and Six Apart outages: What’s the difference?

The anger and frustration over the TypePad service outage last week was an interesting phenomenon. Bloggers are passionate and opinionated!

So when I read an InfoWorld story about’s service outage yesterday, I wondered what bloggers were saying.

A quick Technorati search on the term “” turned up just 10 posts. In contrast, a Technorati seartch on the term “typepad+outage” turned up over 240 posts, the majority of which appeared very quickly indeed after the outage.

Likewise, little mainstream media coverage on the problem compared to the TypePad one. And a post on says there was little communication by the company about the outage (sounds familiar) with more info coming from users (ditto).

Why so little blog commentary? Don’t users care as much as TypePad users? Maybe they’re not as passionate? Maybe they don’t blog. Or is it because this is about a formal, structured customer relationship management system as compared to an informal, social communication medium?

Answers, please, on a postcard to the usual address 😉

8 thoughts on “ and Six Apart outages: What’s the difference?

  1. One difference here is that the SFDC outage wasn’t total or prolonged. It was sporadic and selective. For instance, I had no problems with the service yet my colleague sitting in the same office, on the same wifi network and internet connection did have problems. In the end we found that I was accessing the service via a shortcut login screen, whereas access via the main site returned an error.
    That might not have been the case for all. Just personal experience yesterday morning and the first time it has happened.
    I think you hit the nail on the head when you say that not all users blog, whereas de facto all Typepad users do. So Typepad outages are naturally noisier. I don’t think we can infer less passion or importance, more likely just fewer bloggers in the user population, and a shorter/smaller outage.

  2. You hit the nail on the head: TypePad affected bloggers, lots of them. customers are a) in the pre-Christmas deal-closing/partying season, so probably not deeply affected and b) they’re almost certainly not bloggers.

  3. Another difference is that, to many bloggers, blogs are a very personal thing. Part of their lives. So they can’t can’t access their blogs when things go tits up (to quote The Register) which is a disaster.
    I’d say you can infer more passion.

  4. It’s interesting… I think a huge part of this is both the passion people have for their blogs as well as the fact that they know they can get a reaction for talking about TypePad that they couldn’t get for talking about Salesforce.
    That’s because we’re reachable at 6A, but also because the blogosphere has something of an economy around linking/attention.
    I’d written a bit about these kinds of behaviors last week:
    I’d said there “I can say it is far better to have a mistake greeted with flames than with indifference or a resigned disgust.” and I still mean it. But I can’t say I’m not jealous that a CRM system can go down in the heart of the biggest commerce season of the year and those execs probably got a lot fewer hate-filled screeds in their inboxes than I did. 🙂

  5. Too true, Anil. It’s a lot about community and passion. Where the anger comes, though, is where passionate users feel as if they’ve been screwed over. We’re talking emotion and perception here, not logic.
    I think part of it is the feeling you have when you buy something which then goes wrong. You’re not going to admit (to yourself) that you made a bad purchasing decision. Or that the product or service you thought was so wonderful isn’t actually on the pedestal you’ve placed it. How could you be so wrong? You couldn’t be, no way!
    The strength of such emotional feeling is in direct proportion to what the company says about the problem. The less you hear from the company, the more your anger. That’s then amplified as those passionate users talk about the problem themselves, which is precisely what happened with TypePad last weekend.
    This behaviour is beautifully illustrated in one of Kathy Sierra’s insightful posts last month:
    Take a look at the comments in that post.
    So this might also be illustrative of the difference between bloggers and users of a CRM system or any other big-scale tool. Think of ERP (and I don’t know any passionate ERP users!).

Comments are closed.