Do you like the idea of

Jul 22, 2008
Updated • Dec 13, 2012
Internet, Twitter

As I’ve said before, I’m not a big twitterer…

I would say I average maybe 1 Twit every 2 days, in fact I don’t know why I even still use the service. I was never turned off the service from down-time or anything like that, Twitter could go down a whole day or two and I doubt I would even notice.

No, I just never found myself getting addicted, or even fully understanding quite what was so great about the service. In my experience all my contacts use the status messages in Facebook, MySpace and MSN just like Twitter would be used, so why would they need another service?

Anyway, Twitter’s much talked about downtime has been the subject of a great amount of ridicule and dissatisfaction from the blogosphere. What has been interesting however is watching the public opinion a couple of months ago transit from threats and promises of leaving, to a general acceptance that they could never leave Twitter and would even find other ways to support it.

What has come out of the months of downtime is the Twitter clone I’m not sure about you, but I find the idea vaguely unsettling. It’s one thing for someone to develop a free or open source alternative for something (eg: Firefox and IE) and compete head to head. It’s another thing however to create a service with the express purpose of duplicating and replacing something like Twitter.

There is no unique focus, no goal other then cloning someone else’s hard work with the advantage of hindsight. In fact it’s really building off of the work that someone else has had to do, for example by making the API completely compatible with Twitter so Twitter clients can support Ident.ica with no additional development. I might be alone in that opinion, but to me it just seemed almost like cheating.

I’m sure you’ll let me know what you think.


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  1. Mosey said on July 28, 2008 at 3:10 am

    Am signed on to Twitter, but only remember to visit and twit once every two weeks or so and catch up with people I’m following. No one I know in RL uses Twitter (Facebook ftw!) so I think it’s actually quite a niche.

  2. MK said on July 23, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Twitter is useful if you have friends in the same field. Some of my programming question got answered by twit, even though I never know that person before. So in a way, it helps me build relationship with other programmers.

    Innovation is fine, like Plurk. But if all doing is ripping off Twitter completely, then that’s cheating.

  3. Transcontinental said on July 22, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    I have no interest for whatever form of social networks, period!

    As far as cheating is concerned, I’m afraid it’s one of the characteristics of today’s world : no honor, just doing it if it may be done. Rather sad, but that’s for less than one-half of the planet, so I remain optimistic.

  4. darkkosmos said on July 22, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Even though you won’t believe it, most of the internet doesn’t use any micro blogging service. (not even 1 or 2 times a time) Although I don’t see whats wrong with it, if the whole system was like this we would be all using apple computers right now together with netscape with yahoo as our start page.

  5. Rarst said on July 22, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Hm, I don’t use (and don’t understand need to) twitter so my opinion is close to unbiased.

    Of course there are some examples of alternative product grabbing success from main one.

    But there is no value, no idea and no worth in exact replication of anything. Nothing is perfect, new products sell because they solve problems old ones failed to.

    Making a copy in the niche were original failed makes two failures instead of one.

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