Using twitter as an outage notification

Frank Bulk frnkblk at
Sat Jul 4 23:51:14 UTC 2009

So does twitter address the mass public, or those who are Web 2.0 literate
or techies?  I'm glad to see that Dell reached two million people, but how
many more people call in or visit its web page every day?

My point in another fork of this thread is that for most people, the
traditional forms of communication are *it*.  I'm not saying that twitter
hasn't been used and found a way to reach the some portion of the population
-- the traditional methods (announcement at top of phone tree & note on
homepage) should be maintained and as one more additional way to
communication.  I think you mentioned that yourself a few posts ago. =)


-----Original Message-----
From: JC Dill [mailto:jcdill.lists at] 
Sent: Saturday, July 04, 2009 5:20 PM
Cc: nanog at
Subject: Re: Using twitter as an outage notification

Roland Perry wrote:
> In article <4A4F6EF5.9030502 at>, JC Dill 
> <jcdill.lists at> writes
>>> What I'm trying to anticipate is the objection to *also* posting to 
>>> Twitter, which might be raised on the grounds that it's too 
>>> "unofficial", or "unsupported" or something like that.
>> Anyone who makes that argument is just showing how little they know 
>> about Twitter.
> So that's 98% of the population then...

We aren't talking about the general population.  IMHO anyone in Network 
Operations or NOC management who doesn't know about emerging and cutting 
edge communications is in the wrong job or the wrong industry.
>> It would be like complaining you shouldn't use email because "not 
>> everyone has email".
> But email has become respectable, although I still see "people who 
> know better" starting speeches with 'of course, ten years ago none of 
> us used email, but now....' which shows they are very late adopters 
> themselves.
How many of them are running Internet Networks?

>>> It's this richness which confuses the ordinary person.
>> That's a lot like saying Perl is too complicated for the ordinary 
>> person so never use Perl.  :-)
> You are confusing the tool with the platform.
Twitter is a tool just like Perl.  You can reach twitter from any 
browser, and most mobile phones.

>>> How are they to know which bit of the scattergun approach is the 
>>> right  one to use? Or whether "posting everywhere" has some hidden 
>>> disadvantage.
>> You can configure it and use it however YOU want.
> Again, that's about the platform called posterous. How can I explain 
> to the School Board that posterous has enough credibility to be used. 

You explain that it's a tool.  You configure it and then you give a 
demonstration.  Send a post, then show them how users who keep up with 
local news will find the info depending on what channels they use most 
often to get important info.

Even easier, you make an email address on your system that is an alias 
to posterous.   So they send to "post at" which .forwards 
out to posterous, which posts to the school blog, myspace, facebook, 
twitter, and any other system you configure.  Show them how a radio 
station can retweet the info and then announce "to get info on school 
closings, follow us on twitter at...." and everyone can send the info TO 
the radio station and get the info FROM the radio station quickly and 

> I don't think it has. All they ever hear about other Web2.0 like 
> Facebook and Bebo is how dangerous they are for kids. 

Sheesh.  Cars and bikes are far more dangerous for kids than Facebook 
and Bebo.  That's why kids are taught the rules of the road, to always 
wear bike helmets, to always buckle up in the car, and they get driver 

> But I'm beginning to think that finally maybe Twitter has the right 
> profile for this application.

Again, why limit yourself?  Use all the tools available.


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