Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Was YouTube downtime scheduled?

YouTube has been down for about 24 hours now:

I don't exactly hang out there, but I wasn't aware this was scheduled. That's a very long downtime, and I haven't seen any commentary -- was it unexpected?

Expected or not, it raises an interesting point about the new distributed badge/widget ecosystem emerging on the web. It's not just enough to fail gracefully at your main URL -- you have to fail gracefully in the thousands, or millions of places where your functionality has been spread. How many websites would be affected if Adsense went down, and would they all fail gracefully? Would "Adsense is down, sorry" appear everywhere? Or just blank holes? I first became aware of YouTube's burp when a friend told me that there was no video at a link I'd forwarded -- the page was just blank.

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