Today’s news is that there is no news. Overnight, Amazon’s EC2 service began to fail, pulling the cord on thousands of Web sites hosted on the Amazon cloud. Now, today, there are no tweets, as CoTweet and HootSuite were brought down with the cloud, and no check-ins, as Foursquare crashed, too. Hundreds of other startups are affected, as well as thousands of blogs, apps, and other Web sites hosted by Amazon. The Internet has stalled to a standstill — albeit an extremely frustrating one with much to lose for everyone involved.
That said, there’s not a lot anyone, except for Amazon, can do until it gets better. (As it appears, it actually just seems to keep getting worse.) To get through this Great Internet Fail of 2011, here are a few other things you can do besides use the Internet:
1. Go for a walk. Many of the startups affected by the Great Amazon Failure of 2011 are in Seattle, and it’s actually mild and sunny today. Everyone should take 10 minutes (because this situation won’t be resolved in 10 minutes) and go for a walk.
2. Go get lunch/coffee/snack/dinner/a beer depending on your timezone (or not, considering, well, ya’ll are startups, and I know how you work). Having half of the 2.0 Internet drop off in the middle of the week is irritating, annoying, frustrating, and will probably be detrimental (though, equally — if that’s assuring at all) to your budgets. But clicking refresh and huffing and puffing around your office (or apartment) is only going to piss your neighbors off, however they are defined.
3. On that note, if you work at home, and most of your work revolves around Amazon’s EC2 cloud while downloading music, this might be a chance to get out and do something you normally don’t do at this time of day or night. Consider meeting a friend for dinner. If that’s too risky, Match.com still works.
4. Start a new hobby. Now really is never a better time. I’m sure your office, being a startup, has a collection of toys you’ve never played with. Challenge another developer to a game of pool, or pick up that Rubik’s cube. If all else fails, find something that will suffice as a frisbee and head out to the nearest park.
5. Call someone. I know, I know. That’s a really crazy idea, but I’m sure your mom, or dad, or little sister would love to hear from you. They might have even forgotten what you sound like after weeks and months of IMing with you and gleaning only a tiny bit of emotion from you with an occasional 🙂 face. You could even visit #2 on the list, have that beer, then call your ex-boyfriend. If you regret it afterwards, just send Amazon the bill for any counseling you need.