August 03, 2006

Web 2.0 Companies Play With Error Messages

It used to be that error messages were by far the least interesting thing you could run into on a Web site. It wasn't too uncommon to hit a 404-File Not Found, a 403-Forbidden, or other simple numbers that didn't exactly tell you why your Web journey had come to an end. Now, with the latest generation of Web-focused companies tailoring their offerings to younger viewers, and less so to the initial Unix-loving geeks who dominated the Web at its beginning, even the error messages have been upgraded.

YouTube, the video sharing site which has gained an overwhelming amount of publicity of late that saw the site's traffic compared to the New York Times, and is rumored to be valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars, took itself off-line late tonight, and threw up a silly image to explain just why they had to ask users to accept the technical difficulties, along with a note that "We're currently putting out some new features, sweeping out the cobwebs and zapping a few gremlins. We'll be back later. In the meantime, please enjoy a layman's explanation of our website..."

Below is that image.

Just last week, when teen-home MySpace went on the blink, users were asked to satiate themselves with a Flash game of PacMan. At least the sites are having a sense of humor about them amid the stress of being down. Now, if only they'd learn they need to forge a redundant fail-safe infrastructure like the rest of the for-profit world.

Listening to ''Together We Will Conquer (Radi'', by Paul Van Dyk (Play Count: 5)