Posted August 11, 2008 5:36 pm by with 20 comments

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If you’re not a Gmail user, you’re probably not aware of this system-wide message:

If Google keeps up with the outages, it will need to come up with its own one of these:

What would be a good “fail whale” alternative for Google?

UPDATE: So, Gmail is back to normal. What happened? Gmail officials explain

Many of you had trouble accessing Gmail for a couple of hours this afternoon, and we’re really sorry. The issue was caused by a temporary outage in our contacts system that was preventing Gmail from loading properly. Everything should be back to normal by the time you read this.

We heard loud and clear today how much people care about their Gmail accounts. We followed all the emails to our support team and user group, we fielded phone calls from Google Apps customers and friends, and we saw the many Twitter posts. (We also heard from plenty of Googlers, who use Gmail for company email.) We never take for granted the commitment we’ve made to running an email service that you can count on.

We’ve identified the source of this issue and fixed it. In addition, as with all issues that affect Gmail and our other services, we’re conducting a full review of what went wrong and moving quickly to update our internal systems and procedures accordingly. We don’t usually post about problems like this on our blog, but we wanted to make an exception in this case since so many people were impacted. In general, though, if you spot a problem with your Gmail account, please visit the Gmail Help Center and user group, where the Gmail Guides are your fastest source of updates.

Again, we’re sorry.

  • Nick Stamoulis

    Ah, so we’re NOT the only ones! Yes, they need to come up with a version of the fail whale…. this is ridiculous!

    Nick Stamoulis’s last blog post..Do You Correct Mistakes In Your Writing?

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  • Utah SEO Pro

    Definitely an inconvenience for me today.

    Utah SEO Pro’s last blog post..Mobile SEO – SMX Local Mobile 2008 Presentation

  • AV Flox

    It’s driving me UP THE WALL! Major fail whale for sure.

    AV Flox’s last blog post..!

  • Tiffany

    I just checked. It’s already available.

  • AV Flox

    We should make one anyway so we’re prepared next time.

    AV Flox’s last blog post..In Case You Missed It The First 342,184 Times: SEX SELLS

  • Joe Hall

    I check my gmail through outlook using the POP3 servers, and I never have had down time, even today. I think its kinda funny that so many use the web interface. I like using a local mail client because it allows me to back everything up and work while away from a WiFi signal.

    Joe Hall’s last blog post..Hitwise data misses the mark when it comes to Real Estate.

  • Symbian

    I haven’t noticed this outage.

    Symbian’s last blog post..Nokia Chat – new location based messenger

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  • Dr Marketing

    I thought it was just me having this problem but it was fixed within 20 or so minutes in my case.

    Dr Marketing’s last blog post..The truth about Nigerian spam emails

  • Fifty Studio

    should we believe the explanation?

    Fifty Studio’s last blog post..Win Batman Dark Knight tickets

  • Millionaire

    with any email/hosting service there is always a tiny fraction of a chance that it goes down… thats why this is life.. and not just a perfect story… 😉

    Millionaire’s last blog (Meet Rich People Online)

  • San Nayak

    It was definitely a pain for me but better than few other mail servers where i don’t receive emails for 4 hours or more, which also a partner of company like HOSTWAY.

    San Nayak’s last blog post..Visiting San Francisco, California

  • Nicole Price

    Wow! Quite a nice response from Google. All the more pleasing for being so unexpected and out of character!

    Nicole Price’s last blog post..How To Save Effectively

  • Ashley

    I am a lucky, I don’t use this mail server

  • jeflin

    Yikes, if they behave like twitter, they will lose their dominant position in no time at all.

    I can accept such downtime but if it becomes a habit, then I am prepared to discard gmail.

    jeflin’s last blog post..Overhead Supply Can Trap Your Money

  • Otilia Otlacan

    Seems like the outage was restricted to US only (?), cause over here (IE) nothing was down…

    Otilia Otlacan’s last blog post..comScore Enhances Reporting of Ad Networks’ Audiences – YuMe Concerns Addressed

  • PS3

    This was driving me up the wall on Monday, very glad it was sorted.

  • Webmaster’s Forum

    I guess this will become more common in future….

  • Games

    I hope it won’t be that common in future. I do not want to be out of my gmail when I need it the most.