Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tweeters should buy Twitter

There has been a lot of buzz in the Blogosphere about Twitter buyout offers (from Facebook, Yahoo!, Google, etc.) as well as a lot of talk about how Twitter (or rather Tweeting) is too important to be controlled by any single vendor and how it's too important to be so susceptible to outages.

The fist vein of discussion is about monetization. If Twitter can't find a way to make money (without messing with their winning and incredibly simple formula) the thought is that they will be open to a massive buyout offer (and then they'd just let the buyer worry about monetization).

They second vein of discussion in about reliability. The main recurring theme here is decentralization (open it up they say, it should be distributed like any of many of the technologies that make the Internet what it is).

While I find the first idea to be plausible, the second, in my opinion, is not something that Twitter is ever going to accept (ie. i think they would fight, to the death, against it). Oh sure, there are many competitors out there, and some that are better in many respects, but a twitter by any other name is simply not as sweet. The power that Twitter now holds is in their brand. They've crossed a tipping point and are on their way to becoming a household name (if they aren't already). They are now a brand juggernaut of sorts, continuing to attract new users, not through superior qualities, but through massive massive recognition. So, I don't see them being simply replaced and or dethroned anytime soon.

However, I see a convergence between these two ideas. The problems of "How can Twitter be monetized?" and "How can Twitter be stabilized?" have at least one answer in common.

Tweeters should control Twitter.

Now I don't see Twitter allowing this to come about with any less of a fight than allowing themselves to be replaced in any other way, distributed or otherwise. So going back to the idea of a massive buyout offer, which I think they'd be likely to consider if the price were right: If the Twitter community could organize and raise enough money to make a serious offer (through micro-donations, pledge drives, corporate sponsorship or what have you) I think Twitter would be just as likely to take Tweeters' money as Google's or Yahoo!'s. Once Tweeters were in the driver seat I think there would be very little resistance to attempts to open up, decentralize, and stabilize Twitter.

I think the idea is crazy enough to work. What do you think?


No comments: