Sunday, August 9, 2009

Man sells his wife for twitter business

Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of twitter or your favorite twitter app\site? What kind of people are running\developing that 3rd party twitter app that you use to make your posts and read your tweets?

Ever since the recent ddos attacks against twitter, facebook, and other social media sites in the "Social Media Outage of 2009", many twitter developers are up in arms as they continue to encounter issues with their 3rd-party applications working properly with the twitter API. While many of the developers are understanding about the situation and very hopeful that it gets resolved soon, there are still a handful that are being rather obtuse about it all.

At risk of giving one such developer undeserved publicity, , has been one such developer ranting about twitter's "lack of information" and how their API's downtime is costing him money. As the main person behind, Dewald has taken advantage of twitter's free API by creating a tool that allows you to schedule tweets, automate following of folowers, among many other useful features. As per good PR, Dewald has put an announcement on his site explaining the reason for certain features not working on his site, but behind the scene's he's letting his short temper show saying things such as

I would hope that Twitter engineers are all in force at the
office on a day like this to solve this issue and get our applications
back up and running, regardless of whether it is Saturday, Sunday, or
Christmas Day.
As supportive as some people are of twitter's efforts to get things back up and running, there are still those who think that Twitter is obligated to provide a fully 24/7 supported gateway from their site to twitter's data. Twitter is not obligated, legally or financially, to any 3rd party developer or site. In good confidence and in effort to keep the talent in favor of their site, i am positive they are doing everything they can to get things back up and running. The developers and technicians working on getting this sorted out are not your servants, nor are they your paid employees.

Keep in the back of your mind that as much as your 3rd-party app may have contributed to help them grow, they could easily close their API and develop their own applications to take the place of your own. They have the manpower to do it now, thanks to all of us developers! As stated directly from their ToS:
We reserve the right, in accordance with any applicable laws, to refuse service to anyone for any reason at any time.
Now you're probably wondering, how did i get the title of this article? In my attempts to portray my stance on this situation between 3rd-party developers and twitter's IT team, i wrote a story in the twitter-dev group (keep it mind it was directed at the developers):


A band broadcasts their music on a radio station all the time, and people are able to freely tune into it, or go buy their music online. They go and play in a city park for free every day just because it's a much nicer experience for the listener then to be just sitting at home listening on their radio, and it gives them more exposure.

You, as an up and coming entrepreneur go buy a hotdog & drink stand and setup camp in that park to make some cash off of the flow of people who come to see this free event every day. You being there, giving the ability for people to eat & drink without leaving the park allows for more of this bands songs to be heard, in effect increasing the chance that their music might be purchased. So you're essentially helping them, by taking advantage of them for your business.

The band gets in a car crash, and alot of equipment is damaged to the point of not being able to be used, along with their main source of transportation. The band starts working to find and replace all that is damaged in their equipment and repair their band van.

Now you can imagine that little hotdog stand guy standing on their doorstep while they recover yelling profanities and how they should be skipping the shipping company, who's delivering their parts & equipment, and to get their parts themselves to save time. Yelling that they shouldn't be sleeping, they should be working on their band van right now to make sure it can take them back to the park so he, the hotdog guy, can make some money.

"People aren't coming to my stand anymore! They're going to fast food restaurants and going home!!"
"WTF i sold my wife for this stand!!!"

Now of course, this little hotdog stand man may not have really sold his wife, depending upon which one of you people who are still up in arms about this was put in his place, but i think you get my point.

Now, the band could easily move to a venue that has their own hotdog/drink stand making your services not necessary, but instead of doing that and capitalizing on the profit they could get from that, they're still planning on going back to the same park they do their free shows at, and allowing you to continue earning your money.
My point in writing this, was not only to express where i stood on things, but also to give some perspective on how narrowminded people are being about this. Yes, i get that some of you 3rd-party developers rely solely on the income you make from your site. Yes, i get that you may lose users due to this. But keep in mind, you're not alone! Twitter, you, and many other 3rd-party developers are in the same boat.

Twitter user said it best

"The wrongdoers in this are the DDoS people. Everyone else is collateral in
someone else's stupid war."

And this even-headed individual went on to suggest another way someone could monetize this situation, to make up for their other money lost by suggesting we make a Tech Soap Opera regarding twitter and the google twitter-dev group's drama behind the scenes as (suggested by the part of the show where the actors talk to the camera. All great ideas :)

Support goes 2 ways. If you want twitter to continue supporting this API, be a little more supportive of them and their efforts of trying to get back on track. We're behind you 100%

No comments :