble will never be happy, hence his jumping around from application to application often times because of a few minor hiccups that ALL software and piece of anything is going to have. Yes even Apple :)

  69. Following 21.000 people is not what reasonable humans consider a fair and adequate use of a *free* service.

  70. BigCheeze, :) Software development takes time, and there are certainly plenty of reasons they didn’t do much ahead of time to prevent issues.

    Turning things off may have been just as damaging, maybe they didn’t have proper ways to turn things off in a good way. etc. etc.

    Scoble will never be happy, hence his jumping around from application to application often times because of a few minor hiccups that ALL software and piece of anything is going to have. Yes even Apple :)

  71. It really shouldn’t matter how many followers a person has.

    It seems like Twitter simply needs to grok two words: asynchronous and queuing

  72. It really shouldn’t matter how many followers a person has.

    It seems like Twitter simply needs to grok two words: asynchronous and queuing

  73. Scoble,

    Get over yourself… the world doesn’t revolve around you. A week or two ago you and Arrington were bashing Twitter for not communicating well, now you’re bashing them for overcommunicating.

    I don’t work there, but I suspect there are a bunch of twenty somethings that spend 100+ hour weeks trying to keep it running with bandaids. Was it architected correctly from the get go? No. But that probably has more to do with the funding they had than the people they had at the time.

    So what if it is your partially due to how you use it? They are just explaining what happened, not saying that you should use it differently.

    Instead of manufacturing this fake controversy for attention, why don’t you use your podium to start a discussion on what technologies and design patterns might be good candidates to replace the failing architecture.

    The blogosphere came to prominence because the mainstream press couldn’t just competed for the lowest common denominator of intelligence offering sex, violence, and other brain numbing content. Now I see the blogosphere doing the same. And for that, Scoble, you are certainly one to blame.

  74. Scoble,

    Get over yourself… the world doesn’t revolve around you. A week or two ago you and Arrington were bashing Twitter for not communicating well, now you’re bashing them for overcommunicating.

    I don’t work there, but I suspect there are a bunch of twenty somethings that spend 100+ hour weeks trying to keep it running with bandaids. Was it architected correctly from the get go? No. But that probably has more to do with the funding they had than the people they had at the time.

    So what if it is your partially due to how you use it? They are just explaining what happened, not saying that you should use it differently.

    Instead of manufacturing this fake controversy for attention, why don’t you use your podium to start a discussion on what technologies and design patterns might be good candidates to replace the failing architecture.

    The blogosphere came to prominence because the mainstream press couldn’t just competed for the lowest common denominator of intelligence offering sex, violence, and other brain numbing content. Now I see the blogosphere doing the same. And for that, Scoble, you are certainly one to blame.

  75. Robert, I have to disagree that this is Twitter blaming its users, and that you’re somehow personally their target. The post, as many people point out here, refers to a number of issues that conspire to make life difficult for Twitter. The post doesn’t say at all that users with large numbers of followers/following (that feels weird to write) are the only cause and must be stopped. If anything, they take that circumstance as one they need to deal with.

    You draw a comparison with a completely different type of use:
    > funny, American Idol causes millions of phone calls to happen and the system doesn’t crash.

    This is a misunderstanding. In the AI call-ins, people are registering a number on a counter with their call. One call = +1. On Twitter, when you ask for an update of tweets, there is a massive pull of information from the database. Imagine the difference between you sitting on a bench and counting people walking by vs. asking each one what they had for breakfast. It’s a very big difference and unfortunately makes the comparison nonsensical.

    Please re-read the actual post and try to understand that it’s not all about you. This hysteria-baiting is only hurting your relationship with people who provide a service that you say you love, but lately all you give it publicly is anything but.

  76. Robert, I have to disagree that this is Twitter blaming its users, and that you’re somehow personally their target. The post, as many people point out here, refers to a number of issues that conspire to make life difficult for Twitter. The post doesn’t say at all that users with large numbers of followers/following (that feels weird to write) are the only cause and must be stopped. If anything, they take that circumstance as one they need to deal with.

    You draw a comparison with a completely different type of use:
    > funny, American Idol causes millions of phone calls to happen and the system doesn’t crash.

    This is a misunderstanding. In the AI call-ins, people are registering a number on a counter with their call. One call = +1. On Twitter, when you ask for an update of tweets, there is a massive pull of information from the database. Imagine the difference between you sitting on a bench and counting people walking by vs. asking each one what they had for breakfast. It’s a very big difference and unfortunately makes the comparison nonsensical.

    Please re-read the actual post and try to understand that it’s not all about you. This hysteria-baiting is only hurting your relationship with people who provide a service that you say you love, but lately all you give it publicly is anything but.

  77. Robert, you’re missing this half of the quote:
    “Not running scripts to follow thousands of users at a time would be a help, but that’s behavior we have to limit on our side.”

    That is clearly not you – it’s people who try to friend everybody in the world using rogue app’s like this: http://www.livelybrowser.com/img/TwitterFriendAdder.jpg

    Hopefully Alex from Twitter will do a follow-up post to better explain what he meant by those statements.

  78. Robert, you’re missing this half of the quote:
    “Not running scripts to follow thousands of users at a time would be a help, but that’s behavior we have to limit on our side.”

    That is clearly not you – it’s people who try to friend everybody in the world using rogue app’s like this: http://www.livelybrowser.com/img/TwitterFriendAdder.jpg

    Hopefully Alex from Twitter will do a follow-up post to better explain what he meant by those statements.

  79. Mike D, I agree with you, but I kind of hope Alex doesn’t post another post to explain himself. I think people should read things correctly in the first place and not blow things way out of proportion.

    I’d prefer Alex spend his time working on twitter and not trying to explain himself about something that isn’t even there.

    New headline: “Scoble blames Twitter for something Twitter didn’t say.”

  80. Mike D, I agree with you, but I kind of hope Alex doesn’t post another post to explain himself. I think people should read things correctly in the first place and not blow things way out of proportion.

    I’d prefer Alex spend his time working on twitter and not trying to explain himself about something that isn’t even there.

    New headline: “Scoble blames Twitter for something Twitter didn’t say.”

