Twitter-owned blog service Posterous loses multiple databases, down 6 hours+

As you may notice from the numerous versions of this post, we’re keeping an eye on the status of the service and will provide updates accordingly.

Going offline is the nightmare-scenario for blogging platforms and it is one that Tumblr-rival Posterous has suffered from today (Asia time – evening US time) after the company – bought by Twitter in March – lost “multiple” databases, taking its service offline for six hours (and counting).

The service has been down since 18:30 PDT [Saturday], though it worked for 10 minutes around 21:30 PDT, an issue is preventing users from accessing dashboards and posting content.

Published posts and Posterous blogs are still accessible, which is definitely a positive. It is unclear, however, if data from its 15 million registered users has been affected.

Despite its ownership, there’s no fail whale and this is what users are seeing instead.

posterous spaces 520x243 Twitter owned blog service Posterous loses multiple databases, down 6 hours+

The company took to Twitter to flag the issue, before saying claiming had returned to normal after half an hour. That response was premature and the site remains inaccessible.

Site outages often prompt scathing reactions (particularly when a blogging platform is concerned) so it’s interesting to note that the responses are generally voicing disappointment rather than anger – although some have cited the outage and Twitter deal as a reason to leave the service.

Posterous was briefly inaccessible this week during a planned maintenance and that could yet be connected with today’s problems.

Outages are a unfortunate possibility for all Web-based services but, for a blogging platform, a weekend outage is most definitely bad news that is bound to affect users and their perception of its reliability.

Posterous was ‘aquihired’ by Twitter for an undisclosed sum in March, just three weeks after saying it had “absolutely no plans to sell”.

The deal has plenty of synergy but, as we saw with Google’s purchase of Sparrow this week, big company-led startup acquisitions often prompt users to jump ship, out of concerns for the security of their data and the potential that the service will be shut down.

Twitter revealed it had no initial plans to close or change the service post acquisition, and that may have helped Posterous maintain a good level of users. However, the blog platform’s longterm future is not entirely clear as numerous engineers joined Twitter.

We’ve reached out to Posterous for further details.

Image via Flickr / MikeCogh