Every time the Apple Store has some downtime, magic seems to happen, especially if it happens to be a Tuesday. Not surprisingly, we get a flood of emails from excited readers a few minutes after the yellow sticky note goes up, letting us know that we better be on our toes when the store comes back up. Follow that with some obsessive site-checking and collectively, that's a lot of manual labor. It's about time we started automating the process.
Pingdom, purveyors of website monitoring services, have produced a badge that puts the status of the Apple Store on your web page, blog, and maybe your dashboard with a web clipping. Pingdom does the work of pinging the Apple Store once per minute to determine its current state, and provides you with an image indicating up or down which is embedded in an iFrame. Simple, but effective.
So, save the wear and tear on your mouse and grab the badge rather than hitting refresh all morning this Tuesday. Pingdom also has a downtime history going, and an analysis of Apple's "marketing by downtime." After all, it is quite a well-planned marketing scheme, if not a growing national pastime for Apple fans.