If you recently read my article on the Micro Blogging Social Networks, or SocNets, and you should have by now. You may know that twitter has a mascot, but not the good kind of mascot this mascot only comes out of the dungeon to inflict pain on people. Known by his filename as whale.png, the Fail Whale is the smirking an apparently euphoric error screen which graces twitter when the servers are up, the wheels are spinning, but the hamsters are dead. The used to have a screen with a one handed robot, but apparently that was to blatant, and obvious of an error message. They wanted us to know that tiny birds can lift a whale, and he loves it.

No one ever asks why the Whale is happy? Do they only let him out when the servers die? Are the birds attempting to free willy? What do the birds get out of all of this? No one knows. But the Failwhale has two cousins which we can only hope we never see…

The Beached Whale, click the image as always to embiggen, is what really happens when the birds reach shore. They feast upon the carcass of yet another dead server cluster.   What no one realizes is that the whale thinks he’s about to be rescued but really they are taking him off screen to make cosmetics. This folks is the sad truth of twitter downtime. A Kyoto treaty violating whale slaughter. And you thought this was a kids show…

But fear not the whale has his revenge in the end. The bird may think they are smart taking the whale off to where he obviously has no business being but the whale has a dark secret.

Once defeated the Fail whale turns into the Dire Whale. This undead bastion of pain tortures lost tweets and eats replies for breakfast. You thought the site was down? No whale to greet you as you lovingly check twitter.com for all your Micro Blogging tweet inducing loveliness? No during those dark times when the service itself is unreachable with no error the Dire Whale has risen from his watery tomb and is exacting his revenge upon the poor employyees at twitter.

In all seriousness, there is some Maintenance downtime tonight at 6pm PDT. Lets hope the whales get set free and the birds are put to rest. I like twitter I really do, its where everyone I know is. If its down it doesn’t matter. These two whales are what happens when twitter goes down. I get a bit loopy and start working on graphics. you don’t want me to do any more graphics do you? I finished these little guys last night while the Episode was uploading so I figured rather than a standard Form over Function Friday we could all have a fail whale Thursday instead!