  81. It makes you question the judgment of your so-called “early adopters.” I never felt that Twitter had much to offer by way of new technology. It did meet a need for broadcast texters, but the development stopped there. I have an account because of the number of users on there which, like most social networking sites, is the single most important value it has.

    FriendFeed offers more and it will likely scale better, but it too is hardly unique in its technology. I can make more sophisticated aggregators with Yahoo! Pipes and I am not even a programmer. I am hopeful, however, that FriendFeed will build in more functionality so that I don’t have to continue using both in tandem.

  82. It makes you question the judgment of your so-called “early adopters.” I never felt that Twitter had much to offer by way of new technology. It did meet a need for broadcast texters, but the development stopped there. I have an account because of the number of users on there which, like most social networking sites, is the single most important value it has.

    FriendFeed offers more and it will likely scale better, but it too is hardly unique in its technology. I can make more sophisticated aggregators with Yahoo! Pipes and I am not even a programmer. I am hopeful, however, that FriendFeed will build in more functionality so that I don’t have to continue using both in tandem.

  83. Ah yes, we all have to remember that if it weren’t for Scobleizer , Twitter wouldn’t be as popular as it is today, and if he switches to FriendFeed, Twitter will see a mass exodus and become a forgotten heap in the social media junkyard.

    Give it up Robert. It’s not always about you. And even if you were to take all of your kool-aid drinkers to FriendFeed with you, there will still be millions of users on Twitter who believe it or not, have never even heard of Robert Scoble.

  84. Ah yes, we all have to remember that if it weren’t for Scobleizer , Twitter wouldn’t be as popular as it is today, and if he switches to FriendFeed, Twitter will see a mass exodus and become a forgotten heap in the social media junkyard.

    Give it up Robert. It’s not always about you. And even if you were to take all of your kool-aid drinkers to FriendFeed with you, there will still be millions of users on Twitter who believe it or not, have never even heard of Robert Scoble.

  85. @ Geeks Are Sexy @Scoble: I think that Twitter could have done a better job simply owning up to a challenge to its system, i.e. too much load. Regardless of WHO is taxing it, they ought to be grateful that they have UBER users like Robert, and, be clearer in the communications statements by stating exactly what IS happening.

    As many on this thread have stated in one way or another, we live in a real-time Beta testing word. The benefit is understanding right away the strengths and weaknesses of a product or service. The challenge is not pissing off users to the point where they leave. I think we ask a lot of users these days.

    I just wish *I* had 11K friends….not!

    ;-) LA

  86. @ Geeks Are Sexy @Scoble: I think that Twitter could have done a better job simply owning up to a challenge to its system, i.e. too much load. Regardless of WHO is taxing it, they ought to be grateful that they have UBER users like Robert, and, be clearer in the communications statements by stating exactly what IS happening.

    As many on this thread have stated in one way or another, we live in a real-time Beta testing word. The benefit is understanding right away the strengths and weaknesses of a product or service. The challenge is not pissing off users to the point where they leave. I think we ask a lot of users these days.

    I just wish *I* had 11K friends….not!

    ;-) LA

  87. LA: I think it was pretty clear… I mean, the load on their server goes up as activity increases.. They didn’t plan their initial infrastructure for this kind of popularity, and they pay for it now.

  88. LA: I think it was pretty clear… I mean, the load on their server goes up as activity increases.. They didn’t plan their initial infrastructure for this kind of popularity, and they pay for it now.

  89. I don’t believe that Twitter is blaming their power users. Instead, they are communicating that a struggle with scaling is power users. They admit that they built a cms style system and in fact what they need is a messaging transport – the ability to input from one endpoint (sms, api, web) and delivery to hundreds of thousands of outputs across different mediums (sms, api, web). This architecture difference is exacerbated by power users who have tens of thousands of fans and follow tens of thousands of users. The scale of it is enormous!

    Get your panties out of a bunch. They never blamed you. They were identifying difficulties and communicating with their users.

  90. I don’t believe that Twitter is blaming their power users. Instead, they are communicating that a struggle with scaling is power users. They admit that they built a cms style system and in fact what they need is a messaging transport – the ability to input from one endpoint (sms, api, web) and delivery to hundreds of thousands of outputs across different mediums (sms, api, web). This architecture difference is exacerbated by power users who have tens of thousands of fans and follow tens of thousands of users. The scale of it is enormous!

    Get your panties out of a bunch. They never blamed you. They were identifying difficulties and communicating with their users.

  91. What is it about human nature that we cultivate trolls? Obviously Scoble is in it for the traffic. If we hate this post so much, why do we give him so many comments? :)
    I guess its the advertisers who should be more intelligent. That’s my only hope now.

  92. What is it about human nature that we cultivate trolls? Obviously Scoble is in it for the traffic. If we hate this post so much, why do we give him so many comments? :)
    I guess its the advertisers who should be more intelligent. That’s my only hope now.

  93. From a purely intellectual standpoint, it may hold very true that the popular users put the most load on the system, in fact I don’t see how you could argue otherwise. The argument shouldn’t be against the validity of this claim, but rather how Twitter handles this fact. It’s a PR problem, not a problem with Twitter levying false accusations.

  94. Scoble. verb. To blame a person for breaking something by merely using it as intended. eg. They scobled me for breaking the copier.

    [I just posted this def’n on Twitter]

  95. From a purely intellectual standpoint, it may hold very true that the popular users put the most load on the system, in fact I don’t see how you could argue otherwise. The argument shouldn’t be against the validity of this claim, but rather how Twitter handles this fact. It’s a PR problem, not a problem with Twitter levying false accusations.

  96. Scoble. verb. To blame a person for breaking something by merely using it as intended. eg. They scobled me for breaking the copier.

    [I just posted this def’n on Twitter]

  97. The blame is not on you… certainly if you think they’re blaming any users, why not take a look at the Twitterholic toplist and blame those users too. Any time those users post the data has to be passed around thousands of times to all of the many folks who follow those top users.

    That would be unfair though, because Twitter isn’t blaming top users. They’re simply blaming their inability to scale properly, and lamenting the fact that the application needs to be rearchitectured for its new use.

