Interesting point of view of the #FailWhale by a friend @aartiles24 I met at @chirp. I was reading his tweets when I clicked on a link that linked me to his Spanish blog bitacoradewebmaster.com. I was able to read a very interesting post on how we should be thankful of then the FailWhale is not appearing (after all twitter is a free service).
Twitter has had a bad month keeping up since it recently hit new milestones of 3085 tweets per second (normal day high would be 750 tweets per second) during the 2010 NBA Finals.
He also mentioned a very detailed presentation (156 slides) from @kevinweil, Analytics Lead at Twitter. I have included the presentation for your review giving examples of the many issues that twitter bumps into day by day.
@aartiles24 observation of how twitter allows us to talk in real time is something we forget and give for granted many times. Twitter has many challenges to keep its platform running smoothly. The need to make all these transactions happen in seconds such as Mentions, Direct Message, Retweets, Subscribed List, etc.
On slide 8 of the presentation, you can see twitter serves 7 Terabytes/per day (the equivalent of 10,000 Cd’s or 5 million floppy disks, if you can remember what those look like).
The part that caught most of my attention from the post was when @aartiles24 asked how many followers you have. I had never thought of how much of an impact it could have when celebrities with millions of followers start tweeting. All the transactions on the back end that a regular user does not see are happening giving twitter a big hit and increasing the probability of the Fail Whale to pop up.
Just as my friend @aartiles24 in his post made me think of what to do when I see the Fail Whale the next time I want to do the same for you (thanking you for reading my post also). It is ok if you complain, criticize, or throw a fit next time you see the #FailWhale (after all that is what twitter is for) but it would be nice if you applaud every time it disappears.
I recommend you to follow @aartiles24 and keep an eye on his many projects such as Resonancers.com in which he is working along a few other great resources such as @javierburon (who I also met at @chirp).