Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Mark Suster to Twitter on behalf of users (bothsidesofthetable.com)
42 points by travisfischer 2316 days ago | hide | past | web | 26 comments | favorite

I hate when people write letters like this, trying to be more reader-friendly by dumbing down language with garbage like "Twitter, I’m a friend. I love you, man."

Write your views, don't pretend you're a nine year old writing to your dad.

It was called irony. It was meant with humor. My views were already publicly expressed & known on Quora.

See: http://www.quora.com/Why-did-Twitter-suspend-UberTwitter/ans...

Yeah, I get that you're not actually a moron who thinks writing in that style will make Twitter more likely to listen to, and perhaps my original complaint was worded slightly too harsh.

What I meant by "dumbed down" wasn't that you were trying to make it easier for people to understand, just that you were dumbing it down for that comic effect.

More and more people are writing blog posts in that style, and I just happen to find it annoying.

edit: Thanks for linking to the Quora version of your thoughts, now those I 100% agree with (as a UberTwitter user).

It's written as if it were to a drinking buddy who won't stop chasing his ex-girlfriend. It's dramatic parody, not dumbed down.

Thank you! I'm glad somebody on HN got it!

Well we ate late night fish balls in Beijing together, so I should know you better!

Actually I'd love to know more about how twitter replaces much of email for you - I don't like having so much of my communication public, and I have a hard time reaching out to someone so publicly. Twitter has never felt natural to me.

ha! awesome!

re: Twitter - it's not that it "replaces" email. I just find that when I land on a plane and reach for my blackberry and have a choice between email or Twitter I find myself doing the latter.

I get way too much email. I read it all. But it's hard to process it all. Writing back, deciding whether to accept meetings, giving answers to questions, etc. is so time consuming and people are rarely brief.

On Twitter I get to meet new people, interact with friends, have debates, discover information, send private (and short) DMs. Well, on most days I do. Yesterday, my service was cut off because I use a product that Twitter doesn't endorse. That's what prompted my post.

I understand the email overload - if I don't respond to something the same hour, it often takes months.

Still - I view twitter posts as too public for anything remotely sensitive, and DMs as similarly interruptive as SMS - so I rarely DM people I don't know very well. I'm probably wrong to view it this way, and perhaps I should re-evaluate.

I believe this is the quote from Twitter - "We’ve had conversations with UberMedia, the developer of these applications, about policy violations since April 2010, when they first launched under the name TweetUp – a term commonly used by Twitter users and a trademark violation. We continue to be in contact with UberMedia and hope that they will bring the suspended applications into compliance with our policies soon."

I agree with you entirely Mark that they can handle something like this better, but I think that a company like Twitter that is still figuring out the best way to monetize has a right to enforce their trademarks to reel in other people trying to make money off of their product.

Then again, at a $4-10bn valuation, they probably can afford to not cut off things that make their users happy.

You're totally right that Twitter "has a right to enforce their trademarks to reel in other people trying to make money off of their product."

That isn't in question.

My argument: - today they affected millions of users - they should have first issued a public statement to major media outlets that service would be cut unless UberMedia fixed problems in 72 hours. Users would then have a chance to migrate if they wanted - I also think it's bad policy to cut off 3rd-party developers. Even mildly competitive ones. My view: let the ecosystem innovate on their dime. Then you either buy them or tax them.

My reaction today was as a user of UberTwitter who felt caught in the crossfire. And as such it felt like Goliath attacking David.

That all makes sense to me, and like I said, it seems really an issue of how they're handling it. If they were to tax them, what would it look like? Facebook and Apple both seem to be implementing ways to take a cut of the money going through 3rd-party apps... I don't know enough about Twitter myself. Is it possible for them?

I use you every day. I use you more than email now. I hate email, by the way.

Amazing how someone can use short emaciated 140-letter shoutings as a replacement for something as deep as email.

I didn't say I don't use email. I just use it much less than previously. It's funny but the opposite is also true. The fact that people can write really long, verbose emails can be as much of a productivity drain as anything else inside of companies.

It's why I'm a big proponent of these guys http://three.sentenc.es/

In that vein, then.

Why was your post more than 3 sentences?

Perhaps, the message is more important than the style?

Replace a period of your choosing with a semicolon and it's three sentences - but it will cost you the irony.

Not all emails are deep. Twitter is good for the short to the point stuff.

Facebook? That’s for my mom.

Oh, how times have changed. I share this sentiment.

I love that you are social & democratic.

What does this mean?

social: I'm assuming you got that part.

democratic: level playing field. ie, "one vote per person" - you have as much influence as you have, nobody's granted a super-tweeter account that can @ everyone at once simply by being, say, Bill Gates. It's a stretch, but I've seen it used this way before for Internet things.

empowerment of people to socially engage & communicate is the basis on which all democracy is built. That is what is beautiful about Twitter.

Shutting down competition or dissension is decidedly undemocratic.

Seems you HN peeps are just being unnecessarily hostile to Mark. He has written a part 2 no "Never hire Job hoppers" move on.

There is nothing wrong with how the mail was written. I was expecting a discussion about Twitters approach with UberTwitter (which I think is frightening). Not nitpicking at the way/method Mark had decided to express his views.

And Dick Costolo responds:

@msuster your post is a misinformed and contrary to what I'm certain you would counsel as an investor.

[1] https://twitter.com/dickc/status/38853714320166912

I'm not sure which bit was misinformed. If I learn that some bit was I will correct it.

My premise holds: - issue a public warning to UberMedia & its users and allow 72 hours - if not resolved take action then - don't issue an advertisement for your mobile product the exact same day you block a large mobile client. It is in poor taste and this is evidenced by the majority of the Tweetstream that trashed Twitter on this issue

I'm all for fair & hard competition. But if I were an investor this is what I would have counseled. And if Twitter or its investors know something I don't (which I concede is possible) I would suggest that they have a marketing offensive to make more information available.

So, what do you think is going on at Twitter?

It's an experienced set of investors and entrepreneurs, but they seem to be making rookie mistakes, over and over again (first with scaling the tech+business and now with the way the API/ecosystem, which was instrumental to their success, is being handled). Have you seen this before? What the hell is up at Twitter HQ?

maybe UberMedia really has plans to jumpstart a Twitter-like service off of the Twitter clients soon and somehow Twitter got wind of this and moved to cripple the trojan horses it bought / is buying.

I accept that this is possible.

If I were Twitter in this case then at worst I would issue a public statement of why they don't support UberTwitter's moves and I would encourage users to migrate over 72 hours if they saw fit.

Then at least the user community would be more on Twitter's side. What they did today is block us from using their product on our mobile devices. I'm not sure that's sound policy.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact