Why Is Twitter So Vulnerable?

The New York Times reports that another DDOS attack took down yesterday evening. (Having no interest in , I wouldn’t know first hand.) The story is here.

The article also considers why Twitter is so vulnerable. The expert* they interviewed theorizes that Twitter’s network infrastructure has not kept up with its popularity.

    Most large sites have more complicated networks and use several providers to ensure they have stay online. But Twitter uses only NTT America. “It might not be hard to take Twitter down, just looking at the way they designed the network,” Mr. Lyon said. “You just have to take little parts of NTT down and the whole thing crumbles.”

Mr, Lyon goes on to describe Twitter’s network infrastructure as “very amateurish.”

At the same time, it bears noting that, despite its rise in usage, Twitter does not make money, and building a network more resistant to–or “resilient after” might be better wording–attack costs money, lots of money.

In Googling “monetizing twitter” and several similar strings, I found lots of folks who promise to help me make money from Twitter, but precious little about how Twitter might become self-supporting (it’s living off venture capital).

Early this spring, I heard , one of the founders of Twitter, interviewed on NPR’s Talk of the Nation. There was much discussion but no substance about how to make it self-supporting, let alone make it profitable.

Frankly, I’m skeptical Twitter will ever make money, let alone a profit. Turning it into an ad feed, I suspect, would drive away many users, making it less attractive to advertisers, and the number of hopeful, available alternatives make a subscription model unlikely to be successful.

Here’s a link to another interview about Twitter with the same Mr. Lyon.

(Aside: Remember, Twitter outages without any outside attack are nothing new.)

In other news, the 90+ Fahrenheit temperature in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is exceeded only by the humidity.


*I tend to be skeptical when someone is dubbed an “expert” with no additional credentials, so I looked him up. Apparently he qualifies.

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