Thursday Sep 27, 2007

Why I like Twitter

It's brevity.

Thursday Aug 02, 2007

Meet the Twitter Team

Scoble just posted a fantastic video of his visit with the nice folks who bring us Twitter.

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In the video, Twitter engineers talk about the importance and challenges of caching data for what seems to be a super simple application & touched a bit on scaling & how they were surprised by the usage spike. They also touch on how Twitter is built largely on RoR with many customizations and the use of Jabber.

Interesting video tidbit: Twitter gets 10x more traffic via the API than the website. One of the most common uses of the API is Twittervision. Info about the API is posted here. I'm wondering what the use cases are for companies like Sun leveraging the API? I see a lot of companies Twitter-izing feeds -- I setup a Twitter feed of Sun Blogs, but I'm sure there are interesting use cases for corporate uses of the API.

And if you're wondering why Twitter doesn't update your Facebook status, it's because the Facebook status API is not opened. So, if this is something of value to you, let Facebook know.

It's all about sharing and as Alex Payne, Twitter Engineer, says Twitter "Brightens your daily routine." I agree that sounds a bit corny, but as much as I resisted Twitter in the beginning, it's now one of the first sites I open in the morning and the last site I close at night. It has had an adverse affect on the time I spend blogging and feed reading, but I dig the brevity, efficiency and cross-functionality of it all.

Monday Jun 25, 2007

And today's Twitter term of the day is...

...TwitterGram. OK, well, it technically should have been the Twitter word of the day last week, but I was on vacation most of the week. At any rate, a TwitterGram is basically an audio Twitter message.

Tuesday Jun 05, 2007

Twitter via Skype

In four easy steps:

Monday Jun 04, 2007

Video: Scoble, uber human feed reader in action

Via Danny on Twitter:

Saturday May 26, 2007

Now you can use Twitter in Facebook

I haven't tried it yet, but here's a bit about it:

Has anyone seen anything about showing Facebook updates in Twitter?

Saturday May 19, 2007

Why Twitter has staying power

You know why I think Twitter has staying power over competing sites? Two reasons:

1. They've reached critical participation mass. Scoble says it best on this tweet:
"I'm on Jaiku too. I just like Twitter better. I don't know why. Mostly cause most of my friends are here."
2. Growing pains transparency. If you follow the Twitter blog you'll see posts where the Twitter team shares details about scalability issues as well as mistakenly focusing on lower priority details. Per Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's The devil's in the details post from last Thursday:
"As much as we'd love to blame yesterday's outage on scaling issues, hardware, exponential growth, rogue bots, aberrant behavior, or even our brief stint on Japanese television last night, we can't. Having achieved a strong position with regard to scaling Twitter, we felt comfortable enough to begin optimizing lots of smaller parts of our application for maximum efficiency. We were so focused on those smaller details that we lost track of the bigger picture and the site was unresponsive for lots of folks throughout the day.

What went wrong? We checked in code to provide more accurate pagination, to better distribute and optimize our messaging system—basically we just kept tweaking when we should have called it a day. Details are great but getting too caught up in them is a mistake. I've been CEO of Twitter for two months now and this an awesome lesson learned. We're seeing the bigger picture and Twitter is back. Please contact us if something isn't working right (with Twitter that is)."
It's tough to be mad at someone when they own their mistakes and demonstrate improvement. And as far as growth mistakes of social networking sites go, participation volume is clearly the secret sauce -- if you've got it, the rest will hopefully fall into place on short order. I like Dave Winer's analogy that successful technology is like a coral reef.

Friday May 18, 2007

Twitter nomenclature & my faves thus far...

...this'll have to be quick because I left my husband sitting on the porch so I could sneak in a blog entry. Obsessed? Yes.


Twitter: (noun) A social networking website. See Wikipedia's definition for more info because I'm short on time (see paragraph one).
(verb) The act of sending a Twitter message. Sure, I'd love to meet for coffee. Twitter me!

Twitterer or Tweeter: (noun) One who twitters. She's such an obsessed tweeter. She left her husband sitting on the porch so she could blog about the definition of "tweeter".

Tweet: (noun) A Twitter message. S/he sent me this tweet: "Blah, blah, foo...".
(verb) The act of sending a Twitter message I will tweet you later...

Twittering: (verb) The act of sending a Twitter message or Twitter messages. Geez, Scoble has been Twittering his face off lately!" [1], [2]

Twitterverse: (noun) The entire Twitter user base/community.

Here are my favorite tweets thus far. Don't judge Twitter based on my faves -- they are just the comments I found entertaining/interesting. I'll write a blog entry this weekend about some super cool Twitter inspired business connections that I experienced this/last week that aren't shown in my favorite tweets link.

\* Infused with blog author's interpretation based on how she's heard the terms used in the live web.

Monday May 14, 2007

Twitter maintenance page... is out of the beta stage, so we don't really have unexpected outages anymore, but I have to admit I rather enjoy witty outage pages like this one from Twitter -- takes the angry user edge off. Tho', I suppose if it were my stock trading site or something like it, the cute cat photo wouldn't be so cute.


Friday May 04, 2007

Got Twitter?

In web 2.0 time, my official account setup in the Twitter-verse is late. I've been following conversations about it and have even dropped by for a few minutes here and there. As of this week, I pitched camp with the intention of staying as long as it takes to get a full dose of it.

As with all social media venues, people are going to use Twitter in ways that meet their individual needs. Perfect! A few "a-list bloggers" seemed to have modified their way of life and are full converts preaching the word of Twitter. Again, if that's what meets their needs in this space, excellent! They feel "a deeper connection with their friends". As Leisa says in her blog entry about her twitter experience, "Oh and…call me lame, but I DO care about what you had for dinner. I may want to eat there someday. It’s helpful for me."

For the most part, I have no need to know what my friends had for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I'm sure they feel the same about me. Similar to the depth of this blog, my presence in this space is far from that of an a-lister. I have no intent on becoming famous in the live web or else where. The level of personal detail that I share here is at a depth I feel comfortable with.

Do I see value in Twitter for my own use? Sure. It's a good thing to watch or participate in a conversation with people I normally wouldn't have easy access to. For me, those people are folks who are deeply involved in the social media space. I won't always be "on" and will likely be active on Twitter for a specific reason -- such as, to join/observe a conversation about a hot topic, to engage with someone specific, to kill boredom, etc. No different than the a-listers or Twitter evangelicals, I guess -- my dose is simply different.

As a new Twitterer (?), there's plenty to learn and I may one day be fully baptized in the Church of Twitter. In the meantime, a couple things I'm curious about:

1. I've seen people talk about Twitter replacing blogging for them in part or entirely. Since the submitted data is so fragmented and there doesn't seem to be notion of tagging, how does one search/find content?

2. For bloggers who do choose to use Twitter to record meaningful thoughts that they don't have time to blog, are there any concerns about long term archival of their content? What if Twitter flew the coop TODAY? As the Twitter TOS states "We reserve the right to modify or terminate the service for any reason, without notice at any time." And yes, this is a common disclaimer for most blog sites as well, but because Twitter is so far from formal content, I wonder if most twitterers have/will think about content archival.

So, you think you want to Twitter? Have a look... In the Twitter-verse, I'm known as lskrocki. Tweet at me if you see me around.

Sr. Community Engineering Program Manager/Acting Director for Sun's external social networking sites (blogs, forums, wikis, etc.). Skrocki's personal blog, LinkedIn.


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