I see that Scripting News has been thinking of Twitter. I’m surprised at the reaction from someone who usually see so much potential in simple things.
UPDATE : More discussion from Dave Winer
At first, I thought – “so what’s so great about this Twitter thing?” – it’s just blogging with just titles. One-liners. With contact lists. Aggregation of those contacts’ one-liners. And an SMS communication layer to distribute those short messages away from the desktop…without the internet.
oh, hang on.. :) — hmm…aha!
To me, it’s the SMS layer to mobiles which makes this interesting. It’s very easy to duplicate – but not so easy to pay for. But SMS ‘can’ make a lot of money (but for who, eh? *nudge*)
The actual content back end must be very simple indeed – but no idea about what they are doing with scaling that, but it seems to get better and worse now again, which means they are constantly tweaking it I imagine.
They say they will be adding groups. This is a good idea, as it will extend what users can do privately – and that means it could be used for businesses.
Some sites have started to ‘ping’ their TwitterBots (which have no friends – as they don’t read – but many followers) with the latest updates to their systems – Techmeme, BBC, CNN, Podcast.com, etc. – It’s a little river of news, mashed up with commentary, streams of consciousness – and the mundane. I have a little function on my server, using PHP and Curl to ‘Tweet’ me from a special account when something goes wrong.
I’m toying with couple of usernames which I am ‘Sqwitting‘ (That’s username squatting on Twitter, folks) which I plan to make respond to certain calls and queries after any user who the ‘befriended’ the account calls using @question or @answer – which has now become the de facto way to openly reply to another one of your friends. It’s easy to list recent posts from friends with the API, so why not get it to ‘look’ for @name calls? *Bingo!* It’s like a machine!
There are heaps of combinations of feeds – in different formats – to play with and construct all sorts of useful things – all with that very handy SMS layer :) It won’t be long before someone builds something very useful based on this system. But only when it’s reliable and faster! :)
Rex Hammock quotes a great line from Joi Ito on how Americans, when looking at new technology immediately ask, “What’s the business application?” In Japan, however, new technology is handed to children who are told, “Go play with it.” The kids play and do stuff that later becomes things that others realize would make sense also in a business context.
(and I think this is important)
I think that they should Open Source the main Twitter server system structure NOW. Before it gets cloned all over the place. (As happened with YouTube, etc)
All except the SMS layer. There is a huge potential business model in then creating that connection between all the various ‘TwitterPlanets’ in the ‘TwitterVerse’ to that SMS layer to enable that which is most valuable – staying in touch with the network while away from the desk or internet using a device most of us already have in our pockets.
The potential here and NOW is huge. They could wrap this up. Think of all the extra features that could come from it. Think of all the useful ‘special agent bots’ – each with different abilities from different (Twitter)planets. How that could also help the ‘mother hub’ itself. It’s almost a model of what will happen when Linden opensource their Server system. The universe, metaverse and Twitterverse will benefit.
What do you think?