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All Quiet on the Social Front

I had some other topics lined up for today—my thoughts on what applications like Scanaroo are doing for social CRM, for one—but it looks like there’s some breaking news on broken social tools that must take precedence.

Today saw a massive denial-of-service (DOS) attack against popular social networking sites, most notably Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I won’t link to them directly right now—they’re the Big Three so you know how to find them, and they also have enough traffic trouble at the moment—but I’ll cheap out and give you the New York Times coverage here.

Social media like these have quickly changed the way we go about our daily lives, so it’s all the more painful when we info addicts get cut off at the source. I was really looking forward to seeing what was happening in my personal Twitosphere today, not to mention driving some traffic to my site and those of my allies. Twitter has been hit hardest, and despite claims that the problems have been fixed, many users (myself included) still have no access. Facebook has been unreliable as well, so my Mafia Wars conquests are on hold for now. LinkedIn is more of a tactical asset for me—I use it when I need it, but don’t stay connected for long—so I haven’t seen the extent of the damage there, but you can be sure that some important business connections didn’t get made today.

The optimist in me says that when irresponsible scriptkiddies with a surplus of free time and a dearth of creativity launch attacks like this, it ultimately strengthens the sites they attack. But the inner optimist is very small, and not nearly as vocal as the rage-filled monster who wants to make an example of these jackholes with a blowtorch and a pair of pliers, Marcellus Wallace-style. I suppose I’ll have to settle for the criminal justice system, but that will do.

This moment of Ahab-vs.-Moby-Fail also reminds us that social networking and customer engagement aren’t new phenomena. We still have phones, and the ability to go to bricks-and-mortar establishments. Most of the Internet still works, too, so it’s not like the engines of enterprise have shut down altogether. Social CRM is a strategy, and the online component is not the only component.

/rant

In other news, I’ll be guest-blogging for my friends Paul Greenberg and Brent Leary, the CRM Playaz. My piece isn’t live yet, but when it is I’ll have the honor of being their first post. Along with that, I’ll also be chatting with them on their next podcast, recording tomorrow. I can’t get enough of these guys—they combine insight with humor, whether separately or working together. They also show exceptional taste in guests. :-)