Twitter: Time for Maturity

Twitter no mo’ Kidder
‘Less you become Litter

The time for fun and games is over, Twitter needs to step and be the robust communication platform it’s fans are expecting it to be or users may end up leaving. The cracks are starting to show.

Shel Israel puts forth a passionate open letter to the founders of Twitter, RE: Fix it before we nix it, exposing the weakness of fast built ruby on rails experiment that is not scaling. Sadly, I’m not surprised to see the ‘bring that beat back’ or lol cat, as Twitter is the website that had more than 5 days of downtime in 2007. I know of some pretty creative developers that wanted to build applications on top of Twitter but were restricted due to limitations in APIs. There are currently over 600 messages in Get Satisfactions support forum for Twitter, there’s a lot of requests, and a lot of passionate users. Lastly, Allen Stern wants to see a business model, members of the site should know what it is, as it directly impacts them.

It’s time for Twitter to grow up, both for it’s infrastructure, communications with customers, find out what features are needed, and start to grow. Put that $5.4 million funding you received last month to good use.

  • http://www.maestrosdelweb.com cvander

    All we know about twitter is their goal to expand the service and get to more users, but we don’t see any real commitment, any real scalability.

    In the other hand, people is complaining but I haven’t heard for any big player changing to another service.. I know it’s tough but who wants to pressure with an example?

    Or are we going to stand by until dataportability allow us to go somewhere else with all our contacts and messages? At least pownce did a major hit with the tool to import facebook and flickr users to the service, but we still need to get our data out of twitter…

  • http://queensspeech.com Matt

    I’d like to see some real stats on individuals or businesses making money directly off Twitter.

  • http://ww.gobigalways.com Sam Lawrence

    It’s all about the vision, the plan and execution–no matter how much money you do/don’t have, no matter how many people or their pressures on you. We’ve learned that lesson time and again. I have a lot of heart for Twitter, too but I also don’t see a business, I see a cool tool. Twitter-like messaging is a fantastic value that *someone* will figure out.

    My summary of Twitterville and Shel’s post here: http://tinyurl.com/27u74y

  • http://mrontemp.blogspot.com/2008/01/my-latest-plan-for-twitter-monetization.html Ontario Emperor

    Biz Stone’s comment to Shel Israel’s post was worrisome.

    In part, he said:

    “With regard to revealing our monetization plans I can tell you honestly that we are far more focused on growth and reliability in 2008….[We are] adding great ideas to a list of revenue solutions which we will visit in earnest when we are ready.”

    Since the monetization plans can affect the growth plans, it’s probably wisest if the two are approached in tandem (or, as Allen Stern suggests, perhaps the monetization plan should have been determined at the beginning).

  • http://www.kinlane.com Kin Lane

    I think the future of micro blogging lies beyond twitter.

    I don’t think they can pull it together to be the true standard for micro blogging by themselves.

    The future will be with decentralized micro blogging in the cloud with Instant Messaging (XMPP).

  • http://www.loupaglia.com/correlate Lou Paglia

    Starting on the revenue front, I don’t see the need in pressuring or demanding disclosure of the revenue model. It has become standard practice to build the business/site platform and monetize later, Google being the poster-child for such practice.

    Secondly, the thing I find most fascinating is how quickly the demand for high service and up-time has hit Twitter. Guess that is the price for early success and early adoption. At the same time, it makes me think back to when the consumer demand heightened to this level regarding demand of “high quality” service from something that is “free”. Yes, people may leave their service is reliability issues continue but we should remember, the service is “free”. Do we hold open source code to the same standards?

    Ultimately, Twitter was not designed to be 911 service and honestly, I’m not sure they had in mind to be THE micro-blogging platform. That is a large jump from post ‘what are you doing?’

  • http://www.twitter.com/annierodkins Annie Rodkins

    Hi Jeremiah,

    I see that when you cover microblogging you generally focus on Twitter. As a corporate web strategists, do we need to keep other microblogging & micromedia plays on our radar? Or is Twitter so clearly the leader of the pack that we don’t need to worry about others?

    Thanks!

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  • http://www.currencymarketing.ca/blog Caleb Chang

    Great post Jeremiah. I think there is little doubt that the masses are on Twitter. I think many of these users are growing tired of migrating, electing, instead to sit back and seeing how the microblogging world unfolds. Not unlike how consumers are waiting to see which format of DVD will win – HD DVD or Blu-ray.

    Before I joined Twitter, I had a Pownce account through an invitation from a colleague. As we asked one of our industry friends to join, he replied “the party’s at Twitter dude.” My Pownce account lies dormant to this day. But everyday, I see more tweets of dissatisfaction brewing in the Twitter community and I experience the breakdowns, service notices etc. and I yearn for a better platform, for more functionality.

    I guess it all comes down to the principles that Collins and Porras spoke of in “Built to Last”. Twitter, simply was not and this has made the process of maturing excruciatingly painful.

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  • http://ww.gobigalways.com/ Sam Lawrence

    It's all about the vision, the plan and execution–no matter how much money you do/don't have, no matter how many people or their pressures on you. We've learned that lesson time and again. I have a lot of heart for Twitter, too but I also don't see a business, I see a cool tool. Twitter-like messaging is a fantastic value that *someone* will figure out.

    My summary of Twitterville and Shel's post here: http://tinyurl.com/27u74y