    “@” functionality, direct messaging, and all that was not part of the original plan. It was originally going to be like a mini blog system, except posts were limitd to 140 characters and distributed via text message. As the service grew, users reappropriated the service into an ad-hoc messaging platform; the application we use today. The Twitter we now know is a much better, stronger program because of that reappropriation, but it’s also the reason for these problems. As Alex said, it’s fitting a square peg into a round hole.

    You can also continue to gallantly defend FriendFeed and all its virtues (and I do believe they have a strong product worth defending and using) but realize that they were able to plan for this growth in advance. They built this scaling into the application, having seen and understood what Twitter went through. Not to mention the fact that they are still far behind Twitter’s traffic, so they haven’t had the architecture issues Twitter has faced.

  98. The blame is not on you… certainly if you think they’re blaming any users, why not take a look at the Twitterholic toplist and blame those users too. Any time those users post the data has to be passed around thousands of times to all of the many folks who follow those top users.

    That would be unfair though, because Twitter isn’t blaming top users. They’re simply blaming their inability to scale properly, and lamenting the fact that the application needs to be rearchitectured for its new use.

    “@” functionality, direct messaging, and all that was not part of the original plan. It was originally going to be like a mini blog system, except posts were limitd to 140 characters and distributed via text message. As the service grew, users reappropriated the service into an ad-hoc messaging platform; the application we use today. The Twitter we now know is a much better, stronger program because of that reappropriation, but it’s also the reason for these problems. As Alex said, it’s fitting a square peg into a round hole.

    You can also continue to gallantly defend FriendFeed and all its virtues (and I do believe they have a strong product worth defending and using) but realize that they were able to plan for this growth in advance. They built this scaling into the application, having seen and understood what Twitter went through. Not to mention the fact that they are still far behind Twitter’s traffic, so they haven’t had the architecture issues Twitter has faced.

  99. “The events that hit our system the hardest are generally when “popular” users – that is, users with large numbers of followers and people they’re following – perform a number of actions in rapid succession. This usually results in a number of big queries that pile up in our database(s). Not running scripts to follow thousands of users at a time would be a help, but that’s behavior we have to limit on our side.”

    Well, you have a big ego Scoble. Sure, you’re probably putting a more noticeable strain on the system than I might, but you’re also just one guy. There’s only about a trillion spammers on Twitter who are writing scripts to “follow” all-and-sundry in the hopes that they’ll get more exposure. Scripts which “perform a number of actions in rapid succession”. Sorry, but while you might be part of the equation, I don’t think this is a case of Twitter “blaming it’s users”. More like blaming the spammers.

  100. “The events that hit our system the hardest are generally when “popular” users – that is, users with large numbers of followers and people they’re following – perform a number of actions in rapid succession. This usually results in a number of big queries that pile up in our database(s). Not running scripts to follow thousands of users at a time would be a help, but that’s behavior we have to limit on our side.”

    Well, you have a big ego Scoble. Sure, you’re probably putting a more noticeable strain on the system than I might, but you’re also just one guy. There’s only about a trillion spammers on Twitter who are writing scripts to “follow” all-and-sundry in the hopes that they’ll get more exposure. Scripts which “perform a number of actions in rapid succession”. Sorry, but while you might be part of the equation, I don’t think this is a case of Twitter “blaming it’s users”. More like blaming the spammers.

  101. @ Trevor Lee, I agree its a PR problem. The question is: does one PR problem beget another?

  102. Dear Robert,

    Facebook doesn’t want you.
    Twitter doesn’t want you.
    FriendFeed eventually won’t want you.

    Perhaps you should give it up.

  103. Dear Robert,

    Facebook doesn’t want you.
    Twitter doesn’t want you.
    FriendFeed eventually won’t want you.

    Perhaps you should give it up.

  104. @Chris: Ah ha! Its Barak Obama’s fault, according to Twitterific – http://www.twitterholic.com/

    Last 2 cents: I think we are all a little too eager to ‘blame’ someone, instead let’s look at what we are learning – Things break. Geeks fix them. Users figure it out. People are narcissists. That is why Twitter is so successful and Scoble is getting so much grief about this post.

  105. @Chris: Ah ha! Its Barak Obama’s fault, according to Twitterific – http://www.twitterholic.com/

    Last 2 cents: I think we are all a little too eager to ‘blame’ someone, instead let’s look at what we are learning – Things break. Geeks fix them. Users figure it out. People are narcissists. That is why Twitter is so successful and Scoble is getting so much grief about this post.

  106. Wow, a Web 2.0 pastel-colored interface without any decent underlining architectural underpinnings, without a process workflow, all based on a one-day project that “took on a life of its own” having problems? Gee. This is news to me. But then it was having problems even back in the early Podtech-era days, you were just too busy cooing over the pram to notice.

    Time to move onto the next shiny toy. Another notch in the Scoble Curse, hype up, to kill off, from Tablets/UMPC, to PDC/Longhorn, to Seagate (Sue Sue Sue), to Second Life (the new OS), to Facebook, to Twitter. The smart PR person will understand the template and pitch you to hype up competitors products.

    This early adopter rot sure has a short lifespan, but sure fun to watch the all the worms frenzy-wiggle before the microwave-ray of reality baconizes it all.

  107. Wow, a Web 2.0 pastel-colored interface without any decent underlining architectural underpinnings, without a process workflow, all based on a one-day project that “took on a life of its own” having problems? Gee. This is news to me. But then it was having problems even back in the early Podtech-era days, you were just too busy cooing over the pram to notice.

    Time to move onto the next shiny toy. Another notch in the Scoble Curse, hype up, to kill off, from Tablets/UMPC, to PDC/Longhorn, to Seagate (Sue Sue Sue), to Second Life (the new OS), to Facebook, to Twitter. The smart PR person will understand the template and pitch you to hype up competitors products.

    This early adopter rot sure has a short lifespan, but sure fun to watch the all the worms frenzy-wiggle before the microwave-ray of reality baconizes it all.

