FAQ

 

Message formatting
Message content is limited to plain text. All html is removed to discourage spammers. Message length is limited to 500 characters. Two or more consecutive line breaks are interpreted as a paragraph break.

Enabling messages
Messages are only enabled after the first message posting by an official site representative using their login name and password. Visitors may then leave additional messages for a period of 24 hours. Upon expiry of the open activity period, all content is purged. The open activity period is extended at the time of each additional message from an official site representative.

Guidance for official representatives
Depending on the nature of your site or service, outages can be a period of high stress for all sides. It is best that the first message describe the problem clearly, identify the course of action to be taken, a expected time frame for resolution, required action from the community, available workarounds, and expected post resolution impact. Including this information ussualy results in a calmer climate while you work towards a resolution. Most users will understand that problems occur from time to time. It is most helpful to them if they know what to expect and when to expect it. Drop by regularly and update the progress being made as clearly as possible. Avoid messages that have the purpose of appearing to be responsive but do not contain useful information. These messages annoy users because they want information above all else. The one exception is posting an additional message to keep the 24 hour expiry window open.

Guidance for visitors and clients
Understand that the site might be at the mercy of outside influences. The representatives are probably under a great deal of stress, just as you are. They may not have all the information that you might like to have. Probing for information or reminding site representatives of information that they might have missed is perfectly fine. However, rants, threats or abuse is probably not helpful. This is especially true on a public channel visible to the world. Other users are in the same boat and would probably prefer useful information as opposed to emotional outbursts. A little bit of courtesy goes a long way. Always remember that every ip address is logged and displayed.

Privacy
Always remember that while content is erased after 24 hours of inactivity, it is possible for anyone to have taken a screenshot during the time the content was available. Think twice about what you choose to post in your messages. There is no erase or edit function. Once you post your message, it will be available for viewing by the entire world.

What is this site and why am I here?
This site exists to publish information about sites that are having difficulties. It is hosted at a third party site so that it is reachable during site outages that affect the site infrastructure to a point where it is necessary to use a third party to share information.

What are authenticated messages?
These are messages that have been posted by authorised representatives of the site using their login name and password. They may be treated as official communications on behalf of the site owner.

What are anonymous messages?
These are messages that have been posted by unknown users. The ip address of the message source is displayed. They should never be treated as official communications on behalf of the site owner.

Where are past messages archived?
There is no message archive. All content is destroyed 24 hours after the last message from a site representative. It is presumed that once this time has passed that normal communications have been restored. The expiry time is extended every time a authorised representative posts a new message.

The site is pretty stark, why is that?
The site is designed for the single purpose of enabling emergency communications. During such times the load may be high. In addition, users may want to access the site from mobile devices. This requires a simple design. During emergencies, people do not have time to learn new methods of doing things. Again, this requires a simple design. It is designed to do one thing very well to the exclusion of all other considerations. You could think of it as a community whiteboard for emergencies.

How do you protect against abuse and other bad things?
The message processing engine deliberately limits the messages to plain test. Formatting is limited to carriage return pairs representing paragraph breaks. That is the complete extent of formatting available. No formatting codes or html is allowed. The backend is also protected from the usual methods of corruption.

How does this work?
This site is primarily designed for sites using edgedirector.com failover dns services. The dns records can be automatically set to failover to this site in the event that the production site fails. Other sites using this service will need to manually change their dns records at the time of failure so that their users will be directed to this site.

screenshots:

How do i get an account for my domain?
The price is $60USD paid annually. This includes service hosting and dns for a single domain for the year. Self service purchase here. Send an email using the contact information here.


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