As you probably know, I'm a fan of Twitter. I was skeptical at first, but I've found it incredibly useful and versatile as I've continued using it. I think I've been a member of the Twitterati for over 2 months now.
But it's days like Wednesday that really make me want to rethink my stance. Twitter had some serious issues that pretty much crippled it for the entire day. This was directly following a day of spotty service while I was on the road. It was frustrating, to say the least.
One competitor to Twitter, Jaiku, is continuing to attract a lot of attention. Evidently, there has been a wave of registrations as a direct result of yeseterday's Twitter-outage. Even TechCrunch has made the leap and has let its readers know.
This gets right at the heart of an important issue for all new media / Web 2.0 / whatever-you-want-to-call-them companies. They need to really ensure that they've got their technology figured out, because their audience will leave them for a competing application or service because of poor uptime. An entity such as Second Life is probably given a little more slack, simply because there are few virtual reality worlds that compare.
But Twitter can be replicated. There are a number of upstarts out there doing so. And it's fairly easy to drag your network along with you to another provider. Good marketers will try a variety of online communities and social networks and should be properly prepared for a mass shifting, should it occur.
Note to Twitter: please get your act together. You're really great when you work well. But if I have to see that cat much longer, I'll make sure he and the Bloglines plumber start hanging out.