Tag Archive: Blogging


Twitter logoIt seems that a lot of people ask the question that my boss asked me recently: “What is Twitter’s business model?” It seems for now they don’t have one for public consumption. They pay for their servers with venture capital money which means that somebody with money thinks they can succeed and be profitable. From their own About pages, Twitter says:

“…we are holding off on implementation for now because we don’t want to distract ourselves from the more important work at hand which is to create a compelling service and great user experience for millions of people around the world.

…we are also very much guided by our philosophy of keeping things simple and intuitive so we like to restrain ourselves with regard to features.

We plan to build Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company…”

But for now it’s all free. Below are a list of blog posts about this topic. I read threw these, and they all make some good points.

I have to say from my point of view, Twitter should never charge. They can’t. Once they start charging users people will stop using. I think they know that and that’s why they don’t. Look at Google. I remember in the 90s when Google was this really simple vanilla search engine that was better than Yahoo!, Alta Vista, HotBot and all the others that were popular then. Today, Google’s core is still that awesome plain vanilla search page and it’s still free and ad free. How are they making money? They have learned how to take their core tech and apply it to other areas that big business will pay for (ex: Google Analytics).

If you ask me, Twitter has this same potential. They collect mini conversations and thoughts of millions users. Looking at individual posts, who cares. Stepping back away from the trees to see the forest, you start to see your customers giving their unbiased feedback about your products and services. You find patches of people talking about the new big technology and how they can use it. You see entertainment venues running contests and surveys, thus driving customers to their sites and store fronts to spend money. This information can be melded into real time political polls. The best part is all this information is free. We the users are already funneling it in as I type.

I suspect the venture capitalists see this same potential. My old boss always said, “he who owns the information, drives the business, and makes the money.” At this point Twitter is stock piling that information. If they can now produce or acquire technologies that allow people to mine that information, to look at it in different ways, and to pipe it into their own products and services then they can charge for that. Then they can make money.

What does all this mean for us? Well for now not much. The big concern is if Twitter is truly stable enough to build off of today? Can we depend on it being around 5 years from now. Probably. It has a huge following, it’s simple, and it has money behind it. All aspects that Google had in 90s. For the time being, it’s free. Our only investment into Twitter is any time we put into it. I see it as a free, fast, and popular way for a company to drum up excitement about it’s products and services, its public events and social good deeds. I see it as a way to gather peoples opinions about my company’s goods via mini-surveys. I see it as a means to distribute deals and run contests. That is how I see myself and my company using Twitter today. It will be up to Twitter as to how we can use them tomorrow and at what cost.

Here’s what others are saying about Twitter future revenue stream:

http://www.scripting.com/stories/2008/01/02/twittersBusinessModel.html

http://www.centernetworks.com/twitter-business-model

http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2008/01/twitters-busine.html

http://calacanis.com/2008/01/02/the-three-business-models-that-make-twitter-a-billion-dollar-bus/

bee_icon.pngSo today I tried to use a new desktop tool for writing blog posts. I tried Bee, an Adobe AIR app that is posted on the AIR samples page. Bee is an AIR application built on HTML/Javascript using a number of javascript frameworks and libraries including Prototype, script.aculo.us, Spry, TinyMCE, and Walter Zorn’s Tooltips for Javascript. The interface and features of Bee are very attractive. In addition to being an AIR app, Bee is a FREE app. It connects to your WordPress blog and like most other tools it pulls down your existing posts and lets you add new ones of course. One of the other cool features is it also connects to your Flickr account and uploads pictures to existing sets there as well. Plus you can very easily add a Flickr image to your blog posts. That was to me a really nice feature. The interface is well done too. The two main states slide horizontally back and forth making getting to your information very simple.

BeePhoto.tiff
BeeBlog.tiff

So if this app is so great, why am I posting from my old faithful app, ecto? Well Bee has a few little issues that kind of make it difficult to use.

Issue #1: Bee repeatedly pops up a warning box telling you that due to some issues between Flex B2 and B3, you will need to go to the settings panel and log into your blog or Flickr account. While this is annoying, I was willing to close it. However, whatever this message alludes to, there is no way to log into your accounts in the settings panel. There is only the option to set them back up. This leads me to issue #2

Issue #2: Bee kept loosing the connection to my Flickr account. It seemed to remember my WordPress settings just fine, but every time I launched it there was no Flickr account set up. Again, while I guess one could live without the Flickr connection, it was to me one of the most appealing features.

Issue #3: Here’s the rub. While Issues 1 and 2 are things I would work around, this one wasn’t. Every time I tried to publish a new post Bee would either tell me it failed or just pop up the publich window and then close it. So not being able to publish an article is kind of a deal breaker here.

I posted the issue on the Bee forum page and hopefully somebody can give me some suggestions. I do really like this app so far, outside of the issues. I also like that its an AIR app and I like supporting that. Oh well I guess I got what I paid for here. :(

Another Test

So right now I am just adding a new blog to show how this thing works for my boss!

My first blog entry!

So everybody else is blogging. It seems that now a days its the cornerstone of most personal web sites. With all the Web interaction I have I honestly have never blogged anything. Sometimes I find it interesting and sometimes I think I would never have the dedication to keep a blog going. We’ll see.

Right now I have an extra ounce of motivation in that I am testing this out for my company. We want to start publishing news and serving an RSS feed and this seems like a good way to get started (with some help from feedburner.com that is).

I’ll post more later. For now I just wanted something to start with and test with.