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Do you want to work at Twitter? - Twitter Development Talk (groups.google.com)
39 points by genieyclo on Oct 22, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 30 comments

No. Twitter is one of the most bizarre tech fads I've seen in ages - and not in a good way.

I will never understand luddites like you. You honestly can't see any value in Twitter, in any respect?

I have to admit I'm pretty amazed that someone with a hacker news account just got called a luddite.

It amazes me that someone on HN can't understand why Twitter is useful.

marknutter, please read this: http://www.paulgraham.com/disagree.html

You've changed my life..

illuminate us.

To play the devil's advocate, there is value in CB radio too.

At least nobody is making movies and songs about Twitter. Endless references in popular media, yes. Songs and movies, no.

"Breaker, breaker, looks like we got ourselves a convoy."

Heh - that's about the worst song ever, isn't it? It manages to mix the worst of the country twang, the CB stuff, and that sort of disco-ish chorus line.

Twitter is the equivalent of this scene http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9mioHO4hoM

Sure sit ups have redeeming value.

Crazy guy: You know those sites, where anybody can post about what's going on in their day? Blogs? Which would you read, a blog post about somebody's lunch or no more than 140 characters about somebody's lunch?

Not Crazy Guy: I would...read...the 140 characters about their lunch because I'm not interested in what they ate.

Crazy guy: EXACTLY! We guarantee a little information of value as blogs, but you don't have to waste as much time reading about absolutely nothing!

Not Crazy Guy: Well....what if....somebody came out with something that was 130 characters?

Crazy guy: twitches a bit no! Not 130 characters, 140! 140!

Not Crazy Guy: oohh.....o...ok...ok...

Crazy guy: Step into my office, because you are fired!

So it this place going to overtake Twitter? http://adocu.com/

I think it does rather remain to be seen if Twitter is a fad, or a sustainable long term business.

The value is in the community, which could be lured onto something else pretty quickly.

> The value is in the community, which could be lured onto something else pretty quickly.

Tell that to the MS Bing folks. Luring people can be more difficult than you might think.

MS Bing have a truly awful brand. Widely detested and associated with crashing computers.

I agree it's difficult for one person to lure a community, just as it's difficult for any one person to win the lottery. But the probability that someone will win the lotto is very close to 1.

I don't think twitter has a large amount of lockin yet.

They only retain about 40% of their users. I haven't seen any figures on how long those 40% stick around either.

What he said ^^.

What's the next trend going to be? I'd guess something mobile (though Twitter already has short messaging covered).

I don't think it's that Twitter is utterly irredeemable in value; there are a few valuable uses for it, imo. I think it's mostly that the way the public regards and deploys Twitter is incredibly obnoxious.

Twitter is ascribed far more value and relevance than it deserves. Seriously, valuations in the hundreds of millions just because CNN thought they could foresee the "next Facebook" and tout the product incessantly? Twitter has not devised any system of profitability and to do so seems a very difficult task indeed.

To me, Twitter is annoying because it represents a desperate, clinging ignorance on the part of its proponents. The value Twitter actually provides, which is basically broadcasting SMS messages across various formats and aggregating popular discussion topics, is so miniscule compared to its assigned preeminence. This gives off the impression that Twitter's major proponents are impostors.

And I think that's true. I think that Twitter has come so far because the executives at several media companies beheld Facebook, Myspace, and others, and were determined to get ahead of the "next big thing", so that they could exploit the platform as it took off instead of buying up a fad all too late (News Corp buying MySpace). Twitter had cel-shading, big letters, coordinated colors, and a Mac-esque chic about it, there may have been consultants involved, but for whatever reason, these ignorant, angry old media executives ordained Twitter as the instrument-of-choice in their hypercharged desperation to remain relevant and profit off of the internet.

The promoters of old media's franchises have likewise endorsed the platform, and I'm sure the first thing every celebrity agent instructs is a Twitter account. The agents are probably the ones updating it, too.

So, to many of us, it feels "unclean", as it were. The utility obviously doesn't match the praise and promotion that it gets. It's a platform flooded with wannabes and fraudsters.

It's a darling of media pundits, which we find asinine not only because it's so undeserving as a consumer service, but also because it's so undeserving as a business; Twitter generates no profit now and I've not yet met a proposal for profitability that makes sense. Hacker News is filled with businesspeople who work hard on businesses with tangible profit opportunity, and I'm sure many of us are annoyed to see so unworthy a competitor get the glory as we toil away on useful but unrecognized products.

That's my opinion anyway. I really don't like Twitter because of this; perhaps that's unfair in itself because Twitter isn't really responsible for the actions of its external disciples. It's not a jealousy per se, as I don't hold [much] contempt for Twitter's employees or founders directly, but it is an annoyance at the insensibility of the world we live in.

tl;dr Twitter has some utility but mostly it represents old media's desperation to exploit a space that they refuse to understand.

How did I know that underneath that terse damnation of Twitter was bubbling a stormy and long-winded sea of contempt?

I'll spare you the equally long winded rebuttal with my very simple observation about Twitter: it has brought RSS to the masses; a concept that was very useful to tech-savvy people but very nebulous and confusing to non-tech-savvy people.

That, and you should try http://search.twitter.com sometime. I assume that you haven't because I somehow doubt you'd hate Twitter so much had you.

Facebook is what really brought the concept of aggregation to the masses; it's essentially an aggregator of your friends' lives.

I'll agree with that, but I would say Twitter is the better example being that it's much more open than Facebook (no friend requests required).

If only there was some technology....that would....aggregate the blogs and news sites I'm interested in....and display it...perhaps in a reader like format....using some kind of standardized syndication service that's easy peasy to setup....and then, when I see something I like....it has enough content in it to be useful....


Perhaps Google will figure it out someday.

Ask your mom if she knows what RSS is. Then ask her if she's heard of Twitter.

Doug's story is pretty cool, but for anyone wishing to get straight to the job description: http://bit.ly/Twitter_Platform

How did he get his follower count so high?


It looks like the rapid growth started around 9/25

"We believe that developer happiness and Platform success are strongly correlated."

See Apple's iPhone development platform. There may be some anomalies.

I love how effective APIs are for developing not only the size/business aspect of sites but other things like pretraining developers and finding the best and keenest developers.

Cool story. Also another good example about getting the job you want by making yourself valuable through personal interest.

I wonder if he is being offered any equity.

Why wouldn't he be? Twitter is a startup, he is a full-time employee now.

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