Model Mayhem is now on day three of outage. The first day was mostly slow performance and 504 gateway errors. The site has been completely offline the last 24 hours. So what lessons can be gleamed from this latest incident? No websites can be immune from outages. This latest outage appears to be a result of a denial of service attack against many Internet Brands websites hosted in El Segundo, CA. The first reports of problems were posted at 9 am November 12, 2009. The site continued to operate intermittently throughout the day. Many forum posts were started asking what was happening but there were no official word from Model Mayhem administrators. At one point, Brian did make a short post saying the problems were beyond Model Mayhem and affected many other Internet Brands sites. There were no site wide announcements. It has been repeatedly stated that the forums on Model Mayhem are used by a very small percentage of members. I have no idea why an announcement banner was not posted. I have seen announcement banner wishing people happy birthdays. There was one recent one announcing a Halloween banner contest. Yet 12 hours after initial reports of problems, there were still no site wide announcements. The only hint of any awareness of a problem was this twitter post at 10:22 am. Model Mayhem’s twitter account only has 3,100 followers. This Twitter account is no way to make an announcement about site outage when the site has over 350,000 active users.
Fast forward to November 13th and the site is completely down so the point of an announcement banner is moot. Many sites have maintenance blogs hosted on other sites that inform users of operational status. Model Mayhem has no such capability. Now members and left in the dark to search Google for answers and that is how they arrived here. For over a year, this blog has been the source of information concerning Model Mayhem’s outages. Why do Model Mayhem users have to come here to find out what’s going on? I have no affiliation with the site. I just happen to write a blog that is indexed by search engines. It cost nothing to have a Blogger or WordPress account. Why hasn’t anyone at Model Mayhem thought of this yet? Is it just wishful thinking that the site will never go down?