W3 Review: Twitter


Full disclosure, right off the top. Although I do not have a financial interest in this company, nor do I have any friends/relatives employed there, it is a service that I’ve been using now for a while and have come to appreciate and rely upon quite a bit.

The very best way for you to understand what it’s all about is to simply visit the site and sign up for it. Briefly though, from the company’s FAQ, it’s “a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?” which you use by “Tell us what you’re doing in 140 characters or less! Send your thoughts, observations, and goings-on in your day. Whether you’re “eating an apple” or “looking foward to the weekend” or “Heading out of town” it’s twitter-worthy.”

Recently, Twitter has been going through some growing pains. So, in addition to this review (which I’ve been meaning to post for a while now), I thought that it would be opportune to try to get some explanation about the recent problems. What I didn’t expect was that the reply would be so quick in coming! To me, such responsiveness to users indicates that this company may have a bright future in store for it.

Date: Sat, 24 May 2008 14:09:18 -0700
From: “Biz Stone”
To: “Gregory Fowler”
Subject: Re: Media Inquiry

Hi Greg,

Thanks for using Twitter and thanks for your questions.

Twitter is a privately funded company. We have not announced any plans to finance the service with subscriptions or advertisements. A sustainable business model will only work when Twitter is reliably available for a very large network of people around the world. For that reason, performance and stability are at the forefront of our efforts.

Yesterday’s database crash was do to an errant API project consuming too much of our resources. This activity had the affect of overloading our main database, resulting in error pages and slowness. That error was corrected and the database was restored. We are still investigating Today’s database crash.

For more information on why we are experiencing these technical challenges and the plan we have in place to achieve technical stability and service reliability please read this update from one of our systems engineers, Alex Payne.


Biz Stone, Co-founder
Twitter, Inc.

My recommendation is for you to give this app a try. Even though you may have to put up with some periodic inconvenience while they work out the problems they experience from the service’s popularity-driven growth, I’m guessing that you’ll come to like it as much as I do.

P.S. – go to http://twitter.com/fowgre and click on “Follow” to keep tabs on me. And check out BlogLDN for information about the local Twitter user’s group.

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2 Responses to “W3 Review: Twitter”

  1. Marina Martin Says:

    This was a great, positive post and a refreshing read.

    I’ve always loved that the Twitter founders are the ones who respond to many emails directly — instead of filtering email through ten levels of bureaucracy. I’m a fellow avid Twitter user and while the downtime is frustrating, I’m willing to be patient through the growing pains.

    What are your theories on how Twitter might make money in the future?

  2. KevBo Says:


    My guess is they will end up putting ads on the side of the main twitter console, there has been talk about it already and articles about it. Not sure how that will effect OS based clients like Twhirl or Twitteriffic, if they will get ads into the actual twitter posts or not

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