The Craigslist Crash, iPhone Fall and MySpace Mea Culpa

Not a great day for high tech yesterday. The Craigslist crash which I wrote about yesterday? It was only a symptom of a far larger outage that rolled through San Francisco taking down many big name sites and making a major co-location's guarantees of uptime look silly. And all those people standing in line for iPhones? The numbers standing in lines gave the impression of much larger iPhone purchases and activation than was really the case. And on the (much) seedier side of the Internet, the number of pervs trawling in MySpace was far greater than previous disclosures. Planning, projections and protection all took hits yesterday and for those in tech not affected, there should be not congratulations but a careful rethinking of how vulnerable your systems are.

The Craigslist crash. Chris Preimesberger in our eWeek article does a good job at explaining the extent of the power outage that hit SF yesterday. One of the biggest co-location facilities in San Francisco, 365 Main, took a major hit. The company, which had earlier in a press release championed its uptime and infrastructure, is a favorite of the West Coast Web 2.0 crowd.

The best advice I can offer here is to get your facilities folks involved in any co-location decisions. They know far more about electrical service, generator back-up and redundant and distributed capabilities than your coders. If your company is going to live or die by being available 24x7, then you need to get far more serious about your infrastructure than relying on the promises of your co-location vendors.

Apple. It looks as if there were about 145,000 iPhone activations in the first few days after the phone went on sale. That is way lower than many analyst projections which ranged all the way up to 500,000. If you read enough breathless blogs about the iPhone, you would believe that every man, woman and child in the world would soon be tapping the iPhone keyless keyboard. The iPhone is a neat device with all the drawbacks of a 1.0 release running on a ho-hum network. Congratulations to the wisdom of crowds for not getting caught up in the Apple hype machine. Advice to you techies? Factor in reality rather than PowerPoint projections in your development and sales expectations.

According to this mornings LA Times, "Internet social networking site MySpace said it had detected and deleted 29,000 convicted sex offenders on its service, more than four times the figure it had initially reported." Four times as many? One of the great failings of the big social networks has been the failure to set up, beforehand, safeguards and warnings about how to take part in the service, how to guard against sickos prowling the service and simple methods to build digital walls in the service. The social networks are going to find a big dose of government regulation and litigation headed their way and they only have themselves to blame. For you tech executives, it is a good opportunity to reflect on the privacy and participation policies that you extend to the public that take part in your company's online services.