Thanks for all the great toys, Uncle Steve, but did you have to go and break the Internet? I and about 7,000 other people were all signed up to get Twitter updates from MacRumors, but I never saw a single one — and in fact the entire Twitter.com network was virtually unusable for several hours, with one message trickling through every 20 minutes or so. I had several friends send messages saying the entire Internet was slow.

As my friend Paul Kedrosky notes, you could almost see the sparks and smell the burning gears as the Interweb tried to handle the load. Even your alter-ego, Fake Steve Jobs, got creamed by you and all the live-blogging hordes clogging up the Internet with all the details of your wonderfulness. He couldn’t get Twitter to work, after also failing to make CoverItLive work as a live-blogging platform. Even the Apple store was down at one point.

CrunchGear.com was another site that tried to cover the keynote with CoverItLive, the app I featured recently — which I still think is an excellent solution, but appears to have been unable to handle the combined weight of billions of Apple fans’ hopes and dreams, each one clicking refresh every two seconds at Engadget or Gizmodo.

Speaking of which, Engadget was slow to awful much of the morning. The best site of all: MacRumorsLive.com, which had an Ajax auto-refresh. You other guys ever heard of Ajax? You should check it out.

Update:

There’s a message from Keith McSpurren of CoverItLive at CrunchGear apologizing for the failure of the live-blogging app, saying it was effectively a “loose screw” that took the whole service down (and for extra points, check out the back-and-forth ribbing between Mike Arrington and John Biggs in the comments at CrunchGear).

About the author

Mathew 2406 posts

I'm a Toronto-based former senior writer with Gigaom and my favorite things to write about are social technology, media and the evolution of online behavior

38 Responses to “Hey, Steve — you broke the Internet”
  1. […] that Twitter crashed, as did a number of blogs and other sites attempting to cover the event, as noted by Mathew Ingram. That said, it speaks volumes to the growth of blogging and new media that we had so many different […]

  2. […] posts: Mashable,  mathewingram.com/work, Paul Kedrosky’s Infectious […]

  3. […] Lots more are disappointed with twitter’s service, TechCrunch, Simpable, Mathew Ingram, Mashable, Zoli’s Blog and Valleywag. addthis_url = […]

  4. Despite the high profile event, twitter guys were not ready… Maybe twitter is technically limited (rails anyone?), I think they own their community an explanation.

    My post about it http://technozzle.com/?p=40

  5. hey mathew – maybe someone turned off twitter with a remote control?

    • Heh. Gizmodo actually wrote that into a post when Jobs' Flickr stream
      didn't work — said it wasn't them :-)

  6. Internet worked great for me. Oh yeah, guess the blogosphere didn't realize that the vapid circle jerk known as twitter isn't actually the internet…

  7. […] note: During the Steve Jobs keynote the activity on twitter was so high that it crashed. Matt Ingram headline says “Hey Steve you crashed the Internet” – not sure I’d call twitter the Internet. The appropriate headline might read hey Steve you […]

  8. […] vera nota di colore del keynote appena concluso è stata il collasso di Twitter che non ha retto la mole di cinguettii (erano oltre 7000 solamente gli iscritti […]

  9. I was only at MacrumorsLive, they were awesome throughout the entire thing. Its quite stunning to read the system behind it (they've posted it somewhere). I'm sure it'll easily touch 220k plus just on MCLive's site.

  10. Web 2.0 is breaking…is this the beginning of the bubble pop..is cnn, nytime, cnbc laughing at us??

    the tail can wag the dog! soon…

  11. Updates from macrumors via the “old school” internet technology IRC worked without a flaw. And fast.

  12. […] my surprise, the only thing that happened was Apple’s MacBook Air release, which subsequently broke Twitter, and Engadget discovered that the battery is not self-replaceable. I’ve chronicled […]

  13. […] speech caused so much activity on Twitter, that the system was down for awhile. This is where people were really experiencing the event as a disaggregated community. […]

  14. MacRumorsLive.com rocked!! I was at a customer location on consulting engagement (wink wink)…I was up to speed…thanks to MacRumors!

