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Revver and Pageflakes go dark for days

Both the video-sharing site Revver and the personalized start page service Pageflakes have been down since last Thursday, January 29. As of this writing, that is more than three-and-a-half days of straight downtime.

Our monitoring shows that both sites went offline soon after 9 p.m. CET (3 p.m. US EST).

The connection between the two? Both are owned by Live Universe, whose site is also unavailable.

The outage is apparently not supposed to be permanent, but something has definitely gone very wrong. Last Friday Live Universe told CNET that the sites would be back within a few hours.

We contacted Live Universe founder and CEO Brad Greenspan about it, who says the downtime is simply a part of migration to a new data center in Los Angeles that has “lots of servers.” Greenspan also said that the sites should be back up in the next few hours.

Again, that was three days ago and the sites are still not back up.

Frustrated users

There is something to be said for user communication here. There doesn’t appear to have been any warnings to the users that the sites would go offline, and no temporary information page has been set up (the sites simply don’t respond at all).

An outage of this magnitude, even if is due to a data center migration, is bound to put a big dent in the trust that users have in these services. To name but one example, Twitter has been abuzz with messages from confused and upset users since the sites went down (try searching Twitter for “Revver down” or “Pageflakes down”).

Past problems

It should be mentioned that both Revver and Pageflakes have had stability issues for some time now. Prior to the sites going offline last Thursday, Pageflakes had accumulated more than 22 hours of downtime in January alone, and Revver had accumulated more than 32 hours. We wrote about Revver’s ongoing problems just two weeks ago.

These problems may perhaps be what prompted the migration to a different data center, but whatever the reason, users are bound to be frustrated by the sudden absence of these sites.

Do you have information?

If anyone has any additional information as to what is going on with the migration, please leave a comment.

Update:
Pageflakes came back online at 1:42 p.m. CET (7:42 a.m. US EST) after having been down for 3 days, 16 hours and 26 minutes.

Revver is still down, though.

Update 2:
Revver started to come back online at 4:22 p.m. CET (10 a.m. US EST) on Monday, just over 2.5 hours after Pageflakes came back, though availability was very patchy initially. The site has been unavailable several short periods since then, sometimes responding with HTTP error 500 (internal server error), and sometimes the DNS lookup hasn’t worked.



11 comments
DanHoff
DanHoff

Pageflakes and Revver are officially DotGone. VC Investors and Live Universe most likely realized that trying to compete with giants like Webs, Wix, Weebly, Youtube, etc is pointless.

 

 

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DanHoff
DanHoff

Pageflakes and Revver are officially DotGone. VC Investors and Live Universe most likely realized that trying to compete with giants like Webs, Wix, Weebly, Youtube, etc is pointless.     SEO, SMM, Website Traffic We've got Apps for that... http://www.seo-legion.com    

Artem Russakovskii
Artem Russakovskii

Looks like Revver is down again. While they were up yesterday, their blog was still down, so still nobody could find out what had happened. My contact at Revver also confirmed it was a colo move gone wrong but I'm appalled. I've never seen an Internet company that relies 100% on the Internet to do its business treat its online presence that way. It's also shocking, considering their tech team is quite savvy and adept - their API was one of the first and best video APIs available. Artem http://beerpla.net http://twitter.com/ArtemR

down again
down again

it looks like pageflakes is down again. at least for me. i agree wholeheartedly with this article, especially about user communication. even a vague "we'll be back soon" would be a huge step. every time pageflakes goes down (especially without any warning or communcation of how long it will last) i go to my backup rss aggregators, netvibes or my.yahoo. which i'm sure a lot of users do. its basically a free advertisement for all their competitors. they need to get it together.

vince
vince

netvibes -never a problem, use it since early beta :)

Intosh
Intosh

I think I need to seriously consider and prepare my "migration" to another service. As Phil stated in his excellent blog article, the service is becoming more and more unreliable and users are kept in the dark of what's going on. My Pageflakes homepage has become an important service for me. I don't want to find out tomorrow that it's been shutdown for good and that I don't have a backup service. It's a shame. Pageflakes is an excellent service. I've tried all its competitors and found they were missing widgets that I've grown accustomed to with Pageflakes.

Sean
Sean

Yeah this was a pretty monumental failure for a service such as Pageflakes, which has served as my homepage for several years now. They're just lucky the outage happened mostly over a weekend, but even with that I can very close to switching to NetVibes. Unfortunately I may still end up doing that just to be on the safe side... I don't use Revver, but for a niche video site to fail so badly they're really blowing it big time. There's already so much competition in that space with almost zero differentiators between the players, it's so easy to switch and never look back. At least the Pageflakes/Netvibes of the world are a rarer breed.

Jim Bob
Jim Bob

"There doesn’t appear to have been any warnings to the users that the sites would go offline," It's called "a crash", and you cannot predict when it's going to happen.

dudeguy
dudeguy

It's ok to have a comment.

Pingdom
Pingdom

@Phil: Thanks for the tip. We checked the monitoring data for the exact time the Pageflakes site came back and updated the post. Revver still isn't responding, though.

Phil Bradley
Phil Bradley

Pageflakes is back up again. No idea for how long, not comments in their weblog, forums or press releases. Grab your content and copy it elsewhere while you have time! Who knows how much longer it's going to be up?

Phil Bradley
Phil Bradley

The failure of Pageflakes is not simply down to an inability to port their data across - it's a systemic failure of the management team to understand how a Web 2.0 company works. In my opinion they've made 10 fatal errors which means that even if the site comes back up again no-one will be left to use it. http://tinyurl.com/abgv7p

Trackbacks

  1. [...] currently a thread on Techmeme based on this blog post from Pingdom about the downtime of most of LiveUniverse’s services for the past couple of [...]

  2. [...] Ouch – our customer GTCHannel.com relies upon Revver for their video.  But its been down for a while. [...]