  108. I think if you’re trying to run a mailing list on the back of a free service, you have to ask yourself if you’re doing yourself or the poor folks at Twitter, any favors. The idea that free web 2.0 services can scale in an unlimited fashion to handle any size user is a fairy tale. You’re running your business off of Twitter, pure and simple, and it’s not a business class application, and shouldn’t have to be. If you were paying for it, you’d have a leg to stand on. Twitter is well past the point where people like you are the draw, there are thousands of people on Twitter who don’t know who Robert Scoble is, they just know that the service is down and that they can’t exchange tweets with their circle of friends and the service doesn’t work. Those are the people who Twitter needs to serve, not the super-tweeters. If I were running Twitter, I would have banned your account by now, seriously, you’re the type of customer who the smart businessman will happily pawn off to their competitor.

  109. I think if you’re trying to run a mailing list on the back of a free service, you have to ask yourself if you’re doing yourself or the poor folks at Twitter, any favors. The idea that free web 2.0 services can scale in an unlimited fashion to handle any size user is a fairy tale. You’re running your business off of Twitter, pure and simple, and it’s not a business class application, and shouldn’t have to be. If you were paying for it, you’d have a leg to stand on. Twitter is well past the point where people like you are the draw, there are thousands of people on Twitter who don’t know who Robert Scoble is, they just know that the service is down and that they can’t exchange tweets with their circle of friends and the service doesn’t work. Those are the people who Twitter needs to serve, not the super-tweeters. If I were running Twitter, I would have banned your account by now, seriously, you’re the type of customer who the smart businessman will happily pawn off to their competitor.

  110. now I understand why so many bloggers die because of stress… because they spend hours and hours and hours and hours fighting verbal wars based on distorted quotes.
    I’m really sorry but I don’t understand the point of this post, it only increases the noise in the blogosphere adding very little value to everyone

  111. now I understand why so many bloggers die because of stress… because they spend hours and hours and hours and hours fighting verbal wars based on distorted quotes.
    I’m really sorry but I don’t understand the point of this post, it only increases the noise in the blogosphere adding very little value to everyone

  112. Wow, I wonder how many more people would have to tell Robert that no one blamed him. I will try myself: Hey Robert it wasn’t you, they just pointed out the root of the problem and acknowledge that the solution is on their side.

  113. Wow, I wonder how many more people would have to tell Robert that no one blamed him. I will try myself: Hey Robert it wasn’t you, they just pointed out the root of the problem and acknowledge that the solution is on their side.

  114. The Hitwise-data tells me that they are really successful. Maybe a little too successful currently. Let’s sit, wait and enjoy a +15M$-twitter soon. ;)

  115. The Hitwise-data tells me that they are really successful. Maybe a little too successful currently. Let’s sit, wait and enjoy a +15M$-twitter soon. ;)

  116. What is Twitter thinking? I’ve been a fan of Twitter for a very long time, and to have the company that I support with my time and effort in building a community to say that it’s “my fault” is sad and detestable.

    I’ve not had an opportunity to open an account on FriendFeed, some things I like, others I do not, but nevertheless a migration is indeed happening and I might be one of them.

    I would be much happier if they just took the entire thing down and said “give us one week and we’ll work 24/7 to give you the best Twitter we can.”

    Having the Twitter piece mealed (this works, this does not) is unacceptable. I sometimes forget what works and doesn’t and when I attempt to do something it only infuriates me more.

    Get your act together people, you’re losing fan base…and fast.

  117. What is Twitter thinking? I’ve been a fan of Twitter for a very long time, and to have the company that I support with my time and effort in building a community to say that it’s “my fault” is sad and detestable.

    I’ve not had an opportunity to open an account on FriendFeed, some things I like, others I do not, but nevertheless a migration is indeed happening and I might be one of them.

    I would be much happier if they just took the entire thing down and said “give us one week and we’ll work 24/7 to give you the best Twitter we can.”

    Having the Twitter piece mealed (this works, this does not) is unacceptable. I sometimes forget what works and doesn’t and when I attempt to do something it only infuriates me more.

    Get your act together people, you’re losing fan base…and fast.

  118. Apologies if this has been brought up earlier or is easily answered elsewhere, but why doesn’t AIM, YIM, MSN Messenger, iChat, Jabber, or some other established instant messenger service just add posting and commenting features to compete with Twitter? Seems like a natural extension of their current services, and perhaps easier to turn IM into a lightweight CMS than a lightweight CMS (such as Twitter’s original architecture) into IM.

  119. Apologies if this has been brought up earlier or is easily answered elsewhere, but why doesn’t AIM, YIM, MSN Messenger, iChat, Jabber, or some other established instant messenger service just add posting and commenting features to compete with Twitter? Seems like a natural extension of their current services, and perhaps easier to turn IM into a lightweight CMS than a lightweight CMS (such as Twitter’s original architecture) into IM.

  120. Robert Scoble (or anyone else), how in the world do you manage to follow all the comment threads in which you participate? Here, Twitter, FriendFeed and dozens of blogs and news sites? I’ve tried coComment and co.mments.com, but neither seem to gather and organize the threads effectively for me.

  121. Robert Scoble (or anyone else), how in the world do you manage to follow all the comment threads in which you participate? Here, Twitter, FriendFeed and dozens of blogs and news sites? I’ve tried coComment and co.mments.com, but neither seem to gather and organize the threads effectively for me.

  122. Scoble: Twitter, blame me, please. Seriously, please, please, blame me! I need some attention, please — blame me!!

  123. Scoble: Twitter, blame me, please. Seriously, please, please, blame me! I need some attention, please — blame me!!

  124. I’m getting tired of the Scoble and Arrington “it’s all about me” show.

    Gentlemen, your egos, and self centered delusions that you are the center of the universe, are getting old fast.

  125. I’m getting tired of the Scoble and Arrington “it’s all about me” show.

    Gentlemen, your egos, and self centered delusions that you are the center of the universe, are getting old fast.

  126. Scoble, remind me again how much Twitter charges to use their service?

    As for the phone analogy mentioned earlier, you mean to tell me you’ve never heard an “all circuits are busy now” message when making a phone call? Sounds like a scalability issue to me.

  127. Scoble, remind me again how much Twitter charges to use their service?

    As for the phone analogy mentioned earlier, you mean to tell me you’ve never heard an “all circuits are busy now” message when making a phone call? Sounds like a scalability issue to me.

  128. It’s a weird feeling, Robert. According to Dave Winer’s tool, I’m #2 in spewage. In my case, it’s volume more than users, but the equation puts me up there. Since seeing that, I slowed down for a bit, then got back into it, as that’s what it’s there for. And you’re right. Do I want to feel like Twitter’s upset that I’m using it? Probably not.

