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We’ve heard from multiple sources that presentation sharing service SlideShare has been down for over 4 hours. The SlideShare Twitter account notes that they are installing some new software on their servers and the service will be back pretty soon. Here’s their message regarding the downtime, “HEADSUP: Our servers are getting brand new software installed. They’ll be back at your service pretty soon!”
It’s a perfect time for this type of maintenance. Most people are off from work today and it’s still early in the U.S. Normally I wouldn’t even share this type of downtime however there’s an important lesson regarding communication that we can all learn from.
There’s no message on the SlideShare blog nor on the home page regarding the downtime today while they install new software. Unlike a typical downtime, SlideShare apparently still has access to the site (the homepage loads just fine) and blog.
Always remember that your customers may not all be on Twitter, Facebook or any of the other social networks. Use your own site, blog, etc. to communicate important updates. In this case I would update the home page with a brief note that points to a blog entry. I’d also update the 500 error page below with a link to the blog post. This will keep their customers in the know regarding what’s up and the customer won’t be wondering why their desired presentation didn’t load.
Here’s the message that is received when you attempt to load a presentation: