Site Issues Training Log & Site Support » Site down again Rss Feed  
Moderators: Ron Reply
2017-01-11 10:09 AM

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Master
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Southwest Chicago 'burbs
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Subject: Site down again

So, BT was down again this morning.

The last time this happened, the response of "we'll create an emergency response plan" so that users know what's going on was supposed to be done.

I'm in IT, I know glitches happen, but the most frustrating part is going to Facebook (where, I believe, we are supposed to report outages) and not seeing any acknowledgement that the site is down and that you're working to fix it. Reporting outages into what feels like a void makes users feel ignored and unimportant.

So - what's the plan? How do we best report outages? How are you going to communicate with the community as to what's going on?



2017-01-11 10:25 AM
in reply to: StartingToTri

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Master
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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Site down again

I don't want to be piling on, as I too work in this type of industry and feel your pain. I tweeted and FB'd the issue, and hadn't heard anything back either. Is there a prefered method you'd like us to use in the future?

2017-01-11 11:06 AM
in reply to: cdban66

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Champion
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Whizzzzzlandia
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Subject: RE: Site down again

My concern is that one day BT will just be DOWN FOREVER and we will never get an explanation, and we'll never be able to access our data or archives. I have 13 years worth of workouts and life events documented here. I don't want to lose that, and I don't want to have to print it all either.

2017-01-11 11:09 AM
in reply to: 0

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Master
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Columbus, Ohio
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Subject: RE: Site down again
Thanks everybody. You're not "piling on."
We really have not made any changes in terms of the server type, location or level of service. We haven't downgraded or moved anything, so we didn't have any reason to suspect there would be any problems, after years of smooth sailing and appropriate upgrades and routine scans. (Just so you don't think we're trying to cut costs and that's why this is happening.)

After last time, we identified the unique circumstance that caused it, and implemented additional notifications in case that happened again.

At this time, we are identifying what NEW and unexplained thing caused the site to go down.

In terms of communication, Facebook would be a great solution, however Facebook is no longer notifying me when a business page receives a direct message. I receive them for my personal profile, but not the page. So essentially, while everyone is freaking out and I'm sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office, oblivious (as was the case this morning) the Facebook Pages app on my phone likely got one more number in the bubble next to the app, silently, and I had no idea what was happening. ... I've Googled that issue, and found others experiencing the same problem, but no response or solution from Facebook. However if someone here knows the answer, I'd love to hear it and make the appropriate changes to the settings so that I know when the Facebook page is receiving messages.

I'm open to suggestions ... If a few of you dedicated folks want my email, it's afoeller@beginnertriathlete.com and I can PM you my cell phone to text, also.
2017-01-11 11:17 AM
in reply to: alicefoeller

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Master
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Southwest Chicago 'burbs
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Subject: RE: Site down again

One thing that we use to check our public website is www.pingdom.com .  I hear that www.pingability.com has a free service? I've never used them, but I'm sure there are other monitoring services out there as well.

Basically, the service just checks your site at something like 1 minute intervals and notifies you (email, text, etc) that it's down. That might be a good business solution.

(not affiliated or endorsing either of those sites, but we use the first and I've heard good things of the second)

2017-01-11 11:31 AM
in reply to: Whizzzzz

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Master
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Subject: RE: Site down again
I personally commit to you that this site is not going to just "go away" without warning. I have no intention of it ever going away.
Ron and I are working to transition things to me, and we'll keep you updated, but there is no secret plan for me to, for example, suck the revenues out of the site and let it die. I can tell you that Ron would not even let me work on the site if there were a whiff that I were going to let that happen.

This place is special, and critical, and a lot of people have a lot of history here. We don't always do everything perfectly, and we aren't always ahead of the competition on the technology curve. What sets us apart is the community. And we're going to continue to work on improving the site while preserving the community.

In case you didn't see the year-end article, it's here: Article Link


2017-01-11 11:33 AM
in reply to: StartingToTri

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Master
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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Site down again

Originally posted by StartingToTri

One thing that we use to check our public website is www.pingdom.com .  I hear that www.pingability.com has a free service? I've never used them, but I'm sure there are other monitoring services out there as well.

Basically, the service just checks your site at something like 1 minute intervals and notifies you (email, text, etc) that it's down. That might be a good business solution.

(not affiliated or endorsing either of those sites, but we use the first and I've heard good things of the second)

Something like that is not a bad idea. We used http://www.watchthatpage.com/ many years back. Like Laura, I'm not saying it is the best answer, it is one way to go about this.

Thanks,

2017-01-11 11:42 AM
in reply to: StartingToTri

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Master
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Columbus, Ohio
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Subject: RE: Site down again
Originally posted by StartingToTri

One thing that we use to check our public website is www.pingdom.com .  I hear that www.pingability.com has a free service? I've never used them, but I'm sure there are other monitoring services out there as well.

Basically, the service just checks your site at something like 1 minute intervals and notifies you (email, text, etc) that it's down. That might be a good business solution.

