The Internet has scaling problems

Maybe it’s just me and my service provider (probably not), but in the last few weeks many of the Web services I’ve come to rely on are having downtime issues. It’s one thing to see a new service like Twitter go down (regularly. often.), but it’s another thing to see a solid, existing business like PayPal go down mid-day on a Friday. Or Flickr (run by Yahoo) running slower than cold molasses. Or….

One of the great things about the Web 2.0 "movement" is the ease with which a Web service idea can be realized. Have an idea? Have a concept and a tiny bit of coding skills? In a matter of days or weeks you can have an application launched!

As fantastic as this can be, I also wonder if we’re simply setting ourselves up for disappointment. I’m beginning to really like Twitter, yet the service infuriates me with it’s near constant scaling problems (which is more a product of intense interest than bad coding). For as many of my financial transactions that go through PayPal, I’ve come to expect that it’ll be up and running when I need it. Flickr is my go-to community these days, but I only have a few minutes a day to check in, so speed issues make me skip it all together.

Certainly we’re in a new era, and like any new era there are going to be issues. But perhaps the bigger question is whether these scaling issues we (or at least me)  are seeing are a sign of a tipping point passed or simply of a new acceptance of poor implementation. I’m inclined to believe the former.  You?

UPDATE: More issues on one of my other daily use sites, Blingo. Do you see where I’m coming from now?



UPDATE 2: And another (although I’m not telling you who this one is… it’s a site I love, run by a single guy who’s probably getting more and more traffic every day… so I don’t want anyone hatin on him! Still, it’s annoying) Simple error message… at least Twitter’s errors are funny, which is good considering the amount of times I see them these days.