I've noticed that as LinkedIn has jumped on the application bandwagon (I like some of the new applications I've played with, and will definitely be checking out more and more of them over time), I have noticed a definite slowdown on their website. Sometimes it's been just a slight slowdown to overall page load times, but it's also been as bad as error messages that pages couldn't' be loaded. I think LinkedIn is really getting some traction and making their mark in the Social Networking world, and there is noting that will kill that faster than poor performance, or even more, crashing. I definitely saw this in the early days of MySpace with the 30 somethings who tried to really get active on it. This is completely anecdotal, but it seems that the Gen Y and younger on MySpace don't really feel they have anywhere else to go, so they just put up with the poor performance of MySpace page load times and timeouts, where the older 20 somethings and 30 somethings became quickly fed up with it and moved on to Facebook and other sites that were also competing for their Social Networking time. I'd say that Facebook has been the biggest benefactor of that.
On the other side of that coin is Twitter. It appears to be an accepted fact that Twitter goes down, and everyone is very aware of their 'borrowing' server space wherever they can get it, to the point where we are all discussing their downtime mascot with the recent change to the Twitterpillar. Why is it okay for Twitter to be down, but no MySpace or for that matter an ecommerce site, or CNN.com for that matter? Are we rooting for this up and comer with out any monetization plan because they seem to be breaking new ground, and that gives them some underdog status that we instinctively pardon? I like the idea that we give the new guy/underdog a break, it might show that our society is somewhat understanding that the guy that is out there trying something new deserves a break now and then. I wouldn't count on this lasting forever, we are a fickle group, and soon, Twitter will become ingrained and no longer the excitinng new kid, and we'll demand our Twitter 24/7 without fail, much like our dialtone. There are already competitors to Twitter, and much like Friendster, early adoption and success can still be lost by a mistep at the wrong moment.