Did Gmail decide it was time to take a lunch break? The service has been having problems for the last 20 minutes or so, and a gander at Twitter indicates the impact is international. As we hit pub on this post, Gmail was currently back up and running, albeit at a glacial pace. But Gchat is still out of commission, and there are reports that the outage might be causing issues in Chrome, as well.
On a mild, sun-dappled Sunday, Betabeat applied our sunscreen and ventured to the Long Meadow in Prospect Park for an event aptly named “The Internet Picnic.” A few weeks ago, a friend of ours named Nicole He had won the Listserve lottery and was tasked with sending an email out to 20,000 random Internet strangers. Ms. He works in community at the crowdsourcing platform Kickstarter. “What should I write??” she frantically gChatted us, before eventually deciding to invite all 21,288 subscribers to a picnic yesterday in Brooklyn.
“I have a mole under my eye and I’ll be wearing red,” she wrote, and then posted the same invitation to her Tumblr, where it received almost 300 notes.
The term “Gchat” is used by everyone from you and your friends, to the bloggers at the New York Times, and, perhaps a little too often, in the pages the New York Observer. A recent cover story in New York magazine, “The Kids Are (Sort Of) All Right,” conceived to be an authoritative portrait of the millenial generation, opens with the author Gchatting her sister and excerpts no fewer than 40 lines of said Gchat. A quick search on Twitter shows how easily Gchat slips into casual conversation. “I will Gchat you,” “Thanks, gchat history!,” “oh, i have to tell you something! you on gchat?” etc., etc. “Peep us at the Grammys, we’d like to thank Gchat,” raps Das Racist.
But the popular instant message client ensconced in your Gmail is not Gchat, as this reporter has learned. In fact, Google seems to actively resist the use of “Gchat,” despite its massive popularity and cultural significance (see “On Gchat,” “Gchat Status: An Appreciation,” and “Pitchfork Writer Ian Cohen Seems to Have Blocked Me on Gchat“). Instead, Google subtly corrects users who say it and studiously avoids it in any official communiqués.