Friday, August 07, 2009

On Not Being A-Twitter

I woke up this morning and, as I usually do, I turned my computer on and made my way to the kitchen to brew my first coffee of the day. With the coffee pot sitting atop a flame, waiting to work its magic, I returned to the computer to open Firefox and then click on the bookmark I have for a direct connection to Twitter.

I sat before my Twitter feed, clicking the "more" button at the bottom of the page until it revealed all the tweets I had not read since the previous evening. The first thing I learned from Twitter this morning was, via @mashable, that Twitter had been subject to a Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDoS). I wasn't terribly sure what that was so I clicked through to have a read.

It didn't sound good and I was heartily pleased that it had passed Australia by while I was sleeping.

Then I read @Duddy's question, where she wondered what a DDoS was. Since I like to be helpful :-p I replied to her, offering the link to Mashable by way of explanation. The trouble began when I tried to send the update.

I've had glitches like this with Twitter before and sometimes all it takes is refreshing the page then attempting the tweet again. It's usually successful, but not this time.

Still, I was undeterred and kept on reading my feed. I came across a link posted by @deepwarren to Go Fug Yourself. She thought that the featured dress, designed by Armani and worn by Fergie of the Black-eyed Peas, resembled a bath towel. I was eager to give my opinion that it looked especially like a bath mat, not only because of the texture of the material, but because of the fringe around the hem.

I composed my thoughts in a concise 140 characters to @deepwarren and, again, the tweet failed to update.

Now I began to think that perhaps there was a problem with the reply function, so I tried out a straight-forward tweet, begging the indulgence of my followers for clogging their feeds with a test message. If only I had been able to.

I took a break from Twitter, for as long as I could stand--probably about as long as it took me to close down the browser and restart my computer--but to no avail. Twitter did not want to work for me today.

I had a look in their help section and it turns out that my problem was a known issue for some accounts. *sigh* I would have to wait it out.

I had a bit of a lament on Facebook, which garnered me instant sympathy (thank you Zoe!) And I did all the things I normally do in a working day but without participating in the conversations I've become used to as I work from my computer.

Oh, how I missed being able twitter away today, sharing a mood or expressing the gastronomical delights of my breakfast. I could eavesdrop and follow links, but it wasn't as enjoyable as starting a chocolate ear-worm and participating in the common experience of a shared craving, which is what happened yesterday:

It was just nice that this apparently silly conversation came after the annoyance of discovering I'd lost some work on my thesis.

And just now, if I could have responded to this:

I would have issued a hearty 'Hear! Hear!' And declared I'm having an LOL!


Zoe said...

It's most annoying, isn't it? Bad mans are doing it, I'm sure.

In good news, I am catching up with blog reading!

genevieve said...

I think they were bad mans:


lucy tartan said...

I had a very small Toblerone.

While i was away I had periods of fairly good internet access and I could read twitter - but being in the wrong timezone, and perhaps more importantly being far away from Masterchef, I found myself rather disconnected from the conversations. It wasn't altogether nice.

Kirsty said...

Yes, I can see how the #masterchef moment would have been completely alienating to anyone who wasn't interested in it, never mind in a completely different geographical location. I do, however, like the way that Twitter allows you to use a hashtag to create a viewing community around a particular TV program or event. It works especially well with reality TV and I think both Insight and Q and A use Twitter to very good effect.

Kirsty said...

The other interesting thing about the DDoS, if interesting is the right word, is the way political interests were able to sabotage social media sites. I'm not sure it's a good thing that now oppressive regimes have a way to silence non-traditional media, or at least the confidence to make some serious investment in hacking the sites.

Mark Lawrence said...

Kirsty, I notice that you are so used to using the hashtag (#) for Twitter that you ended up using it in a blog comment! IE you hashtaged 'masterchef'. ;)

The Iranian regime had no joy in breaking Twitter, which was successfully used by the Stolen Vote movement for democracy, but they were able to break some of the underground's security measures and track down the real people behind some of the twitter accounts. However, Twitter managed to be effectively used by the protesters and the movement generally.

I think the Russians just have more cyber-firepower at their disposal.

Nonetheless the semi-autonomous, and highly mobile, means that the internet offers us for communication and media is a far cry from the the days when revolutionaries would have to hide and move really heavy underground printing presses from safe location to location as they churned out revolutionary tracts and posters.

On the topic of underground presses, did you know that with the underground publication of Frank Hardy's 'Power Without Glory', it was printed by the printing press in the basement of Victoria's Trades Hall? It seems the Communist and union movements really wanted to champion such an important piece of work.

Enough rambling. Reading your post has made me want chocolate again.