  15. I'd love to see some graphs of all that, apple store, twitter, etc, must be really awesome haha.

  16. but this is the future… more cool apps racing with bandwidth and server capacity and that is why the economist predicted that the web would slow down in 2008

    get used to it

    • If by “cool”, you mean “badly written”… yeah. Twitter is not great tech, unfortunately, and it simply won't scale much further – which is one of the reasons that Google didn't buy it.

      • @ian Maybe, but remember that the Twitter team is almost all ex-Googlers already. It don't think it would make sense to acquire them again.

  17. […] y otros sitios mac fanboys, literalmente desaparecieron de internet durante el keynote. La escabilidad de twitter está por los suelos… al menos pownce sacó la […]

  18. […] Liveblogging, Macbook, MacRumors, MacWorld, Steve Jobs, twitter After finding that Twitter and most of the large blogs were unresponsive during Steve Jobs’ MacWorld keynote last night, while […]

  19. […] every 20 minutes or so. I had several friends send messages saying the entire Internet was slow. Read the rest of this post Print Sphere Comment Tagged: Macworld, Twitter, Mathew Ingram, MacRumors, Voices, Apple, Steve […]

  20. […] course, I don’t blame Keith for the problem. Apparently, the whole Internet suffered. Paul Colligan live blogged the live blogging…pretty funny stuff, and consensus is that Mac […]

  21. TUAW was barely able to handle the load, although I was able to see more updates from them then I was GeekbriefTV.

    Funny You never hear about people lining up the night before at a Microsoft convention. . . . .

    Good for you Steve I hope you break the internet next year too. . . . .

  22. […] 8% of the computer users had to keep each other informed and wouldn’t shutup about it and crashed Twitter, Engadget, Gizmodo … and apparently the rest of the internet – let me point you to the Cliff […]

  23. […] Apple and MacWorld?  Well, on a simple vein, it was the multicore crisis checking in that caused Mathew Ingram to write, “Hey, Steve–you broke the Internet.”  He was remarking about how Twitter was […]

  24. I'd actually got live updates directly via MacRumorsLive without a hitch, photos and all.

  25. Yeah, I was posting up live blogging sources for the keynote yesterday for Visual Editors when I saw all these live blogging attempts fail.

    Matthew, I have more examples in the post. Macrumors has always been the best. For the past few years they have beaten everyone hands down with text and photos.

    The qik.com live video crowd with their N95 camera phones were crunched down too as qik servers failed, often.

    Twitter was worthless – again.

    I did get to hear about the last 30 minutes of live audio from iJustine's qik feed. but her video bandwidth was wasted as she must have had the n95 on her lap and pointed to the roof. for fear, no doubt, of being detected. Wonder if they will ban n95s in future. Hmm.

    More at http://www.visualeditors.com including the video that shows the Steve Jobs keynote in only 60 seconds.

    Wired had the best write-up blow by blow.

  26. […] Hey, Steve — you broke the Internet – – mathewingram.com/work (tags: twitter apple) […]

  27. SlashGear.com covers the keynote and stays online too

  28. […] service for users to share short updates with their friends (and Internet users), was literally unusable during the time of the Apple Macworld 2008 Keynote. I know Apple is an popular topic among geeks […]

  29. Awesome article..Internet reaches all the industries today..I am using theDSL connection in my office..I check the Internet speed using the site http://www.ip-details.com/.

  30. Awesome article..Internet reaches all the industries today..I am using theDSL connection in my office..I check the Internet speed using the site http://www.ip-details.com/.

  31. It's always funny to hear how some of the greatest sites on the internet are able to produce the biggest failures of all time. There are literally millions of people trying to acces a service that brings the site a lot of money and what do they get? A frustrating experience and waist of their time… always funny.
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