Tumblr has been drowning in its own popularity lately, reminded users of Twitter’s frequent outages in the early days.
But Twitter has a lovable downtime mascot, the “fail whale’ drawn by artist Yiying Lu, which has had an article in The New York Times Magazine and has its own fan club. Tumblr’s error message, by contrast, is a flip-style marquee with the infuriating message “We’ll be back shortly.”
Matthew Inman of webcomic The Oatmeal pointed this out recently in a Tumblr post that got more than 3,000 comments, reblogs and likes.
“If you’re going to go down, you might as well blame it on an imaginary animal like Twitter did with their infamous Fail Whale. I’ve taken the liberty of creating this animal for you,” he wrote.
Inman came up with the TumblBeasts, bug-eyed, furry, green creatures that eat servers. Tumblr has decided to use the artwork on its 404 page, Inman tweeted yesterday. Tumblr changed the name from TumblBeast to Tumbeast.
The new error message reads, “We may have forgotten to feed the wild Tumbeasts that roam our datacenter, which often results in unexpected downtime due to gnawing and/or mutiny. Animal control has been alerted.” You can see the error page and Tumbeasts here. The new mascot already has a Twitter page.
ajeffries [at] observer.com | @adrjeffries