(not affiliated or endorsing either of those sites, but we use the first and I've heard good things of the second)




Thanks - I set up a trial account with Pingdom that will text me if there is an outage for more than 5 minutes.
2017-01-11 11:52 AM
in reply to: alicefoeller

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Master
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Subject: RE: Site down again
I wanted to add that the server administrator already has something like this set up, but if each of us on the team are being alerted, and we are using more than one service, that should improve our awareness and response rate.
2017-01-11 12:32 PM
in reply to: alicefoeller

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Master
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Subject: RE: Site down again

Alice - I appreciate your forthrightness. I know outages aren't an easy situation to deal with.

So, right now does all communications come directly from you? Do the server administrators have access to the BT Facebook account? For example, this morning did they know the site was down and were working on fixing it but couldn't let us know? Or are the server administrators hired guns who do work based on what you tell them to do? I guess I'm just trying to get an idea of whether it's all you or whether there's a team looking out for the website. If it's all you, then that's quite a big job you've got and it's easy to see how site outages can go a few hours without being noticed (I mean that in a "you're only one person and can't be expected to be working around the clock" kind of way).

All that said, I certainly don't speak for anyone other than myself, but I think a lot of bad/frustrated feelings could be mitigated by a "BT is down and we are working on it" Facebook post and tweet as soon as you know about the situation. Communication is comforting.

Thanks for entertaining this discussion. I've been with BT now for a over a decade (12 years? I'm user 3341, I believe) and while I've not been active on the forums for a number of years, I am on the site daily (even despite the fact that I haven't actually done a triathlon since, like 2011) and want to see it succeed. This is, indeed, a special corner of the internet for many of us.

 

2017-01-11 4:43 PM
in reply to: StartingToTri

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Kansas
Subject: RE: Site down again

Thanks for starting this discussion. As another member of the BT-decade-club  and someone who visits daily to input data, I would love more communication when outages occur. As others do, I follow the Twitter and Facebook accounts and am on the email newsletter distribution list, so it's pretty discomforting to have complete silence during an outage. 

In the grand scheme of life? A first-world problem. But for us data-driven and sentimental folks with 10+ years of data on this site, it's a noticeable disruption when the site is down and there's no communication.



2017-01-11 10:01 PM
in reply to: StartingToTri

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Master
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Columbus, Ohio
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Subject: RE: Site down again
Laura,

To answer your question specifically, I'm the "voice" of BT right now, yes. So when I don't communicate, no one does. And I didn't know there was a site outage, so there was no opportunity for me to post that we knew about and were taking care of it ... by the time I found out, it was back up. So the communication problem isn't that I don't want to tell people what's going on, but rather that I haven't been finding out immediately that there's a problem.

The server administrator is part of our team, although we are not his only client. However he is intimately acquainted with the site, works on a lot of upgrades and bug fixes, and really gives a damn. It's not just a help desk in Arizona or something like that.

Now that I will be receiving the texts when there's an outage, I'll be in a better position to communicate that we know and we're working on it. So thanks for the suggestion about the monitoring service. Because otherwise, you're exactly right, I'd have to be logged in and viewing the site 24 hours a day to catch everything.

I really appreciate everyone who is invested in BT and cares. If no one became upset when we had a site outage, that would be worrisome and sad.

Originally posted by StartingToTri

Alice - I appreciate your forthrightness. I know outages aren't an easy situation to deal with.

So, right now does all communications come directly from you? Do the server administrators have access to the BT Facebook account? For example, this morning did they know the site was down and were working on fixing it but couldn't let us know? Or are the server administrators hired guns who do work based on what you tell them to do? I guess I'm just trying to get an idea of whether it's all you or whether there's a team looking out for the website. If it's all you, then that's quite a big job you've got and it's easy to see how site outages can go a few hours without being noticed (I mean that in a "you're only one person and can't be expected to be working around the clock" kind of way).

All that said, I certainly don't speak for anyone other than myself, but I think a lot of bad/frustrated feelings could be mitigated by a "BT is down and we are working on it" Facebook post and tweet as soon as you know about the situation. Communication is comforting.

Thanks for entertaining this discussion. I've been with BT now for a over a decade (12 years? I'm user 3341, I believe) and while I've not been active on the forums for a number of years, I am on the site daily (even despite the fact that I haven't actually done a triathlon since, like 2011) and want to see it succeed. This is, indeed, a special corner of the internet for many of us.

 


2017-02-01 3:13 PM
in reply to: alicefoeller

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Master
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Subject: RE: Site down again
I wanted to give an update. I did sign up with a new notification service, but meanwhile our programmer realized that our current service had features we weren't using, so we've been testing that.

Now we are using our current service to notify him, me and Ron whenever there is an outage (via text message) and we receive another alert when it's back up.

In the past couple of weeks we've had two times when there was a problem for less than 3 minutes, and we were all notified. So I've dropped the second service.

2017-02-01 6:41 PM
in reply to: alicefoeller

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Master
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Southwest Chicago 'burbs
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Subject: RE: Site down again

Alice - thanks for taking the time to update this thread! Love it when you find that the service you already know and love has features that make you know and love it even more.

2017-02-02 10:40 AM
in reply to: alicefoeller

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Master
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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Site down again

Thanks for the heads up.

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