Google Outage (and how useful is Twitter?)

One of the questions that I get asked on a regular basis is why anybody bothers with Twitter.  In general, I think people who don’t use Twitter think of tweets as personal status updates, i.e., “I just finished grocery shopping.  Blueberry pie tonight!”

This morning, however, Twitter demonstrated its value to me when investigating several reports of email problems in the district.  Several users reported being unable to send or receive email.  To diagnose the problem, I could look at potential issues with their computers or Google accounts, investigate whether we had an issue with our internet firewall, test our DNS settings locally and at the ICN to determine whether there was an issue, etc.  My first step, though, was a quick Google search for “Google Outage”, which yielded:

google outage

While I certainly had other ways to check the same thing, a 10-second search on Twitter was able to save me potentially hours of testing and eliminating other potential causes of the problem.


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