Scripting News for 2/28/2008

Links for 02/28/2008 

“They threw in the obvious, ultimate fear bomb…” 

“We’re at that moment in the campaign that reminds me of a horror movie.” 

Guidelines for competing with Twitter 

Every time Twitter goes down I think of how can we create something to use when Twitter is down.

There’s a difference these days, because there’s serious talk among developers about whether or how to compete. Earlier this week at lunch with one of them, I said I didn’t know how great the opportunity was, given that Twitter has been staying up, through heavy use during the debates and primaries. Then, as if on call, it started going down. In the last 24 hours it’s been down more than up, or so it seems.

And of course that has re-kindled the back-channel. 🙂

Some guidelines for potential Twitter-competitors.

1. I don’t like names with the word “killer” in it — even in private. It’s the wrong idea. No one will kill anyone. And names you use in private have a way of leaking out in public.

2. Don’t use the term crowdsourcing — it betrays a perspective that’s arrogant and wrong. I am not part of a crowd, I am a creative important person. Most Silicon Valley companies have this attitude. It’s a good vector for competing. Our users are sentient human beings, individuals. Important not just as a collection of people.

3. Most important, any service meant to compete with Twitter must be 100 percent compatible with the Twitter API. Porting of apps that build on Twitter means making the domain an option, where you call it must be possible to change it to, for example.

4. It must be possible to use your clone when Twitter goes down and then switch back to Twitter when it comes back up with no loss of data. If you want smoothe entry into the market you must serve as a backup, earn your place with the users. Everyone will love you because it gives Twitter a very real concrete incentive to become more reliable.

5. To everyone, included — this is a utility like email or IM. Reliability is key. If it’s going to be used in business (very powerful idea) then auditability is essential. To assume that users love the product is not a good idea, any emotional connection becomes a negative if you can’t keep the system up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: