Saturday, February 02, 2008

What will it take for Twitter folks to move to a Competitor?

  Every time Twitter has been down it was an event. The first major maintenance, I recall a lot of us went to Pownce during that time. Jaiku has been  allowing your Twitter feed to be posted to Jaiku so you are virtually there anyway. Last week's maintenance was a surprise to me and it seems to have gone beyond the window announced. This time some of us used a  place called Chatmaker.net  thanks to Jeff Hibbard my friend who is a mobile video blogger.

Shel Israel wrote an open letter to the Twitter Founders in his Blog 'Global Neighborhoods" where he asks the Twitter founders to fix what is broken and reveal the monetization plan. I asked Twitter in general whether they had introduced any new features in the last maintenance outage and Mike MCAllister  .Pointed me to these two links where it appears that Twitter moved Hosting companies to NTT America ( Formerly known as Verio) The Twitter Blog confirms that and Techcrunch has its own view of the move

When you use something very very often it is very difficult to wean away from that habit/tool. Just as an example I use Google and for a time I felt Ask"s results were better and used ask as my  page then realized didn't search home page but searched browser searchbox on top right. so I continue the habit of using Google.

Now I am thinking to myself what will it take for me to move from Twitter. What can a competitor do to make me move.

a) All my friends move
  • Pownce has made this easy by making it open no more invites necessary
  • Pownce already gives you the capability to move your Twitter friends to Pownce.
b)  Better features
  • Pownce has some good features that i have experienced
  • Have to try Jaiku to find what is good
c) Commitment to stay Free
  • I am very bottom line conscious and am not ready for Social Media as a paid tool
d) Reliability
  • Experience less downtime and no swallowing of messages
e) open APIs
  • Open APis for other developers to ad tools
    • My first request will be a way to search messages
    • Better Ui for managing friends
    • Full functionality on mobile devices
I am not leaving Twitter anytime soon but that does not mean that I should not make contingency plans. Laura Fitton aka @pistachio today asked on Twitter  How would you fill in the blank: “Twitter makes me more ____________.” and posted the replies on her blog Pistachio Consulting . Now that answer can very well translate to any microblogging tool. Twitter folks have a great challenge ahead of them. They should practice more transparency so any degradation of service will be overlooked.

If you have ideas on what will make you move from Twitter would be interested in hearing about them . Please comment or send me a @reply on Twitter/ Pownce or Jaiku. I am @shashib on all of them.

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