Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Gmail Fail!

Original post: 4:41 p.m. EST, Sept. 1, 2009
First Update: 4:53 p.m. EST, Sept. 1, 2009
Second Update: 5:16 p.m. EST, Sept. 1, 2009

Not long after Google takes the BETA tag off its popular Gmail, the service goes down. The Twitterverse and blogosphere immediately surged with thousands of posts and hashtags. Facebook friends began asking each other, "Did your Gmail fail also?"

I suppose this quick blog post will just become one of the many in the chatter that is likely to follow in the next hour. Google says it is working on the problem, and it's possible that some users have had their Gmail restored already. In fact, Google hopes to have the problem resolved within the next hour or so, unless something changes.

This quick work is great Google, but with all the money you make and talented people you employ, couldn't you have prevented the crash in the first place? I suppose this just goes to show that nothing that involves computers is every really infallible. Crashes happen, and we just have to live with them from time to time (though, as a Mac user, I'm not really accustomed to doing that).

In the tradition of Relatively Journalizing, let's get this conversation directed toward public relations though. Will this minor crash have any implications on the giant of the Web in terms of its users and their expectations and loyalties? What can we learn from the virtually instant social media impact? All these questions and more await, so hit the comments, communicators.

Update: I should note that one crash might not matter all that much, but this crash is in addition to notable failures by the service in May and February of this year, in addition to crashes in April, August and October in 2008. (Information Week has more on this and on the official times when this problem started today.)

Update: My Gmail is now working. Total outage time was about an hour for me.

No comments: