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Power Outages And ‘Leap Second Bug’ Bring Down Social Networks

Users of several social networks and online services were left twiddling their thumbs this weekend after a series of storms on America’s East Coast caused power outages that brought down some servers located in the affected areas.

Among the victims of the outage were Netflix, Pinterest and Instagram. The problems began on Friday evening, and while all services are now said to be fully restored, some Instagram users are experiencing lags.

As well as the weather induced outages, other networks such as Foursquare, Reddit and LinkedIn experienced difficulties coping with the ‘Leap Second Bug’. For those not aware of the ‘leap second’ (such as myself, until about an hour ago), it is a basic one-second adjustment applied to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) to keep it up-to-date with solar time.

Some sites experienced downtime of up to 45 minutes because of the technical issues connected with adjusting the clocks to incorporate an extra second. While in the grand scheme of things 45 minutes might not sound like a particularly long time, but if you are unable to access crucial business information from a network such as LinkedIn, it can make the difference between winning or losing out on a big contract.

Thankfully for the users of Instagram and LinkedIn who make use of SocialSafe’s offline social journal, their information was safely stored on their own PC or Mac for them to search or browse through even though the actual networks were down.

The more information and data that we store on third-party servers in the cloud, the more chance there is that we can somehow become disconnected from vital pieces of our business and social lives. Obviously these sort of occurrences are not always within the realms of human control (the storms for example), but at least we have the option to take control of our data.

If feel you need to create an offline digital backup of social network account content, then start your SocialSafe journal today. We currently support Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Viadeo and Facebook pages, so if your online life is as important to you as your offline life, make sure you can always access your data even if the original is out of reach. Visit our Facebook page to claim your free version of SocialSafe.