This has nothing to do with the status of the Twitter service. However, it indicative of the grief we pour souls have to endure every, single day. We work hard to provide less than mediocre service. You people should be happy with us.
The following are a few excerpts from an interview we did with “Asshole Interviewer” (hereto referred to as “AI”). We could have let them publish this on their own site but we snuck in the requirement that the interview could only be 140 characters long in the agreement and the guy (Err. Maybe its a girl?) lost his shit. Pretty funny actually:
AI: Thanks for doing this interview with me today gang. I really love the Twitter service but like many users, I’ve been frustrated with the recent outages and abundance of Fail Whales. What have you all been doing to help fix the situation?
Us: Fuck you. Nice t-shirt. You wore a fucking Fail Whale (tm) t-shirt to this interview?!. Guess what? We’re trademarking Fail Whale (tm) bitch. Pay up. Oh, and you call this a “situation”?! WTF. This is a free service for like maybe a million people. Maybe. Oh yeah, make sure you make “free” and “maybe” in that last sentence bold.
As for what we’ve been doing, well, that’s none of your damn business. We’ve been working hard to “increase capacity” and have added many “slave databases” as well as tweaking our “load balancers”. BTW - make sure to put the buzz words in quotes; we’re not really sure what they all mean but all the blogs we read keep saying we need to do those things. Wait, why are you writing that down? That’s off the record. WTF. Knock it off.
AI: Sure. I’ll just leave that out. No problem.
Us: Great. Or else its sleep 2 for you bitch. Don’t mess with Texas.
AI: Alrighty then. You guys talk a lot about Twitter being a really hard problem. What are some other hard problems on the Internet that need tackling?
Us: Sweet. That’s like underhand softball. You know what’s hard? Search. Now, imagine doing search for the entire Internet. Fucking impossible, right? I put that in a category right below what we’re doing. Technically the means to search the Internet is out there, but nobody has …
AI: Um. Ahem. What about Google? Don’t they search the Internet and make it look relatively simple with little or no downtime?
Us: Fucking A man (Editor: or maybe a woman). Shit. That’s a good point. Hmm. I guess they do make it look pretty easy. Okay. Okay. Wait. I’ve got one. Pictures. Serving pictures for like hundreds of people a day. Fucking impossible and I’d like to point out, nobody has cracked that nut. Again, it seems like it should be easy to do but find me one example of somebody doing it well and making it look simple.
AI: Flickr, Photobucket, Shutterfly, Picasso and SmugMug just to name a few.
Us: Shit. Damnit it. I said one. Geez. You’re kind of a know-it-all asshole interviewer, you know that?
AI: Hey, you asked.
Us: Guess what? Sleep 2 motherfucker.
Us: Don’t worry. I’m sure you’ll figure it out. Oh wait, I’ve got one! Video. Nobody has …
AI: YouTube, Vimeo, Blip.tv, Seesmic, Flickr (again). Shall I go on?
Us: Fuck you. This “interview” is over. Make sure you put interview in quotes in that last sentence. This does not count.
You know we really, really try here at Twitter. Serving 140 characters to almost a million people is really, really hard. Harder than search for the Internet, photo sharing or video serving. Way harder.
Stay tuned for our next couple of updates where we’ll be describing the how’s and what’s of scaling Twitter.