Where Does the Tumblr Outage Stand: Ranking the Great Social-Media Crashes of 2010

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BRB! I swearz! Photo: Jed Egan, iStockPhoto

Tumblr and its microblogs have been down for 21 hours and counting, the longest outage in the company's history. David Karp's microblogging platform, which just closed a deal for an additional $25 million to $35 million in funding, is calling the rumor that the site has lost everything "ridiculous." (They're blaming the crash on an issue with one of their database clusters.) While you're waiting to see what sandwiches people scanned in for lunch or hear the latest coded musings on whichever starlet John Mayer's sleeping with this week, we've attempted a totally scientific ranking of where Tumblr's recent outage might fall in the Great Social Media Crashes of 2010.

1. Facebook
We promised never to speak of it again — those dark days in September when not only did our primary stalking portal disappear, but also with it those omnipresent "Like" buttons that help bloggers determine their sense of self-worth. For entire hours, people were forced to look at actual human faces. *Shudder.*

2. Tumblr
With more than 1.2 billion page views from its 6 million unique visitors in October, Tumblr might not affect as large a swath of the Internet-ing public, but the crash couldn't have come at a worse time. With fears of a tech bubble reinflating, Tumblr needed to prove to its new investors that their recently inflated, $135 million valuation isn't one of the bad seeds. But what really earns it such a high rank is that the emo rock stars and hipsters that frequent Tumblr (not to mention those who mock them) just feel the loss more deeply, you know? Old Media would totes make a sad-face emoticon, if it knew how to do that. In the meantime, Reuters's Anthony DeRosa would like to suggest this as a Tumblr Fail Whale. Again, we shudder.

3. Twitter
Yes, Twitter is down more often than other popular networks, and for varying periods of time. But at this point, don't you sort of expect it? Oh hey there, Fail Whale! Hadn't seen you in a while.

4. Gmail
By our estimation, Gchat and Gmail's other bevvy of add-ons qualify Gmail as a social network of sorts. You're on it when you should be working, right? Recently, users have been complaining more about Gmail's slowness than its crashing altogether. But Google has a tendency to coincide its announcements with Facebook's (see today's eBooks news, the same day as Facebook's redesign). That backfired in mid-November when Google decided to give Gmail a face-lift the same day that Facebook launched Messages, causing folks to wonder if the whole "Gmail-killer" nickname was true.

5. Friendster
[Sorry, the social network you are searching for is now the province of teenagers in the Philippines.]

6. MySpace
We have no idea if the world ever lost access to Tila Tequila for a while because who cares?