Twittergate

Sensitive documents from Twitter were leaked to TechCrunch.  The communities reaction was worthy of this blog title.

Some were overly public (TV show script) and harmless while others, such as who has interviewed at the company were overly private (many mortgages could go bust if that was leaked).

Today TechCrunch released a good amount of the documents in an overly tasteful way (really telling the story, putting context and not making anyone look like a complete fool, which could have been done by omitting certain parts of the story).

Interesting.  We get to play a little armchair quarterback with the releasing of these.

I’m left with a puzzled feeling after reading the notes.  Interesting read, and largely, we must note, without context to who / what /why these were lined up the way they were.

The big question for me is when will be Twitters Friendster moment (users bail!) and is this it.

They have created a product that is more addictive than cigarettes for users (try quitting) but beyond that, really have been uninspiring.  The users have been extremely interesting, while the application is buggy, slow and getting loaded with spam. I have just over 8600 ‘followers’ at the time of writing this, but have been followed by over 20,000.  That is over 10,000 people that have followed, and then unfollowed once I didn’t follow back.  10,000 emails to my inbox.  I’m not going into what causes these behaviors (I tweet a lot) but you can’t deny that spam is a widespread and largely unanswered problem on Twitter.

I am convinced of one thing though, that users don’t ‘tweet.’

They post.

The problem that Twitter solved, if you will stretch a bit, is they made non media producers to media producers.  And it is working, although not providing any data on location or context, but people like David’s Mom are avid media producers.

These users that didn’t post are not doing so (outside of the confines of FaceBook or the spam riddled MySpace).

And I can’t help but come to a conclusion that these interesting groups are the biggest story.  They are getting used to post.

And post a lot.

And there will be a point when the spam and bugs and drama of twitter will shove them to smaller networks.

Or start their own.

The feeling that I am left with after reading the documents is that no, passionate user, this company is not for you.

  • I don't know Hyde – using your own experience with twitter as an example to build conclusions upon has issues. You are not a typical user by far.

  • So what do people move to? I think Twitter solves for many what RSS wanted to – Twitter only makes it more of a broadcast since it is more social in nature.

    If these interesting groups move to smaller networks do they damn themselves to the obscurity they were in before Twitter? Twitter has the capability of turning into a constant stream of advertising, but because people can filter what they want it also has the flexibility to be anything you want it to be. These interesting groups have found an audience and I don't know that they will easily bail on them.

    I don't know the answer, and I didn't see anything in the Twittergate docs that provided a whole lot of insight on what users might do… maybe I didn't read enough of it.

  • andrewhyde

    I think smaller niche forums and apps are really going to take over, dailyburn.com and dailymile.com are examples. Brightkite, FourSquare, FaceBook etc.

  • andrewhyde

    I think this is my poweruser view of other powerusers.

    I talked to someone with over 300k followers and he found it 'useless.'

    It still has some magic, but is waning to some of the early users.

  • andrewhyde

    I think smaller niche forums and apps are really going to take over, dailyburn.com and dailymile.com are examples. Brightkite, FourSquare, FaceBook etc.

  • andrewhyde

    I think this is my poweruser view of other powerusers.

    I talked to someone with over 300k followers and he found it 'useless.'

    It still has some magic, but is waning to some of the early users.

Commenting Rules