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What will we call a Twitter?

Friday, March 13, 2009 by Dave Winer.

Here's a TechFlash piece where a Google exec talks about a Twitter-like service. "There's relatively little data in Twitter," Bershad said. "I think if you could take a Twitter-like service and combine it with a lot of other data sources about the users, you might be able to come up with something more interesting." Permalink to this paragraph

He's thinking about having his own twitter.  Permalink to this paragraph

Interesting! Permalink to this paragraph

Leo Laporte already has one. Permalink to this paragraph

http://army.twit.tv/  Permalink to this paragraph

So do I. (Though far more humble than Leo's.) Permalink to this paragraph

http://home.smallpicture.com/  Permalink to this paragraph

As you read those sentences, does something bother you?  Permalink to this paragraph

Pause for a moment and think about it before you read on. Permalink to this paragraph

We're using the word twitter in a new way. Permalink to this paragraph

Up till now it was a company and a service.  Permalink to this paragraph

Is it a trademark? Curiously there's nothing on the site (that I can find) that indicates that it is.  Permalink to this paragraph

So here's the question. Permalink to this paragraph

If you accept the premise that some day there will be many twitter-like services, that it will be common for blogs to have their own community twitter like Leo and I do. And that corporations will have twitters for coordinating projects (narrating your work). That there will be services that are competitive with the original Twitter, perhaps from Google and Facebook, and others. If you accept some of these premises, then the question is -- what will they be called? Permalink to this paragraph

Will they be called microblogging services, which is the current nomenclature among techies, or will people take the shortest path and call a twitter a twitter? Permalink to this paragraph

Curious to know what people think. Permalink to this paragraph

PS: Unrelated, Paul Andrews just sent a screen shot of his Twitter page with an active search box. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.


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