Filed Under (Stuff, Technology) by Sean on April 21st, 2008 at 12:00 pm

If you are not seeing updates for people you follow on twitter through the web or your favorite client (e.g., twhirl, etc.), you are not alone! Be sure to go to this page and report it! Furthermore, tell everyone to do the same if they’re also experiencing the same problem. Let’s see if we can get about 20,000+ people to get the attention of the twitter people and at least get an update to what’s going on!

(UPDATE)

It appears if you visit this page, they have acknowledged the problem (I presume it’s the same issue noted here from a month ago). See if having them clear your cache solves the problem. I have asked them to clear mine and will post the results here.

(UPDATE 2)

I got this tweet from @biz indicating they are working on the issue. Ironically the only way I got it is running tweetscan on my nick.

(UPDATE 3)

Yes, twitter is still broken. They haven’t cleared my cache or anything, so far as I can tell; I still only see a portion of my twitter stream. The problem seems to only affect the intersection of people with large amounts of followers with those who follow a decent amount of people. E.g., if you follow more than a few dozen people you won’t see tweets from the likes of @scobleizer, who has over 20,000 followers. Likewise, if you follow over 100 people, you won’t see tweets from people who have over 300 followers. I haven’t nailed it down precisely yet, but there is certainly a mathematical function to this. I hope they fix it soon! In the meantime, you can go surf each of your followees individual pages and/or subscribe to their tweets separately with an RSS reader.

I wish they would give us more technical details – there certainly is more tech knowhow on twitter they could tap into to fix the problem. I know they use Amazon S3 and perhaps EC2 for their infrastructure and some sort of caching mechanism (for performance and/or cost reasons?) that isn’t doing it’s job. Obviously writing a simple web app to do what twitter does would be fairly trivial to not have problems, at the expense of cpus, disk space and bandwidth; this leads me to believe they’re trying to be fancy, and it isn’t working so well. IMHO they should have a “brute force” fallback that would work 100% albeit not optimally until they sort it all out.

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Comments
Mike on April 19th, 2008 at 11:31 pm #

Twitter always has this problem after performing any kind of maintenance, and yet they apparently don’t have the foresight to have someone monitoring their support channel on getsatisfaction.com. It took over nine hours before they bother to post a note saying they are aware of the problem, when, no doubt, the problem has been ongoing since last night’s maintenance. Also, they failed to update the twitter_status account *again*. They keep having the same “display issues” over and over, even if the reasons are different, and never appear to learn how to be more aggressively handle customer service.

Christine on April 28th, 2008 at 4:15 pm #

You have no incentive to make it work if it is free. That is the down side to all of us relying on something that is free to use. It is ironic that it is quite similar to issues that Blogger had years ago (like in 2000) when they couldn’t keep the servers running properly.

Sad, but true. I guess we get what we pay for ….

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