We have become quite dependent on many of the top web services out there to the point that we are at a loss when a service disruption occurs. Usually when a disruption occurs we end up scratching our heads and begin thinking the worse.
For example, let’s say you are one who uses Hotmail on a frequent basis to get your daily email fix. You go to their site and you get a blank page that displays the 404 error (which, by the way, means the client cannot communicate with the server). You immediately begin thinking it is a computer problem and start messing with things that you probably should not be messing with. In the end your messing around causes more issues than you bargained for and you come to find it was not your computer at all.
To help you along with this type of problem, before you go into crisis mode, go to the web site downrightnow . If that website loads, then it is not your computer and is most likely a service disruption.
downrightnow is a web site that has been setup to monitor many of the commonly used services out there (such as Gmail, Facebook, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Twitter, YouTube and many more).
downrightnow monitors the status of your favorite web services, combining user reports and official announcements to tell you when there’s service trouble.
The cool part about downrightnow is that it is people driven. You can help by filing a report at downrightnow or on Twitter to let others know when you’ve encountered a bug or outage. The information reported is subsequently analyzed to document and graph out potential service issues and timeframes.
There are even troubleshooting tips posted to help you from going into crisis mode by narrowing down the cause of a service issue:
Can you reproduce the problem by repeating the same steps? If not, it may have been a temporary glitch.
If you’re having trouble accessing a certain web site, make sure there isn’t a problem with your Internet connection. Can you reach other web sites successfully?
Does the same issue appear if you use a different device or Internet connection?
Have you recently changed any settings or installed web browser plug-ins, firewall software, or other upgrades that might be causing trouble?