Amazon Crash Hits Reddit, Others: Social Media Armageddon

The spinning of the earth has nearly come to a standstill thanks to major server problems with's Web Services, a cloud-computing platform used by dozens of very popular social networking sites.

"The cloud," for you luddites, means stuff that's saved in the Internet's magical ether rather than on your desktop or hard drive. Web sites like Google Docs, Gmail, Evernote and plenty others also operate on a cloud system, and this is one of the drawbacks of using them.

Hair Balls first noticed the problem on Reddit, a link-sharing Web site that is operating in "emergency read-only mode" right now. Since the purpose of Reddit is to post links for users to vote either up or down, using the site in read-only mode is kind of pointless.

Mashable is reporting that social media services like Hootsuite (A Twitter and Facebook client), Foursquare, Quora and Formspring are also experiencing issues related to the Amazon problem. No word yet on what's causing the outage, though ZDNet says it's related to Amazon's servers in north Virginia and has been going on for at least six hours.

The good news? It's a gorgeous day outside in Houston, so if you must slack off at work, at least go take a walk or something. You might have to put off getting that Foursquare mayor badge another day.

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Shey is an experienced blogger, social media expert and traveler. She studied journalism at Oklahoma State University before working as a full-time reporter for Houston Community Newspapers in 2005. She lived in South Korea for three years, where she worked as a freelancer.
Contact: Brittanie Shey