UPDATED - Hardly a word has been uttered about AOL's ongoing e-mail outage, which started last night and continues even now.
It's not clear how many accounts are down. I myself discovered it when multiple test e-mails to my mother-in-law were fatally rejected. I can't even log into my own AOL account (though, in fairness, since I haven't checked it in many months, there's a chance it just no longer exists). On Twitter, there's a bit of muttering, but hardly the roar we witnessed when Facebook was down for like 30 seconds. This may mean the trouble's not too widespread, but it also may mean that the Venn diagram overlap of Twitter users and AOL users is extra slim.
According to the tweets that do exist, the outage began about 12 hours ago, around 7am Eastern Time. AOL itself posted an announcement at 12:48pm ET saying that it was "scheduled maintenance" that was taking "a little longer than expected." It'd be easy to ignore the oxymoronic nature of that statement if it weren't for the fact that e-mail is being rejected outright. It's not just people not having access, it's people not getting e-mails: a true data disconnect. That and the fact that the problem seems to persist more than "a little longer" than any service update should.
I said hardly a word has been uttered, but there's one notable exception: Our friend Rob Pegoraro at the Washington Post not only noticed the outage, but went so far as to contact AOL. The reply he got from the AOL spokesperson was that "less than 4 percent" of users were experiencing the outage. We've just sent her a note as well, asking for an update.
In the meantime, have you logged into AOL lately? And have you got mail?
UPDATE 10:13 p.m. ET Monday: Though we don't have any additional information on the scope of the outage or the possible timing of its return, we did hear from Fletcher Jones, Sr. Director of AOL Mail, down in the comments. (Thanks, Fletcher!) He recommends that anyone seeking additional information should visit this forum. I suggest you sort the answers "Newest to Oldest" in order to get the latest info.
UPDATE 12:48 p.m. ET Tuesday: I just heard back from AOL's spokesperson, who said: "As of now, less than 1 percent of users are impacted and we are working with those users today to help remedy the situation." My mother-in-law's e-mail seems to be working, too. Are you still having any troubles?
First published January 24 2011, 6:08 PM