Until earlier this morning, my twitter account had been ‘broken’ for the past 5 days! This meant I was unable to follow anyone back; which for someone like me, with a reputation for developing communities, is a HUGE problem! Twitter didn’t seem interested though; despite me currently being one of the top 60 most followed people on twitter!
Twitter tech support ignored me
With each passing day, the problem became more frustrating. Over 1000 people had followed me, unaware that I was unable to follow any of them back. I tried everything – I sent emails to twitter’s tech support, I sent ‘tweets’ to the tech support staff, I even contacted twitter’s boss Ev Williams. No one fixed the problem or even responded to me – no tweets, no emails, nothing!
I managed to find a contact, who knows someone at twitter and was kind enough to email them for me. Then, I sent a tweet out and everything changed – within minutes!
Twitter, Scoble and FriendFeed
My 5 day old problem was fixed within 5 minutes of me sending the message below to the 22,000 people who follow me. It basically says how Robert Scoble suggested I use FriendFeed instead of twitter – along with my FriendFeed user name (which is jimconnolly)
Boom – 5 minutes later my problem was fixed!
What I found frustrating and disappointing, was that it was not until some well-connected people got involved, that anyone listened to me. When they did, this 5 day problem was fixed in minutes.
Amazingly, within literally seconds of the fix, I received my first and only communication from twitter – a tweet that said; “It’s a bug : ( see status blog!” That post has been on the status blog for days and my problem had lasted for days – yet the fix and the only response I got from twitter, both arrived at the same time; 5 minutes after my post!
Twitter and me
I WILL continue to help YOU develop your twitter network; because for 99.9% of users, Twitter is still the amazing service I have always VERY PUBLICLY raved about. I will also continue to tweet, just like before.
However, I shall no longer be promoting my own twitter account via this blog; which is responsible for attracting so many of my followers (twitter associates) – until they invest in better tech support.
Apparently, my rush of new followers is what caused the problem.
Twitter is a wonderful facility!
I know the team at twitter work extremely hard, because I have spoken to people who have visited the offices and interviewed them! That’s why I’m going to stick around. I’m hoping that as the business model develops, some money will be invested in helping twitter’s dedicated, but overloaded tech support team. When it does, the service will be amazing!
However, based on the messages I have received since my problem started, it seems that currently, unless you have high profile contacts, are famous or your problem is very public, like the recent phishing attacks, they just don’t have the resources to respond effectively. There are exceptions to this, but my personal experience and the stack of feedback I’ve received confirms it’s a valid concern.
I can’t wait until the tech support issue is resolved and I can fall back in love with Twitter. This is only a lover’s tiff, not a divorce!
I just heard (10am Sunday 25th January) that Robert Scoble @scobleizer has also got the exact same problem I had; unable to follow people back. I wonder how long it will take before his problem is fixed? Will twitter fix it super fast OR will they make him wait the standard 5 days; just to make a point about how ‘evenly’ they treat all their users?