Amazon’s US Site Goes Down… Millions in Sales Forfeited

amazon down hardVery disturbing to come across THIS at — generally believed to be one of the strongest and most stable web companies with servers so trusty that thousands of businesses lease space via Amazon’s S3 Web service.

UPDATE: It’s been shaky, but back up after nearly two hours of all systems down. AdAge estimates that Amazon lost about $2 million in sales:

E-comerce site Amazon went down this afternoon around 1:30 EDT and stayed down for at least an hour. Attempts to access were met with the following message: “Http/1.1 Service Unavailable.” It’s hard to know exactly how many dollars a minute Amazon loses in sales for every moment its site is down, but simple math pegs it at about $1.8 million an hour, based on Ad Age estimates.

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An Impromptu FriendFeed Experiment (*includes narcissism)

I got home from work at 10 tonight, heated up some soup and cracked open a bottle of Shirazкомпютри втора употреба intending to prepare some e-mails for the morning. But after making my daily check of Friendfeed, I was suddenly inclined to procrastinate, or shall I say, experiment, with FriendFeed. Having been in on the Friendfeed frenzy since its early days (joined February 4 according to the welcome e-mail) I felt a twinge of frustration that my items in my Friendfeed were never (OK, barely) “liked” or commented on. I even instinctively changed my profile photo thinking that maybe I just looked scary or unfriendly. Then, before hitting the soup I half-assedly posted a vanity shout-out, just to see if I was really invisible, or if Friendfeed was fostering a good-spirited, web 2.0 early-adopter-centric community in its nascent pre-Alpha test phase.

friendfeed screenshot

The result: despite my admittedly lame and value-subtracted content/link, I received a half-dozen “likes” and comments in the 15 minutes it took me to finish my soup. It didn’t hurt that early adopter man-and/or-machine Robert Scoble jumped in on the parade, as the Friendfeed stream is weighted on the users side based on who their friends are *and* who their friends’ friends are. While Friendfeed’s popularity is still ramping up among the already-hip-to-microblogging set, early adopters like Louis Gray and Scoble (whose enthusiasm for the product hasn’t waned since I discussed it with him briefly in March) have only bolstered its stature and reputation by remaining Active (with a capital ‘A’).

Friendfeed is perfect for the ADD media junkie in many ways. It brings the conversation to you and the most recent / popular discussions in your circle cycle to the top of the feed when appropriate. It makes for a good replacement for blogging — the discussion is very organic and viral, however, it can be incredibly mind-numbing trying to keep up with comments and feedback not only on your posts but also on the comments you make tangentially. Fun and utilitarian but also a total productivity killer.

I have a feeling that I will continue to attract minimal attention / discussion on Friendfeed. But I am glad that I set the bar incredibly low. It proved to me that Friendfeed is an exciting place to be while it is in Beta and many Twitterers are just starting to bite and get the bug. As Julian Baldwin remarked on the above thread: “This could only happen on FF.”