Using twitter as an outage notification

Steve Pirk orion at
Sun Jul 5 10:43:14 UTC 2009

On Sun, 5 Jul 2009, Roland Perry wrote:
>> 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.
> It's a High School. They don't have a "support desk" (or more than handful of 
> phone lines [1]). Even the local radio station can't cope with one call per 
> school asking them to broadcast the news that they have closed due to bad 
> weather.
If your resources are that tight, do what our local school district 
did, mandate that all bus schedules will only be available on the web 

>> And then make sure something gets posted to the website.
> Unfortunately, the number of students polling the website for news means it 
> can't cope with the traffic. I don't believe they can justify paying more for 
> better web hosting, just to manage this once-a-year half hour event.

Roland, sounds like you should have a few "public service" 
announcements saying that school closures will be delivered via a 
certain twitter username. Also send a flyer home with the students.

The radio station can pick up the twitter feed like everyone else, and 
announce closures. That is the way a certain group of people are doing 
it in the middle east right now, word gets around and word gets 
out... In your case, the community will know quickly, all from a 
couple of people logging into twitter and sending a few messages. 
Sounds like a simple, ideal solution given your budget constraints.


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