General Technology

Knock-on Effects

My innocuous little post yesterday about the Skype Outage had some quite unexpected effects – within a few hours I’d had thousands of hits and nearly 100 comments from frustrated users around the world. It quickly became the most popular post on Randomwire since I started the blog over five years ago.

WordPress Hits Go Through The Roof

My WordPress hit stats went through the roof and the post was the no. 1 hit on for “Skype Outage” and “Skype Down” as well as being on the first page of results for I’m rather pleased that my post even comes above an article by The Times (one of the UK’s largest newspapers)!

Top Hit in Google for 'Skype Outage'

It quickly became clear that the downtime was a pretty big deal with both individuals and businesses suffering as a direct result. 24 hours later and although some regions are slowly coming back online the network doesn’t seem to be in a usable state yet. My favourite comment so far…

“Finally! I see 3 million folks online. Relief, at last! with a realization that we’re so ardent slaves of technology!”

Worryingly it’s so true, perhaps this is the first time that the dependencies we have on IP-based communication technologies today have been demonstrated on such a large scale. It will be interesting to see how this affects Skype’s competitors and any other knock-on effects that may come out of this.


Originally from the UK, David is designer and wanderer currently based in Kamakura. Prior to this, he lived in China and longs to explore more of this vast and varied land. He started Randomwire in 2003 to chronicle his travels and occasional musings. Feel free to drop him a line.

7 Comments Add New Comment

  1. Bob says:

    Some progress has been made as my Skype signs on this morning, but then, unfortunately, signs off again. This has happened repeatedly, so it is clear Skype is far from stable as of this point in time.

    While I appreciate the updates posted on, it remains unclear as to the nature of the problem, or how likely the problems are to reoccur in the future. Hope more information is published by Skype to help us understand exactly what happened.

  2. David says:

    Some sort of post-mortem is going to be needed when the dust settles to try and ensure this doesn't happen again. I still fine it baffling that this has occurred seemingly without any prior warning and why it's taking so long to fix.

  3. Garry Campbell says:

    Hey, is it just me, or is anyone else getting the feeling that Skype don't actually know how to fix this? Which is why they never saw it coming!

    Were heading for 48 hour outage now. Sorry, but this 'stabilizing' comment doesn't seem to stack up!

  4. Martin Kaufmann says:

    Hi all,

    this is a black day for IP comms. Just imagine the huge economic cost if this were our sole communications backbone. For professional work I will have to rethink where I want to use Skype or promote Skype usage. My Skype is still not working after near to 24 hrs.

    I hope that Skype will learn some lessons from this. I didn't get any warning from Skype, read it in an IT business news service to which I am subscribed. That looks petty unprepared and unprofessional.


  5. MSMB says:

    The one thing I have not liked about Skype in the past has been the inability to contact anyhone when there is a problem. This time the continuous announcements have been very encouraging and helpful. This is the kind of thing that makes you a patient customer.

  6. Dave Brown says:

    What I'd like to see from Skype would be a server version of their software that I could put in my DMZ and point all my users to as a sort of primary node so even if the Skype P2P network as a whole went down, my users would at least be able to communicate with each other.

    It would also be a great way to get more available P2P CPU cycles out on accessible networks.

  7. David says:

    Not sure if anybody else experienced it but yesterday my computer blue screened (crashed about 15 times). Cure to the problem was to stop Skype trying to sign in.

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