If you’re an OpenSRS reseller, I have no doubt that you’re concerned about availability and uptime. Downtime affects us all and it really, really sucks.

As if dealing with a service impacting incident while it’s happening isn’t difficult enough, social tools like Twitter make it impossible to squelch harmful speculation that can result from a lack of communication with customers.

The point is, if there’s bad news to communicate, it’s best that your users hear it straight from you.

Although the black cloud of downtime affects us all, you’ll see in Lenny Rachitsky’s webcast titled “The Upside of Downtime“, with proper planning it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. In fact, executed within the right communications framework, a service impacting incident might even be considered an opportunity to build trust with users.

Lenny heads up R&D for the Webmetrics division of Neustar. He also blogs about transparency on his blog at Transparent Uptime and can be followed on Twitter at @lennysan.

In his O’Reilly webcast, Lenny shares his framework for dealing with incidents through effective Preparation, Communication and Explanation. The webcast is just under an hour and talks about specific strategies, including how to gain buy-in from departments that might be hesitant about implementing such a framework.

If you’re responsible for uptime, or communicating uptime, I’d highly recommend you make time to hear what Lenny has to say.

At OpenSRS, we’ve long since learned the benefits of being transparent with our resellers and although we’re far from perfect, we’ve made great strides in providing comprehensive, realtime communications that adheres to much of the framework that Lenny describes.

Has your company implemented a transparent communications framework? What tools are you using? How’s it going? Any challenges and obstacles along the way?

I’d love to hear your story, because we all have downtime affecting each of us. It doesn’t matter how large we grow, how much money we spend on infrastructure or how bright our people are.

What’s your uptime story and how are you communicating it?

**Thanks to Kevin Dooley for releasing his cloud photo, “Am I an Angry Cloud, or a Happy Cloud?” under a Creative Commons license. We personally think it’s an angry cloud working towards become a happy cloud real soon!