    I agree with your point of view on this.

  129. It’s a weird feeling, Robert. According to Dave Winer’s tool, I’m #2 in spewage. In my case, it’s volume more than users, but the equation puts me up there. Since seeing that, I slowed down for a bit, then got back into it, as that’s what it’s there for. And you’re right. Do I want to feel like Twitter’s upset that I’m using it? Probably not.

    I agree with your point of view on this.

  130. I find it interesting that those condemning Robert for posting this don’t really fall in the category “popular user” – I saw more than one “popular user” limiting their tweeting after reading what Alex posted and wasn’t that surprised after reading that paragraph.

    Notice that there wasn’t a line pointed out – what is ‘popular’ in this context – 100+ follower/ings? 1000+? 10k+? How frequent is ‘too frequent’? 3 tweets a day? and hour? 30?
    The finger pointing was there – no matter how much I want to defend Twitter because I really want to see them succeed.

    There was a brief reference at the end about script adders – but why not blame those folks from the get-go? Why not say “those accounts mass adding/following”? Because we know who someone is referring to by the word “popular”, don’t we?

    The only reason I didn’t make Dave Winer’s “spewage” list is because he’s never followed me (which is perfectly normal) but the %-following math has me right up there, thanks.
    So I’m one of the reasons Twitter is having issues? I think not. Long before I had even 1 follower there were folks with 10k plus updates, thousands of followers and “popularity” – so if that was the issue, it should’ve been addressed last year some time… But it wasn’t.

    Look, let’s be serious here for a minute. Twitter has had stability issues for a long time. They seemed to remedy a LOT of them around early February this year in time for SXSW. Then right about the time Blain leaves, we start seeing more and more issues. I’m not buying it. Suck it up Twitter and admit that the problem isn’t coming from the outside, it’s internal.

  131. I find it interesting that those condemning Robert for posting this don’t really fall in the category “popular user” – I saw more than one “popular user” limiting their tweeting after reading what Alex posted and wasn’t that surprised after reading that paragraph.

    Notice that there wasn’t a line pointed out – what is ‘popular’ in this context – 100+ follower/ings? 1000+? 10k+? How frequent is ‘too frequent’? 3 tweets a day? and hour? 30?
    The finger pointing was there – no matter how much I want to defend Twitter because I really want to see them succeed.

    There was a brief reference at the end about script adders – but why not blame those folks from the get-go? Why not say “those accounts mass adding/following”? Because we know who someone is referring to by the word “popular”, don’t we?

    The only reason I didn’t make Dave Winer’s “spewage” list is because he’s never followed me (which is perfectly normal) but the %-following math has me right up there, thanks.
    So I’m one of the reasons Twitter is having issues? I think not. Long before I had even 1 follower there were folks with 10k plus updates, thousands of followers and “popularity” – so if that was the issue, it should’ve been addressed last year some time… But it wasn’t.

    Look, let’s be serious here for a minute. Twitter has had stability issues for a long time. They seemed to remedy a LOT of them around early February this year in time for SXSW. Then right about the time Blain leaves, we start seeing more and more issues. I’m not buying it. Suck it up Twitter and admit that the problem isn’t coming from the outside, it’s internal.

  132. Robert,
    I am a fan of yours but surprised by this post.
    I’ve been watching your interview with Biz and Ev and you are laughing and giggling. No critical questions, just laughing your nerves away.
    And now with your computer at hand and no ‘real’ persons you start criticising on harsh way .
    Be brave! Say those things interviewing !

  133. Robert,
    I am a fan of yours but surprised by this post.
    I’ve been watching your interview with Biz and Ev and you are laughing and giggling. No critical questions, just laughing your nerves away.
    And now with your computer at hand and no ‘real’ persons you start criticising on harsh way .
    Be brave! Say those things interviewing !

  134. yea, at the risk of piling on, that was pretty weak of twitter…..blame users that contributed to its success. Even if true, there were so many better ways to handle this such as asking these highly active users to be an advocate for the solution.

    Hopefully, Twitter will acquire some matured management to guide in issues such as this.

    – scott -

  135. yea, at the risk of piling on, that was pretty weak of twitter…..blame users that contributed to its success. Even if true, there were so many better ways to handle this such as asking these highly active users to be an advocate for the solution.

    Hopefully, Twitter will acquire some matured management to guide in issues such as this.

    – scott -

  136. So what the heck are they going to do with the $15 million?? They could scrap the whole thing and start over and development wouldn’t cost a fraction of that.

    How much are they paying for bandwidth? Anybody have a clue?

  137. So what the heck are they going to do with the $15 million?? They could scrap the whole thing and start over and development wouldn’t cost a fraction of that.

    How much are they paying for bandwidth? Anybody have a clue?

  138. Sheesh. If I were in Twitter management, the first thing I would do is turn off Scoble’s account. He’s not helping me one bit. And, I’m not making any revenue from him. So, he’s more trouble than he’s worth. If it is the “high profile users” causing the issues, then I’d turn off their accounts and see if that stablizes things, then work to figure out what the source of the problem is and fix it. I’d be fine with taking the PR hit. My guess is a relatively small percentage of my Twitter users even know who Scoble, Winer, and Arrington are. So….buh-bye. They cause me more costs than benefits at this point. And I can do this without telling them, or giving them a reason…according to the TOS.

    Or, hell, I might just shut the whole thing down. Again, the TOS says I can do that.

  139. Sheesh. If I were in Twitter management, the first thing I would do is turn off Scoble’s account. He’s not helping me one bit. And, I’m not making any revenue from him. So, he’s more trouble than he’s worth. If it is the “high profile users” causing the issues, then I’d turn off their accounts and see if that stablizes things, then work to figure out what the source of the problem is and fix it. I’d be fine with taking the PR hit. My guess is a relatively small percentage of my Twitter users even know who Scoble, Winer, and Arrington are. So….buh-bye. They cause me more costs than benefits at this point. And I can do this without telling them, or giving them a reason…according to the TOS.

    Or, hell, I might just shut the whole thing down. Again, the TOS says I can do that.

