I get a lot of my news from Twitter, and for the past day one common trend was evident: Tumblr was down and didn’t show any signs of coming back up. Coincidentally, Tumblr went down not long after I linked to Hot Guys Reading Books on Twitter. This led someone to joke that I took down all of Tumblr. This is not the first time I’ve been accused of taking down large websites, but I lack that power. (So far.) Little did either of us know what that joke would lead to: a day of downtime and gnashing of teeth by Tumblr addicts around the world as they bemoaned the downtime on non-Tumblr sites.
The downtime was caused by issues in a database cluster during maintenance, according to a post in the staff blog written after the site came back up. The Tumblr team updated their Twitter account with interesting bits while bringing the site back up, but as every person who has worked in the tech sector knows, not everything goes as expected. That’s probably why this tweet was sent fifteen hours ago:
“This has been a slow and painful recovery, but we’re almost through. We’ll have more info to share as soon as we can post to our blog again.” (link)
That’s eight hours before the blogs went back up and ten hours before the final update pre-blog post:
“All blogs are online and we’re incrementally restoring access to the Dashboard. Thank you for your patience.” (link)
Yes, Tumblr’s downtime prevented the staff from posting to their blog. It’s a good thing Twitter didn’t go down at the same time since its status blog is Tumblr-based. That would have been a rare incident of real irony.