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Should I worry that has no obvious revenue model?

I Twit to the most

I was looking at TweetScan for my Twitter account this morning, thinking, “man, them Twitter guys sure have built up a great little ecosystem for 3rd party developers. Little wonder, it’s all free and totally open.”

Which got me to think, “sure, but that VC money ain’t gonna last forever, and simply hitting up MTV and the Grammy’s from time to time surely isn’t going to support the payroll, or the cash-out ambitions they got going on.”

I like Twitter quite a bit, and it’s a little weird to be trusting a system that has so little of it’s financial side locked down, as far as I can tell. Now, was the same way, and once they cashed out the Yahoo!, the thinking was that Yahoo! would continue to fund them. Same with flickr.

So, when it comes to ensuring the longevity of a business and personal tool I rely on, should I just shove on my Bubble Helmet and not worry about it, or is it time to start asking Twitter what they’re going to do to make sure the overall community will last?

Free, web 1.0 and 2.0 tools are weird like this, right? There’s sort of a “you get what you pay for” ‘tude going on, but then there’s all that sharecropping I’ve been doing as well. I can think of only one land-lord that rewarded it’s sharecroppers on cash-out: I knew a musician who got some stock options he sold for north of $20,000 when IPOed. He turned around and used that to produce a record.

I get undoubtable value from Twitter, so I’m not asking for some cash hand-out when/if ev and co. become double baggers. But, assurances that the platform will simply be there – like and flickr – has started to eat away at me. What do you think?

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Categories: Collaborative, The New Thing.

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2 Responses

  1. Meeehhh, I'm not worried.

    If Twitter goes away, someone'll come up with something similar that works in a more distributed fashion, like, some sort of XMPP package that ties into a simple CMS. The Twittering will just be redirected through a Jabber compatible chatting protocol or something.

    Then, people will set up Twitter-clone providers and all the popular ones'll provide the same sort of update stream thing that lets the third parties hook in and do nifty things like reminders and other value added stuff.

    That is to say, I don't think Twitter's value is in the service but in the idea.

  2. I actually think that Twitter will/should be replaced by an XMPP product – hopefully itself, but Jabber is too good for this sort of thing to not be used …