TechCrunch's been airing Twitter's (not so) dirty laundry all week. Courtesy of a hacker, TechCrunch has gotten hold of 300 confidential Twitter documents, and yesterday they released notes from a set of executive meetings that laid out the company's upcoming strategy plans.
What did we learn? That Twitter is scared of Facebook. As it should be.
Across much of the western world, news organisations are in a fight for their life. Between Google 'stealing' their news and bloggers 'stealing their readers', things are not well in the land of news. The next challenge to news's authority is a 19-year-old kid from the Netherlands.
When Michael Arrington of TechCrunch decided to publish confidential Twitter corporate documents obtained by a hacker, I wasn't impressed. It's a bad decision that's hard to justify ethically.
But what's done is done and instead of admonishing him for using a different brand of moral compass, I thought there'd be more value in using the opportunity, no matter how unfortunate, to make some observations about one of the internet's hottest startups.
The world learned a lot about Twitter this week. The most important takeaway: the company doesn't use the best passwords.
A hacker broke into a Twitter's employees email account in May. From
there he was able to access the company's Google Apps account where
Twitter shares notes, spreadsheets and financial data within the
company. This week, the information started making its way online.
A leak that size has the potential to derail Twitter's future
partnerships, business plans and financial future.
But it's also a setback for Google Apps.
Twitter is a wonderful service. But it isn't perfect. The popular microblogging service is increasingly the target of spam techniques that threaten the service's utility and value.
Here the the seven techniques that spammers are employing on Twitter...
Twitter is a publisher’s dream. It is a huge echo chamber that can drive a lot of quality traffic to articles, especially if the retweets take off.
Retweets are referrals. The 'RT' abbreviation is a strong call to action. People trust their virtual friends to steer them in interesting directions, otherwise they wouldn’t be following them in the first place. As such retweets can generate lots of clicks, and they can quickly go viral.
In addition, there are a range of websites orientated around retweets. Think Digg, but instead of ‘diggs’ you have ‘retweets’, and usually these links are displayed in order of popularity (and not buried / subject to a complex algorithm to determine front-page status). These sites can be traffic drivers too. One of my favourites is the excellent TweetMeme.
So, considering the opportunity here, how can publishers make the most out of Twitter, and optimise the retweet factor?
How fast are bloggers? According to researchers at Cornell University, it typically took bloggers two and a half hours during the 2008 US presidential campaign to pick up on stories that were broken by the mainstream media.
That conclusion was reached by using computers to analyze 1.6m websites between August and October 2008. All told, these websites published around 90m blog posts and articles.
Negative critical reviews often can't halt the momentum of a big box office hit, but a swarm of negative social media memos might. Today Time posits that negative reactions to "Bruno" on Twitter hurt the movie's box office numbers this past weekend.
The movie officially opened on Friday night, and post-midnight ticket sales of around $1.6 million had Hollywood insiders predicting the film would bring in around $50 million its opening weekend.
But thousands of Twitter messages and three days later, the film only earned $30.4 million for the weekend. That's still respectable, but "Bruno" saw almost a 40% drop in ticket sales from Friday to Saturday, and an even steeper drop in viewership moving into Sunday, which is incredibly unusual on opening weekend.
So did Twitter cost Bruno its weekend box office dominance?
The buzz in the consumer internet right now is real-time. Twitter and Facebook have put the
spotlight on real-time but now tech giants like Google and Microsoft
are giving real-time the time of day.
Where is this all leading? Is real-time the most important thing taking
place on the internet today as some believe or is it the next overhyped
We've all done it. In our decision making process to purchase something of fairly high value such as a holiday or fancy gadget; or when we think about a purchase that requires a long term commitment such as a mobile contract or gym membership; we ask trusted friends for their opinions and experiences.
It's human nature. We're doing our best to eliminate any risk, whether this be associated with cost or contract catches, anything really. We're after value for money and want to hear about any experiences, warts 'n' all. Based upon the information we gather from these trusted sources, we make what we feel is the best decision for ourselves.