Hey, Steve — you broke the Internet


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.


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).

Comments (23)

  1. drBaher wrote::

    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

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 4:11 pm #
  2. allen wrote::

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

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 4:15 pm #
  3. mathewi wrote::

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

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 4:39 pm #
  4. Stu wrote::

    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…

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 4:19 pm #
  5. mathewi wrote::

    Thanks, Stu. Missed you lately :-)

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 4:38 pm #
  6. Azhar wrote::

    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.

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 5:05 pm #
  7. John Furrier wrote::

    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…

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 5:21 pm #
  8. John Furrier wrote::

    forgot my link


    Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 5:22 pm #
  9. laza wrote::

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

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 6:06 pm #
  10. Fun. Thanks.

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 7:48 pm #
  11. kp wrote::

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

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 9:33 pm #
  12. lmjabreu wrote::

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

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 10:31 pm #
  13. gregory wrote::

    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

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 12:26 am #
  14. ianbetteridge wrote::

    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.

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 5:29 am #
  15. Daniel Shaw wrote::

    @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.

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 10:27 am #
  16. Robert wrote::

    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. . . . .

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 3:47 am #
  17. Emon wrote::

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

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 1:53 pm #
  18. 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.

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 3:42 pm #
  19. mathewi wrote::

    Thanks, Robb.

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 3:52 pm #
  20. Jamie Duncan Nesta wrote::

    SlashGear.com covers the keynote and stays online too

    Saturday, January 19, 2008 at 12:55 pm #
  21. venshine wrote::

    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/.

    Friday, July 31, 2009 at 6:48 am #
  22. venshine wrote::

    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/.

    Friday, July 31, 2009 at 11:48 am #
  23. DuncanFloyd wrote::

    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.
    Web content management tool

    Monday, January 25, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

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