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.

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