So on my daily trolling of hacker news, I came across a very funny and witty but interesting blog post. A blog post created by David Humphrey which is a open letter to micro blogging website, Twitter.
Twitter, for those who are not aware of its existance and therefore should stop reading now as you clearly have been comatose for the better part of a decade, is a micro blogging website that allows you to post status updates, news and rss feeds to a maximum of 140 characters. Such a simple spin of the status update made Twitter a huge Billion dollar idea. I highly suggest you create an account if you don't already have one and start following your favorite brands, people and companies "@awdpweb" for a cheeky plug.
So back to the reason for this blog post. David starts his witty letter by saying:
"Dear Twitter, I really like you. It took me some time before I was willing to give you a chance. I didnâ€™t â€˜getâ€™ you and your curt replies for the first few years, even though my friends raved about you. I joined in order to prove myself right, and that you were a waste of time. But the harder I tried not to like you, the more you grew on me. At some point I moved from h8 to <3, and now I canâ€™t imagine being separated. Which brings me to the reason Iâ€™m writing you something a bit longer than 140 characters. Recently youâ€™ve been hard to reach. I am used to having to put up with the Fail Whale, but this is different. " A good start, well written and humorus at the same time. So the reason he is making this post is to complain about the issues he is having with using twitters micro blogging service, not just experiencing the usual Fail Whale display or the over capacity screen, but more about the functionality errors he is receiving with no chance to troubleshoot or as programmers call it: debugging.
But what suprises me is that even though most big internet companies of today still struggle to cope with a high demand of traffic, why does twitter still insist on using there own servers? Not to say I am an expert on the matter of how they run the service but take Groupon for example, they use a scaleable service provided by salesforce.com and force.com to handle the increasing traffic they get. Why? Simply it means they hand over the task of maintaining and scaling new hardware to a third-party, allowing Groupon to deal with the day to day task of running the website and not worring about the traffic load. I will talk more about scaleability and cloud services in later posts.
But the highlight of Davids post is the ending, with him offering to pay a premium to use Twitter. Paying for a service that is free so he can get a much better service without the errors. Which got me thinking about what if Twitter did offer a premium service? How many people would upgrade? How much would they charge? What benefits would it have? Would this cause a lot of people to upgrade for a better service? Could we be seeing a new way forward for social networking sites, offering a more personal and appealing service? Would other social sites follow in these footsteps if the outcome was much greater then anyone would have or could have anticipated? My final question would be, would this make the social giants worth even more then what they are currently worth? Facebook rumours are currently circling around that Facebook could be worth $75billion at its next valuation, could it be worth more if Facebook charged for a premium experience? I'm no financial expert, or in fact any kind of expert when it comes to business, I'm just talking from a spectator's point of view on this subject.
So would you pay if it meant a more steamline service?
Original source: http://vocamus.net/dave/?p=1276
Author: / Posted: 26-03-2011