  140. Kawika,
    I read your post regarding how to better organize your comments threads.
    I am curious to know why you think cocomment is not satisfying your needs.
    We show them in order of appearance with a drop down list per comment.
    I am curious to know what your needs are.
    You can reach me at joaquin at cocomment.com
    Tks
    J

  141. Kawika,
    I read your post regarding how to better organize your comments threads.
    I am curious to know why you think cocomment is not satisfying your needs.
    We show them in order of appearance with a drop down list per comment.
    I am curious to know what your needs are.
    You can reach me at joaquin at cocomment.com
    Tks
    J

  142. Not sure they’re blaming their users in as much as their application’s usage. We all know how difficult it is to turn back the time on an established product – I hope Twitter is up for it and can use the $15 mil wisely. The largest hurdle is to try to not impact their users while they make the necessary development, architecture and infrastructure changes. The consequence, of course, is that this is a fickle Web 2.0 crowd that will drop them at a moment’s notice for the next app in line. I understand each side’s argument in this situation and empathize as the Director of Technology who adopted an app that’s growing 100% per quarter. ‘Do overs’ aren’t in the option booklet!

  143. Not sure they’re blaming their users in as much as their application’s usage. We all know how difficult it is to turn back the time on an established product – I hope Twitter is up for it and can use the $15 mil wisely. The largest hurdle is to try to not impact their users while they make the necessary development, architecture and infrastructure changes. The consequence, of course, is that this is a fickle Web 2.0 crowd that will drop them at a moment’s notice for the next app in line. I understand each side’s argument in this situation and empathize as the Director of Technology who adopted an app that’s growing 100% per quarter. ‘Do overs’ aren’t in the option booklet!

  144. In other news, Twitter* reveals that they go down when there is too much database usage. Robert Scoble offended.

    Seriously, they’ve previously stated that they designed twitter badly and are trying to fix it. Nobody is getting blamed, they’re just saying that their system does note scale well and the database is getting way too many unnecessary calls because of it. (And hint that heavy users are generating many of them. You know it’s true, man. ;-) )As a fellow programmer, I can sympathize that it’s not the easiest or quickest thing in the world to fix broken architecture.

    Anyway. Anyone else noticed that they have a new status screen for over capacity? Hilarious image. :-)
    http://static.twitter.com/images/whale.png

  145. In other news, Twitter* reveals that they go down when there is too much database usage. Robert Scoble offended.

    Seriously, they’ve previously stated that they designed twitter badly and are trying to fix it. Nobody is getting blamed, they’re just saying that their system does note scale well and the database is getting way too many unnecessary calls because of it. (And hint that heavy users are generating many of them. You know it’s true, man. ;-) )As a fellow programmer, I can sympathize that it’s not the easiest or quickest thing in the world to fix broken architecture.

    Anyway. Anyone else noticed that they have a new status screen for over capacity? Hilarious image. :-)
    http://static.twitter.com/images/whale.png

  146. robert, can you please try to be less self-absorbed?
    it is beyond me why you are so popular.

    so you are offended and feel that it was insinuated by twitter that the big scoble is solely to blame. you take the venture beat post as an excuse to unleash your anger towards twitter when they are admitting plainly that their service is stuck between a rock and a hard place.
    they are not making excuses that are bullshit. they are pointing out several causes of problems… one of which has to do with the way popular (nothing to do with best, btw) users are handled… in all aspects. it is a known fact now that active users with many followers require intense processing. this in conjunction with other issues such as 3rd party services, IM messaging and an overall limited info architecture that was admittedly not conceived to be what twitter has become. this has all been stated clearly by twitter and others…. you even.

    i commented on dave winer and om malik’s blog recently about this topic and expressed that if i were one of these resource intensive users… i would voluntarily take some measures to ease things for twitter…. whether or not they needed or wanted such action by a user of their service…. just because i think they deserve that kind of support from the community who has used the hell out of their service for the past 12-18 months.
    they are in a unique position. it seems right to support them as the leading company in the micro-messaging space. because like it or not, a user like you is almost like a dos attack on twitter at this point. and if i was a very active popular user, i would chill out and offer to do whatever to ease the burden until they are able to sort through the priority issues of fixing and re-archtecting components so that twitter can be what it has evolved to be.

    you make alot of comparisons to other technologies and services when trying to make a case that twitter sucks. but i dont think any of those points have merit… and most are moot. you can praise friendfeed all day long but it’s not a fair comparison. and your other comparisons show your lack of technical understandings on the depths of system architecture. you are tech buzz guy…. one that swims in the surface area…. one that gets drunk on the hype. if you truly understood how all the related tech works… you would not be so hasty with your comments and big attitude. but it must be tough to tame that ego with all those very close friends following your digital ways.

    get over yourself. i sense that significant others are getting over you by now. i bet a good portion of your “friends” are just in it for the humor and entertainment and mockery aspect. because you dont have much to offer when it comes down to it. you just happen to be popular. and popular is never exclusive to the “best”. look around and you will see that to be true… very true.

    cheers.

    sull

  147. robert, can you please try to be less self-absorbed?
    it is beyond me why you are so popular.

    so you are offended and feel that it was insinuated by twitter that the big scoble is solely to blame. you take the venture beat post as an excuse to unleash your anger towards twitter when they are admitting plainly that their service is stuck between a rock and a hard place.
    they are not making excuses that are bullshit. they are pointing out several causes of problems… one of which has to do with the way popular (nothing to do with best, btw) users are handled… in all aspects. it is a known fact now that active users with many followers require intense processing. this in conjunction with other issues such as 3rd party services, IM messaging and an overall limited info architecture that was admittedly not conceived to be what twitter has become. this has all been stated clearly by twitter and others…. you even.

    i commented on dave winer and om malik’s blog recently about this topic and expressed that if i were one of these resource intensive users… i would voluntarily take some measures to ease things for twitter…. whether or not they needed or wanted such action by a user of their service…. just because i think they deserve that kind of support from the community who has used the hell out of their service for the past 12-18 months.
    they are in a unique position. it seems right to support them as the leading company in the micro-messaging space. because like it or not, a user like you is almost like a dos attack on twitter at this point. and if i was a very active popular user, i would chill out and offer to do whatever to ease the burden until they are able to sort through the priority issues of fixing and re-archtecting components so that twitter can be what it has evolved to be.

