Twitter sure doesn't make it easy for people to give it the love they want to give. The downtime and the stressing out and the frequent appearances of the Fail Whale would have done in a lesser company by now, but we stick by it because Twitter is so damn useful. But judging by the reaction to this morning's problems that have seen people's following and follower lists decimated or, in some cases, completely deleted, users are rapidly losing patience. Unless these kind of things are sorted, and quickly, then a Twitter-mass migration might be a way away.
That it hasn't probably says as much about Twitter's competitors as it does the site itself. I've hardly touched by Plurk account because, while it's a bit of fun, its just not as instantly useful as Twitter. I can't really comment on Friend Feed as I've not joined, although its been on my to do list for a while. Early adopters do seem to like it though.
If something similar had happened with Facebook, say, it would have been major news and covered by all the mainstream media and done some serious harm to the brand, especially when you've got a twitchy set of users showing signs of being ready to perhaps migrate elsewhere.
Twitter's saving grace may well be it still relatively low profile outside the early adopter and blogging crowd. And the fact it's so damn useful. But too many more snafus won't do anything to encourage new users, which is what Twitter needs if it's to grow as a company. Moreover, it can only be a matter of time before somebody builds a better, more stable Twitter-clone than Twitter.
I still love Twitter. It's clean, simple and easy to use. It's been so damn useful for breaking news, making contacts, sharing information and publicity purposes that I now can't live without it. But many more of these kind of problems and I suspect I won't be the only one looking elsewhere, assuming there is an alternative.,