There was a meltdown at bookmark sharing website Ma.gnolia Friday morning. The service lost both its primary store of user data, as well as its backup. The site has been taken offline while the team tries to reconstruct its databases, though some users may never see their stored bookmarks again.
The failure appears to be catastrophic. The company can’t say to what extent it will be able to restore any of its users’ data. It also says the data failure was so extensive, repairing the loss will take “days, not hours.”
“Cloud computing becomes fog when it goes down,” says Todd Spragins in a Twitter post.
Another common thread: People are talking about bailing on Ma.gnolia in favor of competitor Delicious.
Ma.gnolia posted a short note on its website shortly after 9 a.m. Pacific time, saying it was down temporarily due to a database failure. Later Friday morning, company founder Larry Halff issued an apology on the homepage along with the following note:
Ma.gnolia experienced every web service’s worst nightmare: data corruption and loss. For Ma.gnolia, this means that the service is offline and members’ bookmarks are unavailable, both through the website itself and the API. As I evaluate recovery options, I can’t provide a certain timeline or prognosis as to to when or to what degree
Ma.gnolia or your bookmarks will return; only that this process will take days, not hours.
Wired.com also contacted Halff shortly after the outage was first reported, but he declined to give a comment beyond what he posted on the homepage. You can get status updates from Ma.gnolia’s Twitter account.
Ma.gnolia is a free, public service for saving links to websites. Most users rely on it as a bookmarking storage service, or a place to save links that they may want to revisit later. Links can be saved privately or shared publicly, so that they can be browsed by other users looking for new destinations. Many people prefer to use bookmark sharing services like Ma.gnolia rather than saving bookmarks locally — the main advantage being that while your browser’s bookmarks are stored on your machine, you can access bookmarks you share on the web from any computer with an internet connection.
Ma.gnolia’s main competitor is Delicious.com, which is owned by Yahoo. Ma.gnolia is preferred by many of the web’s tech elite for two reasons: The site has a robust and easy-to-use API for accessing stored data, and it takes a snapshot when you create a bookmark, so even if the linked site disappears, Ma.gnolia enables you to access a cached version.
Last year, Ma.gnolia mirrored its API with that of Delicious, so any web tools written for Delicious could also be used for Ma.gnolia. The API also makes it easy to create a regular local backup, though we suspect most people haven’t bothered to do that.