recommended reading

Twitter Down


By Emily Long June 16, 2010

recent posts

Twitter, the ever-growing popular microblogging social network, has experienced some trouble in the past few days. Users increasingly have seen periods during which the site is over capacity and it slows down as a result. Company execs have acknowledged the site isn't quite ready to handle the high traffic demands, but as these delays become more regular, it begs the question: What should Twitter really be used for, and does the federal government fit that model?

In a blog post on social network GovLoop, consultant John Theriault questions whether Twitter is ready for government (and conversely, whether government is ready for Twitter). Twitter last week announced it is seeking a government liaison to help connect federal agencies with the site.

Theriault points out that Twitter, in its current form, may not be reliable for agencies that have come to depend on the service to disseminate critical information quickly and widely.

Among its uses, Twitter has been deployed by public officials in emergency situations to supply critical information. We can easily see more of this in the future. Think of [National Atmospheric Administration] or the {environmental Protection Agency] and the oil spill cleanup, the Forest Service searching for a lost hiker, [Transportation Security Administration] with an airport incident, and the list goes on. That's before we even get to local governments which evidently Twitter has hopes this candidate will also engage. That's a whale of a job (and yes, the pun was intended).

Further, Theriault says that before Twitter makes a move for the government market, it needs to realistically identify its limitations. After all, if agencies start to rely on the service as a common (and mission-critical) form of communication, Twitter needs to be ready.


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.