I was having flashbacks to the NLCS baseball drama that was October 1986!
While in NY, I kept reading about the enduring blackout that continued in some major areas of Queens, a blackout that has lasted for nearly a week now. Once upon a time, more years ago than I care to count, I lived in Woodside, Queens, while attending New York University. Turns out, Woodside was one of the areas affected.
Anyhoo, I sympathize with my former neighbors, as it was extremely hot and humid in NYC over the weekend. And apparently, power outages are one technology trend having potentially huge impact on another: Software as a Service
A result not of greedy Enron traders this time, but rather a heat wave that has swept over Kal-ee-forn-ee-ya the past few days, one which raised electricity demand and left tens of thousands of consumers without power.
Judging by my math (which isn't very good...but the point remains regardless), MySpace was down for nearly 18 hours. I don't know exactly how much in lost advertising revenue that would add up to, but I suspect Mr. Murdoch was strongly encouraging the California utiliies to get the lights back on as quickly as possible.
What's most interesting to me about the timing of the blackouts was that they pre-empted a story in today's Wall Street Journal entitled "Is It Time to Dump Your Desktop?" (WSJ Registration Required) The piece covers the evolution of Web-based software, highlighting offerings from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and others. It was a mostly balanced story, saying that Web-based software has come a long way in a short period of time and that small businesses are prime candidates for moving to Web-based technologies.
But hold your software migration, there, Tonto.
Not once did the story mention the potential for power or power-related data outages that could bring same said small businesses to their knees were a major power outage to strike as it did MySpace over the weekend.
It's one thing to lose access to your MySpace song list...it's another thing entirely to lose access to your online customer database.