If its in fact true that "actions speak louder than words", and "problems are merely opportunities in disguise", we should be able to read a lot into the personality and philosophy or various social communities by looking at how they behave when confronted with adversity (read scheduled maintenance).

Therefore below, find a number of 'scheduled maintenance' pages shown by numerous social media sites. Which show the most personality? And which should be retired as boring an uncreative? Here's the list:

1. Digg's 'We'll Be Back Shortly' Screen:
Sure a company is only as strong as the sum of its people, and this is nice ackowledgement of the "Digg people", but wow ... BORING! Common Kevin, get creative, have some fun!
Diggs Down for Maintenance Screen

2. StumbleUpon's 'We'll Be Right Back' Screen:
Nice use of colours (ie. notice the use of pastel colors to sooth and pacify), but YAWWWWWWWWNNNNN! BORING!
Stumbleupons Scheduled Maintenance Screen

3. YouTube's 'Scheduled Downtime' Screen:
Much better, nice use of color, relatively funny image and text. Not bad! Good job guys and gals!
YouTubes Scheduled Downtime Screen

4. Delicious' 'Temporarily Down For Maintenance' Screen:
Nothing says corporate and stuffy like this screen ... yawn! In fact, its not only boring, and lifeless, but the lack of creative images sees me imagining some myself ... all of boring, stuff business people with ties choking the last bit of breath out of them, in ultra conservative 3 piece pin stripe suits. Common Delicious ... you're so much better than that. Live a little!
Delicious Down for Maintenance Screen

5. Twitter 'Down for Maintenance' Screen:
UREKA we've found it ... personality! Move over YouTube, you've got competition.
Twitter Down for Maintenance Screen

6. Flickr 'Scheduled Maintenance' Screen:
Very original ... take a negative and turn it into a positive. A competition with a chance to win something! Boooooooring image though and the text is far too plain and 'unplayful'. Great concept, poor execution!
Flickr Down for Maintenance Screen

7. Slashdot's 'Database Maintenance' Screen:
Boring, boring, boring! Common people ... what does this screen say about the company and its people? Live a little!
Slashdot Database Maintenance Screen

8. Reddit's 'Scheduled Maintenance' Screen:
OK, I see a hint of personality in this screen, but sell it baby! I see the bacon, but no sizzle. Someone turn up the grill!
Reddits Scheduled Maintenance Screen

9. Linkedin 'Site Maintenance' Screen:
Lets see ... colorful, playful image, boring black text, and business speak. Yawwwwwn! Common people, business people have personalities too!
Linkedin Site Maintenance Screen

10. Technorati's 'Scheduled Maintenance' Pages:
a. "The Monster Escaped Screen":
Great concept ... terrible execution! Give me an image people. Make me smile!
Technoratis Monster Escaped Page

b. Scheduled Maintenance Screen:
Yawwwwwwwnnnnnnn. Boring! Somebody start CPR ... we're losin 'em Scotty! Not sure this is the type of injury that anyone can recover from.
Technoratis Scheduled Maintenance Page

11. Mixx's 'Scheduled Maintenance' Pages:

"Shhhhh We're Napping" 1:
Yes, yes, yes! This is fun, cute, and shows personality. If it were a person, it would exude confidence and would be fun loving. Great job Mixx!
Mixxs Scheduled Downtime Page

"Shhhhh We're Napping" 2:
Even better than screen #1 since it links to some fun posts with the same playfulness. This company gets it ... this screen is an opportunity not a problem. I also like the fact they have more than one screen, because dedicated users are likely to see a downtime screen more than once!
Mixxs Down for Maintenance Page

12. Orkut's 'Site Maintenance' Screen:
Yikes ... boring! Common Google ... you can do better than this. Nothing about this screen is fun or entertaining.
Orkuts Site Maintenance Screen

We sooooo much like doing this, that if you're able to do a similar screen capture for us (scheduled maintenance screen) of pages we do not have in our library, for any of the sites above, or those below:
1. facebook
2. myspace
3. propeller
4. yahoo buzz
we'll name if after you (its dicoverer), and post it to this page ... if we can verify its an actual 'scheduled maintenance page' used by the company.

Or, if you feel like getting creative, create a screen you'd like to see used for your favorite social media site(s), and we'll compile a list of those. Remember ... have fun and show personality!

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8 Responses to “Social Communities Going Down … Who's Got Personality?”

  1. Nick James says:

    Twitter definitely tops it for me, Jeff. Though I think the cat is only recent, as I've only ever seen a fairly dull screen… so dull I can't even remember what it was or what it said. I just know it had the twitter bird on.
    I think StumbleUpon hints at a touch of personality in the mischievous way it tells us all to go play outside :)

    Great reviews.

    Along a similar line, maybe you should do some for the best '404 Not Found' screens you've come across, or even a competition to design one :)

  2. spostareduro says:

    LoL..I've thought the same thing repeatedly! They can be so eventless with these screen shots. I mean, for heaven sakes, don't they know they have an anxious crowd with their fingers on the submit / voting button ready for action??

    I came. I saw. and all I got was this lousy t shirt! haha

  3. James Duthie says:

    I think Flickr's concept is absolutely brilliant. I laughed my ass off when I read it. Problem is… if I came across this screen naturally, I'm 99% sure I wouldn't read it, which is a shame as the content really is clever. Poor execution as Jeff points out…

    I wonder if the competition is genuine…? I'm off to get my crayons.

  4. I think Twitter wins the most fun maintenance screen award.

    Flickr does a great job, though, engaging users even though their site is down, so I have to say that theirs is the best one.

  5. Sueblimely says:

    My favorite is the one I see the least regularly :-)

    The Delicious page is as uninspiring in design as the site itself.

  6. Utah SEO says:

    that must have took awhile to get all those screen shots. good compilation..more sites need to follow that method.

  7. […] Youtube has a really neat graphic that brings in their logo with funny text. This is something that is really creative which also explains the situation along with being funny. (Image Source) […]

  8. […] Delicious with a simple and clear message (via). […]

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