For a change, I seem to have dodged the latest Gmail outage. I'm not bragging. Really.
But I haven't been shut out from my Gmail. It has been slower than usual to load for me this morning.
Look at all these service (or lack thereof) updates from The Next Web's chronicling of the Google Apps Status Dashboard. Apparently mail was restored at one point, followed by contacts and chat at a later time.
While others reported seeing service disruption messages, as of 2 p.m. EDT I see this:
Information unavailable?! That sums up what's going on for a lot of Gmail users today. But not me. I'm counting myself lucky this time.
I'm awaiting comment from Google to find out the details.
Update: Here they are, 1 minute after I hit publish (figures). A Google spokesperson told me:
"A problem with Google Contacts caused many Gmail users to experience slowness and degraded service for about an hour today. Mail was back to full speed for everyone around 8 am Pacific and the issue affecting Contacts was resolved shortly after. We're sorry for the inconvenience."
Note how Google is no longer reporting that a "small subset" of users were affected. Om Malik wasn't buying it, so it looks like Google backtracked from its early positioning.
Real-time services such as Twitter make it a lot harder for Google to hide how many people were affected. This is ironic, considering Google is weighing real-time indexing of its own.
In any case, I can vouch that the service was definitely degraded, but I was always able to access my content in Gmail. In my opinion, this outage was nowhere near the downtime Gmail experienced Sept. 1, or in February 2009 and August 2008 before that.