April 20, 2009

Twitter failing from overwhelming success

Chris AbrahamI have been seeing lots of articles like Steve Rubel’s Twitter Is Peaking; Get Ready to Follow The Geeks Onward and Larry Green’s response post, Dear Twitter: Failure is not an option (for branding).

Why I am so accepting of all of these Fail Whale “Twitter is over capacity” pages is because nobody could have anticipated the sudden and overwhelming ubiquity of Twitter in the last 90 days.

I don’t know how much television you watch, but Twitter is everywhere. The last time Twitter had this sort of challenge, they stood up to the challenge — I didn’t experience one Fail Whale during the Inauguration of Barack Obama, for example.

Twitter Whale: Twitter is over capacity - Too many tweets! Please wait a moment and try again

People were blissed and amazed if they noticed at all (people never notice success, they only note failure).

I know that new users are going to be turned off by Twitter’s current spate of Fail Whales; however, I am sure that the IT ninjas are in high-alert and maxing out every credit card in sight to acquire more servers and a better long-term architecture.  And, those men and women stepped up to the challenge of the presidential election and the presidential inauguration and I am sure they are trying to step up to the overwhelming assault.

The real story is that all the morning and daytime TV shows have invested in Twitter: Morning Joe, Good Morning America, Martha Stewart, The View, Today Show, Bonnie Hunt, Live with Regis and Kelly, The Ellen Degeneres Show, and many others.  Now, that’s big news!

While all of Steve Rubel’s Geeks and Techies might be ready to jump, the worst that will happen — the very worst — is that Twitter might turn into MySpace, a property that is still very much a powerful platform for hundreds of millions of people to this very day — and still amazingly profitable for both News Corp and it’s advertisers.

And I guarantee you that the following conversation happened during a board meeting:

Evan Willams and Biz Stone: “We need a quadrillion dollars to buy a bazillion new servers and bandwidth because we’re about to tip into the mainstream, including Morning Joe, Good Morning America, Martha Stewart, The View, Today Show, Bonnie Hunt, Live with Regis and Kelly, and The Ellen Degeneres Show, in the next 90-days.”

The Twitter Board and Investors: “You’ve got to be bloody kidding me! There’s no way that the normal folks at Morning Joe, Good Morning America, Martha Stewart, The View, Today Show, Bonnie Hunt, Live with Regis and Kelly, The Ellen Degeneres Show, and many others would spontaneously decide to join and participate in such a geeky and techie thing such as Twitter.”

Well, guess what? Evan Willams and Biz Stone were right, if they really did make that sincerest of pleas.

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Chris Abraham is a partner in Socialmedia.biz. Contact Chris via email, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment below.

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  • I still can't believe how effective Twitter is. While I find social networks still very helpful for interacting with people and gathering information, Twitter can really spread something like wildfire. I guess that's sort of the point, but I never thought 140 characters could be so effective!

  • Today's San Jose Mercury News: As Twitter becomes more popular will it be less cool?

    We'll see more articles like this. I've seen no evidence that the geeks and cool kids are ready to abandon Twitter. After all, this is the ultimate roll-your-own network.

  • Twitter"
    Nice Social Networking website, who dont love Twitter?