Using twitter as an outage notification

Frank Bulk frnkblk at
Sat Jul 4 20:59:48 UTC 2009

When the local power companies uses twitter, then maybe I'll consider using
twitter for our customers.

There's the temptation by some of companies to leverage the latest
technology to appear "cool" and "in tune" with customers, but by far and
large, when something goes down customers either do no nothing, wait, or
call in.  I think the best use of everyone's time is to make sure their call
center/support desk has the capability to post an announcement to those that
call in.  And then make sure something gets posted to the website.  SMS,
Facebook, and Twitter fall in line after all that.


-----Original Message-----
From: Roland Perry [mailto:lists at] 
Sent: Saturday, July 04, 2009 10:38 AM
To: nanog at
Subject: Re: Using twitter as an outage notification

In article <h2ns2s$kcv$1 at>, Chris Hills <chaz at> 
>> That's the kind of "marketing-led" response I was hoping to hear.
>> But the UK National Rail system now uses Tweets to tell customers about
>> disruptions on the trains, and several major UK government departments
>> and news organisations use it for announcements and "Breaking News".
>> So has it become "respectable" yet?
>When there are open-source equivalents available (e.g. Laconica, 
>OpenMicroBlogger - both of which incidentally are compatible since they 
>are based upon the OMB spec), I do wonder why a commercial or 
>government entity would use a closed-source, non-domestic service.

That's fair comment, but how do you get your customers to install quirky 
niche solutions to what's a once-a-year problem?

They all seem pretty happy using a multitude of other "non-domestic" 
solutions, which probably accounts for 99% of the stuff they have on 
their PCs.

So "not sufficiently mature" we can get away with as an excuse, but 
"Made in America" isn't going to put many people off :)
Roland Perry

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