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Gartner's curve

Sunday, April 19, 2009 by Dave Winer.

A picture named bigGulp.jpgOn Twitter early this afternoon, Sarah Lacy posted a link to a TechCrunch article she wrote admonishing bloggers to go easy on Twitter. It included a graph called Gartner's Hype Cycle, which I loved, but I think it's complete nonsense, and in no way reflects what's going on with Twitter. Permalink to this paragraph

Now this is what I think, not a proven fact in any way. Twitter is the current holder of the baton in a series of social media bootstraps, each of which built on what came before. It is not Google, which is a search engine, rather it is what came after MySpace and captured its growth. Extrapolating, something will come along and do to Twitter what it did to MySpace. Permalink to this paragraph

Before all that there was LiveJournal, blogging, podcasting, Flickr, etc. Depending on who you ask different things came first. If you ask me, blogging came first, and it had the longest ramp. I saw podcasting grow at a much faster rate simply because the blogging network already existed and was used to promote podcasting. Permalink to this paragraph

Just for fun, I drew my own Gartner-like diagram: Dave's Continuous BootstrapPermalink to this paragraph

It would be foolish to believe that Twitter will not have a successor. And I'm pretty sure it'll grow faster than Twitter because word of its existence will spread on Twitter. That's why all this is a bootstrap. You can use iteration N to spread word of N+1. Permalink to this paragraph

Google is a search engine. A completely different beast. I don't buy that Twitter is search. Most of the stuff that you see on Twitter isn't worth finding. Try searching for something in the news and see if you don't agree. It's easy to conduct an experiment.  Permalink to this paragraph

So what's the relationship betw Google and Twitter? For sure you can put ads on Twitter, just the kind of ads that Google loves to put on email or web pages. They can tell a lot about you by knowing who you follow and maybe who follows you. But Google is also a search engine, and I believe there's a connection there as well, but only when you push links through Twitter. You can view that as contributing to PageRank. Will this make search better? I have no idea. They'll have to try it. Maybe Twitter is working on it. If they'd open the firehose to developers (and not the limited firehose they're promising, the full thing) we could find out without waiting. Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named slippers.jpgBut Twitter is definitely leading edge, so it would be silly to predict what it will go through. Maybe Oprah will invest. And we know how much the entertainment industry respects and fears Oprah. Having her on board, in a fiduciary way, would do a lot to protect Twitter from competition in the US entertainment business. Without that, I'd worry about NBC or ABC starting their own Twitter for their programs. Or Comedy Central. And who knows, people in the news biz might figure out that instead of fighting last century's battle with Google they might try to take some of the growth from Twitter in the news system of the 21st century, which probably looks more like Twitter than Google News.  Permalink to this paragraph

Anyway, just some random thoughts on my first Sunday back in Calif. Permalink to this paragraph

PS: It's impossible to take anything TechCrunch says about Twitter seriously. Like Mashable, they are on the Suggested User List and have received a massive influx of new followers as a result. It seems a very likely explanation why they make fun of those who criticize Twitter, or in Lacy's case, urge them to go easy. It's as if they do PR for Twitter.  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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