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Evan Williams, Twitter's Co Founder: Twitter Fundamental To Democracy

 4:31 pm on Mar 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Evan Williams, Twitter's Co Founder: Twitter Fundamental To Democracy [news.bbc.co.uk]
Social networks will become the fundamental way we communicate with our governments, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams has told the BBC.

He said that Twitter will be expanding into regions where only the simplest of technology is available, such as in Haiti or parts of India.

In areas where censorship hinders freedom of speech, he hopes the "open exchange of information will prevail".

He also added there are still no plans to charge end users to use the site.



 2:09 pm on Mar 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

why Twitter turned down an offer from Facebook rumoured to be between $300-$500m

either he is really serious about the "change the world" thing or wants to make even more money than that?

Their burn-rate must be pretty high and it takes really long to come up with any business model. Wonder if they can be so relaxed about the cash.



 2:56 pm on Mar 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm still waiting for these sites to make the billions of dollars everyone thinks they'll make...

So I think the PR approach is a good one. Hey, if you want someone to pay a fortune for a site that doesn't make any money, you've got to be taking over the world somehow.


 5:18 pm on Mar 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

The lack of money making reminds me of a situation from several years ago regarding one of my web hosts.

They offered hosting for free, no ads, fast servers even free phone support. Then one day they went from free to cheap. Because they where good the choice was obvious, pay. If even 5% of users paid they became a strong viable company.

Would 5% of twitter users be willing to pay?



 5:38 pm on Mar 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

The second large Internet company which thinks their technology will help spread the democratic mantra to the rest of the world. Google just learned the hard way [webmasterworld.com] that it doesn't work that way. Twitter will soon learn this as well, after all the governments which don't like their service have blocked access to their site. China is blocking them permanently according to the article and more countries are likely to follow. Iran blocked twitter during previous elections for example.


 6:29 pm on Mar 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Business model? Twitter doesn't have one. I suggest they start becoming a clearinghouse for coupon codes and become an affiliate of the various companies listing codes. A bot twitter account could then insert coupon based offers into the twitter stream that users may not hate to see. "Special limited time offer, big brand widgets are 20% off with code from example.com".

If twitter limits the twitter feed to 1 such coupon every 10-15 minutes the system may support it and shoppers may actually stay on twitter to spot the deals.

Just an idea.


 8:47 pm on Mar 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

No social network is fundamental to democracy. Someone needs to get his head down from the clouds.
The minute a site starts making claims like that its time to search for hidden agenda...like 90% new users registering via bots and from china...or like some powerful group using it to overthrow legitimate governments...or some other powerful group using data to gain insight on what sheeple do, or bend public opinion...

"democracy" is a worst form of mob power that is oblivious to the fact it is ruled by an elite.

Just an idea.

Hey, maybe they ARE secretly financed by an alphabet soup agency, and don't need no business plan. That would be a good reason to play "democracy" card, and also to explain how you can sustain a business without a business model.

[edited by: aleksl at 8:51 pm (utc) on Mar 14, 2010]


 8:50 pm on Mar 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Would 5% of twitter users be willing to pay?

Not for long. Web hosting is something people need, and once they find a provider they like they tend to stick.

Twitter is something no one needs, people would happily move along to a free competitor, and we're not talking about software or infrastructure that would be difficult to duplicate.

The tiny percentage who would pay would quickly change their minds when all their followers migrated elsewhere.


 10:24 pm on Mar 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Main Entry: 1funĚdaĚmenĚtal
Pronunciation: \ˌfən-də-ˈmen-təl\
Function: adjective
Date: 15th century

1 a : serving as an original or generating source : primary <a discovery fundamental to modern computers> b : serving as a basis supporting existence or determining essential structure or function : basic
2 a : of or relating to essential structure, function, or facts : radical <fundamental change>; also : of or dealing with general principles rather than practical application <fundamental science> b : adhering to fundamentalism
3 : of, relating to, or produced by the lowest component of a complex vibration
4 : of central importance : principal <fundamental purpose>
5 : belonging to one's innate or ingrained characteristics : deep-rooted <her fundamental good humor>

He is either delusional or choose the wrong word.


 2:02 am on Mar 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Twitter will probably repeat the story of MySpace.


 2:35 am on Mar 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Just for the record: Twitter isn't going away. Let's see what happens ;-) I'll happily make this call after extensively using it for 2+ years.


 4:57 am on Mar 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Twitter Fundamental To Democracy

Well, IMHO that would be overstating the importance of Twitter significantly. Is he applying for public grants / funding?

Social networks will become the fundamental way we communicate with our government

IMHO, not likely at all for the forseeable future...


 5:12 am on Mar 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Twitter Fundamental To Democracy

Then stop designing ways of filtering and reviewing tweets already, thank you.

The future of social Media

There is no such thing, people congregate in herds. When the herd stays still long enough people start to pitch products and ideas at them and people or governments with agendas continue to play their influence game. The herd will eventually move to new pastures and cool new applications but nothing changes, same people, same products, same agendas. The future is more of the present minus the privacy that gets stripped off along the way.

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