Tailrank Goes Blank, But Nobody Notices

Tailrank, a news aggregator that competes with TechMeme, has been having trouble keeping up to date with the news lately. For the last few weeks at least the technology section of the site has had no news whatsoever, a complete blank. Sometime yesterday the rest of the site went blank, too. The header and footer were there but there was no news showing at all in any category.

I emailed founder Kevin Burton late yesterday to see what the problem was. He responded “Just in the middle of a big uprade to Spinn3r which is causing more work for Tailrank. Basically a large infrastructure upgrade.” Shortly thereafter the site went live again, but all of the stories are days old. The most recent story in the Technology section is 3 days old, for example.

The fact that the technology section was down for weeks and no one seemed to notice or write about it suggests that the site isn’t being read regularly by very many people. But Burton may have a bigger problem on his hands – Tailrank is basically a showcase for the technology behind his other startup, Spinn3r, which provides blog indexing and ranking services to other sites.

If Tailrank can’t stay up to date with the news, how can partners rely on the underlying technology?

This may get itself sorted out – Burton says above and on his blog that a major upgrade is in process. But the messaging is coming only after we emailed him to see what the problem is. And however large the upgrade, it shouldn’t degrade the service for weeks at a time. This isn’t in the Deadpool yet, but it’s close.