    you make alot of comparisons to other technologies and services when trying to make a case that twitter sucks. but i dont think any of those points have merit… and most are moot. you can praise friendfeed all day long but it’s not a fair comparison. and your other comparisons show your lack of technical understandings on the depths of system architecture. you are tech buzz guy…. one that swims in the surface area…. one that gets drunk on the hype. if you truly understood how all the related tech works… you would not be so hasty with your comments and big attitude. but it must be tough to tame that ego with all those very close friends following your digital ways.

    get over yourself. i sense that significant others are getting over you by now. i bet a good portion of your “friends” are just in it for the humor and entertainment and mockery aspect. because you dont have much to offer when it comes down to it. you just happen to be popular. and popular is never exclusive to the “best”. look around and you will see that to be true… very true.

    cheers.

    sull

  148. “Blame” is such an emotionally charged word. Scoble knows this. This might get you on techmeme, but over time this kind of link-baiting erodes credibility.

  149. “Blame” is such an emotionally charged word. Scoble knows this. This might get you on techmeme, but over time this kind of link-baiting erodes credibility.

  150. I’m getting tired of the Scoble and Arrington “it’s all about me” show, it is getting old fast.

    Gentlemen, you are not the center of the universe.

    I see more than a few people commenting here who might be feeling the same way.

    I predict we will see a Scoble and Arrington backlash some time in the future, as people get tired of the games they are playing.

  151. I’m getting tired of the Scoble and Arrington “it’s all about me” show, it is getting old fast.

    Gentlemen, you are not the center of the universe.

    I see more than a few people commenting here who might be feeling the same way.

    I predict we will see a Scoble and Arrington backlash some time in the future, as people get tired of the games they are playing.

  152. I agree, they need to fix their problems. However all these “flash in the pan” sites are exactly that. Once this gets really main stream we will see who the winner is.

  153. I agree, they need to fix their problems. However all these “flash in the pan” sites are exactly that. Once this gets really main stream we will see who the winner is.

  154. Either MSFT or Google need to buy Twitter and fast, before the pretty significant mind-share they have accumulated evaporates.

    Frankly I am very surprised that MSFT hasn’t moved already, unlike GOOG with Jaiku, they don’t even have Micro-blogging in their arsenal.

    Now there would be a worthy project for them to hone their skills at cloud computing and search (Twitter is badly in need of more useful NATIVE search/tag/filter/sort facilities to make the onslaught of potentially useful data, well, useful…

    (What if Scoble could subsegment his follower/following lists, with e.g. “all followers who have ever used the term “branding” in a tweet”, right now it’s either all of Twitter with “track”, or single user on Tweetscan. Also note that the overview of one’s follower list is almost completely useless right now, since there is no way of sorting them in any predictable way, e.g. last-in, # of followers, etc. etc.)

    Alas, since MSFT still doesn’t get the Internet much less Web2.0, it’s more likely that Google will move eventually after seeing that Jaiku has already missed the boat as far as mind-share/branding/positioning is concerned. Twitter(ing) has already become “the verb” for micro-blogging. Would be same as the Google Video vs. YouTube story, except that Twitter can still be had for, what, $100M or less (given their recent problems?).

    Twitter already integrates with GTalk, it really seems like a no-brainer.

    Or… possibly… can you say “bidding war”?!?

  155. Either MSFT or Google need to buy Twitter and fast, before the pretty significant mind-share they have accumulated evaporates.

    Frankly I am very surprised that MSFT hasn’t moved already, unlike GOOG with Jaiku, they don’t even have Micro-blogging in their arsenal.

    Now there would be a worthy project for them to hone their skills at cloud computing and search (Twitter is badly in need of more useful NATIVE search/tag/filter/sort facilities to make the onslaught of potentially useful data, well, useful…

    (What if Scoble could subsegment his follower/following lists, with e.g. “all followers who have ever used the term “branding” in a tweet”, right now it’s either all of Twitter with “track”, or single user on Tweetscan. Also note that the overview of one’s follower list is almost completely useless right now, since there is no way of sorting them in any predictable way, e.g. last-in, # of followers, etc. etc.)

    Alas, since MSFT still doesn’t get the Internet much less Web2.0, it’s more likely that Google will move eventually after seeing that Jaiku has already missed the boat as far as mind-share/branding/positioning is concerned. Twitter(ing) has already become “the verb” for micro-blogging. Would be same as the Google Video vs. YouTube story, except that Twitter can still be had for, what, $100M or less (given their recent problems?).

    Twitter already integrates with GTalk, it really seems like a no-brainer.

    Or… possibly… can you say “bidding war”?!?

  156. “there is a larger question of a popular “FREE” service being available 24×7.. what shud be the expectation from them? Zilch or full availability? what if gmail or live mail went down for the period that twitter has been? what happens then?”

    The expectation should be: you get what you pay for. Gmail and Hotmail have been down for lengthy periods of time in the past. And surprising as it may be; miraculously, civilization continued to progress.

  157. “there is a larger question of a popular “FREE” service being available 24×7.. what shud be the expectation from them? Zilch or full availability? what if gmail or live mail went down for the period that twitter has been? what happens then?”

    The expectation should be: you get what you pay for. Gmail and Hotmail have been down for lengthy periods of time in the past. And surprising as it may be; miraculously, civilization continued to progress.

  158. sometimes “high quality” problems don’t feel so high quality. i can only imagine how the twitter folks feel trying to play catch up to their success.

  159. sometimes “high quality” problems don’t feel so high quality. i can only imagine how the twitter folks feel trying to play catch up to their success.

  160. Erm, how is it you conclude that ‘popular’ equates to ‘best’ where users of twitter are concerned? Best for whom? For twitter, who have yet to come up with a way of making money from their principle activity, popular certainly doesn’t equate best. And for everyone else? Well, considering Dunbar’s number, it seems highly unlikely that anybody who follows your model (of having a very large number of followers AND follows a large number of people) would represent high value in terms of conversation. Much like any conversation, it has to be between a small enough number for it to make sense, otherwise all it is, is a crowd of people shouting at each other, hoping that they get heard.

