July 4, 2009

Thank Geodness For Twitter

Very early yesterday morning there was a fire and subsequent power outage at the Fisher Plaza building in Seattle, Washington, which is the data center that houses the Geocaching.com servers. This resulted in the web site being down for over 24 hours, and a lot of disgruntled geocachers. You can read more about the details of the damage and the server outage on Jeremy Irish's blog post.

Lucky for those of us that follow Jeremy on Twitter, or monitored the #fisherfire Twitter hashtag, we were kept abreast of the events and the status of the repairs as the day progressed. For those geocachers that weren't aware of the problem, and especially those who use the geocaching.com iphone application, or GeocacheNavigator on their Blackberry, who rely on a network connection to gc.com, it must have been very frustrating. Of course, those of us who geocache the old fashioned way; by maintaining their cache lists and information in an offline database like GSAK, weren't impacted as much.

But I have to say, following the Twitter activity on this topic throughout the day was quite entertaining. You could read the panic and confusion in peoples' "Tweets" as they tried to figure out why they couldn't access gc.com. This was ultimately followed by relief once those of us who knew what was happening reassured them that there was nothing wrong with their ISP's, or their modems, or their iPhones, etc. Here is a sampling of some of the tweets from yesterday:

  • I guess geocaching.com is down because of #fisherfire... I should have checked Twitter before pressing F5 so many times.
  •  #geocaching Software for the #IPHONE is now completely useless? Says: No Network. Unable to search for caches. No network is available.
  • #fisherfire explains why #geocaching app for #iPHONE is down. Sorry guys! Will wait patiently for the fix!
  • Long live the offline #geocaching database! Long live #GSAK !!
  • 5 DNF's, aided by the site being down all day.
  • trying to research some geocaches (#geocaching ) but the blasted #fisherfire has ruined my plans.
  • who else is bitting their nails over the #fisherfire? I had plans to go #geocaching.
  • i finally bought the #geocaching app for my iphone and now their data center is on fire.
  • been #geocaching, found 11, can't log 'em, bored now!
I wonder if there was this much panic during the stock market crash of 1929? I have to say, it sure was nice having a service like Twitter to turn to for geocaching.com web site status information. Now, if Twitter ever goes down, then we're all in trouble. For information more about Twitter and Geocaching, see this earlier post.

Cache On!


Just John said...

The whole mess made me marginally thankful that I don't use Twitter. RSS feeds are annoying enough! Good thing Jeremy updates his blog so frequently...

I will admit, however, that I'm glad I ran the PQs for my trip to a different continent when I did.

Erika Jean said...

Lol! i like ur post title. I would have NO idea if I wasn't on twitter. so yes... thank geodness!