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Internet, social media

Facebook down for a week!

By William Bakker | 03.18.10 | 4 Comments

Got your attention didn’t it?

This is purely a hypothetical scenario. It’s also an experiment in dual-blogging (think bloggers meet dual-pianists in Vegas). Rodney Payne from Think! and I are going to be hypothesising about the effects of Facebook shutting down for a week. Instead of commenting on each other’s blogs, we’re going to be posting each other’s responses as a blog.

[WB] Day 1. The Facebook URL stops responding. First thing that happens is an insane amount of activity on Twitter reporting the news. After that all hell breaks loose in the tech blogosphere; Mashable, Inside Facebook, All Facebook, Techcrunch, Techmeme et all just go crazy over the news. Traditional media follows a few hours behind.

[RP] Day 2. Facebook led last night’s evening news and is splashed across the front page of newspapers worldwide. Twitter traffic has more-than-doubled overnight with almost every tweet referencing #Facebook. Tweets have largely replaced status updates. New account registrations have grown significantly. The ‘Twitter Whale’ is displayed frequently to show that Twitter is slow and overwhelmed with traffic. Cell-phone carriers and email providers see a noticeable increase in messages. Blogs are filled with stories guessing at what’s going on.

[WB] Day 3. Everybody who threw a party and used Facebook Events to organize the party is ticketed off because nobody showed up. The first “Life without Facebook” t-shirts are starting to appear. ‘Experts’ on the news networks make suggestions about how to deal with Facebook detox. Facebook is scheduling a new conference for the next day.

[RP] Day 4. People realize that life A.F. (after Facebook) isn’t too scary. Facebook isn’t a matter of life-and-death like internet banking or email. It’s just a convenient social tool. Productivity at offices has surprisingly decreased slightly because many people can’t focus on one task without some distraction. Employees who had learned to collaborate using Facebook messages and Facebook chat are now forced to return to slower methods of communication.

[WB] Day 5. Facebook promises the network will be back up soon. Some businesses complain drops in sales because of a reliance on Fanpages and Facebook ads. Legal action is discussed. Flickr reports an increase in new accounts and uploaded photos. Some kids fear their Farmville animals will die.

[RP] Day 6. You would have thought that with 450 million people addicted to social networking and gaming that a rival-site would rise to meteoric success. However, MySpace hasn’t seen too much of a bump in traffic, commentators think its because of the lack of privacy built into people’s social graph. People who log in to their old accounts find a social wasteland with no posts from legitimate friends and just a scattering of links leading to creepy websites. People are beginning to think that Facebook may never come back online. Google Buzz and Orkut are getting an increased trickle of new users but its just not the same, all of our photos and friends were on Facebook.

[WB] Day 7. Media has nothing left to talk about and tech bloggers are too busy with the latest Apple iSomething. People stop caring about it. Life goes on without Facebook although they wonder what their friends are up to. Facebook announces service will be restored tomorrow and blames a proprietary Microsoft product for causing the crash of it’s service.

[RP] Day 8. The reckoning is upon us. Zuckerberg flicks the switch and issues a press release to that affect which is picked up by every single news organization in the world. Facebook blows past its previous 30% of web traffic to attract over 50% of internet users. Facebook’s servers overload and go down for another hour or two. When they come back online, people connect again, pay-per-click ads resume, and Farmville animals are revived just in time… Life goes on.

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