    Considering this, it’s hardly surprising that Twitter ‘blames’ its ‘users’. It puts me in mind of the early days of broadband ISPs imposing bandwidth caps because of a minority who abused the system with torrent downloads etcetera. It’s not fair when companies do something like that, but it is at least understandable, given how this minority of people are essentially using the system in way it wasn’t designed for, and so pushing it to untenable limits.

  161. Erm, how is it you conclude that ‘popular’ equates to ‘best’ where users of twitter are concerned? Best for whom? For twitter, who have yet to come up with a way of making money from their principle activity, popular certainly doesn’t equate best. And for everyone else? Well, considering Dunbar’s number, it seems highly unlikely that anybody who follows your model (of having a very large number of followers AND follows a large number of people) would represent high value in terms of conversation. Much like any conversation, it has to be between a small enough number for it to make sense, otherwise all it is, is a crowd of people shouting at each other, hoping that they get heard.

    Considering this, it’s hardly surprising that Twitter ‘blames’ its ‘users’. It puts me in mind of the early days of broadband ISPs imposing bandwidth caps because of a minority who abused the system with torrent downloads etcetera. It’s not fair when companies do something like that, but it is at least understandable, given how this minority of people are essentially using the system in way it wasn’t designed for, and so pushing it to untenable limits.

  162. Maybe Scoble is just a big-headed that thinks he is the only one with big numbers in twitter. What about Twitter against his clients? Since when you paid twitter for their services? Friendfeed? Give it a month or so and you will find something wrong about the service that you don’t like and you will start attacking them too. Who’s next QIK? Plunker? Whatever is new next week? Scoble move on please.

  163. Maybe Scoble is just a big-headed that thinks he is the only one with big numbers in twitter. What about Twitter against his clients? Since when you paid twitter for their services? Friendfeed? Give it a month or so and you will find something wrong about the service that you don’t like and you will start attacking them too. Who’s next QIK? Plunker? Whatever is new next week? Scoble move on please.

  164. Wow, you are a megalomaniac, and a not-very-nice one at that. Spoiled egotist. “Oh, I have 20 thousand friends and they’re blaming people like me”

    give me a break.

  165. Wow, you are a megalomaniac, and a not-very-nice one at that. Spoiled egotist. “Oh, I have 20 thousand friends and they’re blaming people like me”

    give me a break.

  166. ————————————————

    Dave Winer, father of RSS says “Twitter, as it was conceived, was never meant to live.”

    “It’s very possible with better engineering its architecture might have gone on for a few more years, but eventually it would have hit this wall, where there were too many people posting too many twits to too many followers. The scale of the system as conceived rises exponentially.”

    So is the end of Twitter getting near? I hope not. Twitter I hope that you are listening and you better start taking things more seriously.

    ———————————————–

    Here’s my two cents.

    For instance there are about 100m users of yahoo messenger and usually 2-3 of them talk at a time that means scalability of 300m conversations. On the other hand with 100m twitter users who usually send messages to 100-10,000 other users the scalability required is 10,000m to 10^6m I have never known any current architecture based on webservers to handle such a scale. So according to me Twitter was never meant to live. It is like a concept car that will never see production. Users of twitter don’t understand this and they don’t care.

    They don’t know whats happening when the website is down. The sad part is that the best analysts claim that Twitter is a billion dollar company in one year of operations. There is an old saying before the days of when people understood permutation combinations. One peasant asked a king to give him rice equal to the total amount gotten by placing double the number of rice grains on a chess square than the previous square, starting with one rice grain. There are 8×8=64 squares. We seriously need to visit grade 7 mathematics.

    I know of only one News/Messaging system that supports around 1 billion users sending messages to all 1 billion users each. Thats a scalability of 10^12m. It is not Web based but rather on a massively scalable serverless P2P architecture based. The team is soft spoken and when I last talked to them I was told that they don’t care about money or hype or fame but rather for just the passion of next generation global systems that will stand the test of worldwide use. Its called Mermaid News Mermaid

    They have other softwares too but this post is about Twitter and Messaging. Once everyone comprehends basic mathematics that goes behind scalable algorithms they would go past the flashy screen and hype to actually want a system they can trust. To the analysts I would say it is easy to create a business plan, create a hype and raise $20m funding it is far more difficult to create something of use.

  167. ————————————————

    Dave Winer, father of RSS says “Twitter, as it was conceived, was never meant to live.”

    “It’s very possible with better engineering its architecture might have gone on for a few more years, but eventually it would have hit this wall, where there were too many people posting too many twits to too many followers. The scale of the system as conceived rises exponentially.”

    So is the end of Twitter getting near? I hope not. Twitter I hope that you are listening and you better start taking things more seriously.

    ———————————————–

    Here’s my two cents.

    For instance there are about 100m users of yahoo messenger and usually 2-3 of them talk at a time that means scalability of 300m conversations. On the other hand with 100m twitter users who usually send messages to 100-10,000 other users the scalability required is 10,000m to 10^6m I have never known any current architecture based on webservers to handle such a scale. So according to me Twitter was never meant to live. It is like a concept car that will never see production. Users of twitter don’t understand this and they don’t care.

    They don’t know whats happening when the website is down. The sad part is that the best analysts claim that Twitter is a billion dollar company in one year of operations. There is an old saying before the days of when people understood permutation combinations. One peasant asked a king to give him rice equal to the total amount gotten by placing double the number of rice grains on a chess square than the previous square, starting with one rice grain. There are 8×8=64 squares. We seriously need to visit grade 7 mathematics.

    I know of only one News/Messaging system that supports around 1 billion users sending messages to all 1 billion users each. Thats a scalability of 10^12m. It is not Web based but rather on a massively scalable serverless P2P architecture based. The team is soft spoken and when I last talked to them I was told that they don’t care about money or hype or fame but rather for just the passion of next generation global systems that will stand the test of worldwide use. Its called Mermaid News Mermaid

    They have other softwares too but this post is about Twitter and Messaging. Once everyone comprehends basic mathematics that goes behind scalable algorithms they would go past the flashy screen and hype to actually want a system they can trust. To the analysts I would say it is easy to create a business plan, create a hype and raise $20m funding it is far more difficult to create something of use.