Twitter Boycott? Meh.

Paul Chaney thinks we should all boycott Twitter tomorrow on the 4th of July.

But, I don’t really think this will do anything about the real CORE ISSUE with twitter reliability: Scalability of a push framework around self-forming groups. It has to do with the number of processes needed to send one message to someone with, say 20 followers:

  1. Who are each of the followers?
  2. For each follower, are they listening?
  3. If they are listening, how do they want updates?
  4. If they want updates, send the update to them.
  5. Make sure, if they ever come online, this message gets shown in their personal timeline… in the right order.
  6. Make sure, if an API ever requests this user’s messages that this one is included in the reply.
  7. Check to see if this tweet was a reply to someone/anyone.
  8. For each person it was a reply to, repeat steps 2-6 to send each of them the reply.
  9. … but don’t send them the reply if we already sent it!
  10. For. each. word. in. the. tweet, see if anybody on the entire earth was tracking that word.
  11. Repeat steps 1-6 and 9 for each of those people.
  12. Get ready for the very next tweet, since you’ve had so much downtime 🙂

More than all of that tech-speak, twitter is just cooler than the others:

  • Identi.ca doesn’t allow SMS yet. Fail.
  • Brightkite isn’t universally accessible (and kinda serves another purpose). Fail.
  • Jaiku can’t be pronounced in English. Fail.

End of the day, I think my friend Matt Reinbold said it best amid the furor and uproar (on twitter, of course) about identi.ca‘s launch yesterday:

“I am wearied by the supposed “twitter-killers” that have no mobile support. the any-input/any-output beyond-a-browser IS the killer feature.”

The twitter-wanna-bes will come and go, but none of them will match twitter because:

  • There’s ANY interface: web, mobile web, widgets, IM, SMS, API, RSS–you name it.
  • Its wicked easy to start and just “go”
  • When you’re changing locations, because of the ubiquity of access, the conversation follows you–from web/app to IM to SMS and back again.
  • Its simple to learn/execute commands, like DM, add/remove/block, etc.
  • Other apps can be built on top of it, like, easy.
  • The people I want to talk to are already there (I already went through the rough days on twitter what back when @jasonalba was the only other person on the network. I don’t want to do that all over again!

So, boycott twitter if you want.  Or not.

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