It seems like a good post from the folks at Twitter has been interpreted by Scoble as being all about him. I gotta say, I'm just not seeing it. I'm also not sure why Scoble is throwing such a public tantrum about Twitter's down time.
Regardless of what you think about it all, there's a strangely familiar pattern I've seen when it comes to the tech-centric "2.0" apps and what typical software development has experienced for longer than I've been doing it. Scoble is the big power customer, much like an executive for an internal line-of-business product at any corporation. Alex the Twitter guy is like the product manager trying to explain technological problems to the executive who can't be bothered with the details (ironic given that Scoble's rise to fame came out of Microsoft). Ultimately this results in a big conflict where neither party gets what they want. If you've worked in a big company and developed software, you've been there.
If you've been there, you know that these kinds of projects end up being epic failures. The problems arise from a mismatch in expectations. Frankly Twitter has grown so quickly (well, among the goofy tech niche anyway) that they never even had a chance to set expectations. Twitter's champions have set them instead, and now the champions are turning on them.
So how do you define Twitter's success? It's a product that has no business model, so how can it really be accountable to anyone? There's something to think about. It reminds me a little bit of certain Microsoft products, like Live Writer. I mean, it's free, and it has no business model, right?
Ah, finally, I see a parallel. Live Writer does have a business plan, because it's a feature for Microsoft's bigger platform. When you suddenly put it in that context, it makes perfect sense that Microsoft would develop this product and ship it. Suddenly, it's obvious to me what Twitter is... a feature. The problem is, I don't know what it's a feature for. What platform or bigger picture does it support, other than for conversational fodder among the tech celebrities? If Twitter's point is to tell other people what you're doing, then clearly something that unimportant in your daily life is part of something bigger, right?
I still don't care about Twitter as a service that I need or want, but I do find it fascinating that some segment of the tech crowd needs it so badly that they throw a fit every time it has a problem. Clearly it does add some value to their lives, and that's fine. It's just strange that in the realm of technology and software development there is a soap opera going on.