2 minute read

Dear Ev,

Frankly I’m baffled.  As I type this, Twitter is throwing a 503 error back to twitterific and is showing the newly idiotic “Something is technically wrong” web page at the home URL.  This is the morning after yet another period of system maintenance or upgrades.

Your goodwill is rapidly deteriorating.  The service is notoriously unstable, and in fact just yesterday I saw someone begin advocating against depending upon Twitter for emergency communication.  Why?  Too undependable.  This is quite a turn-around from the period during & after the San Diego fires, where Twitter was embraced by fire dept folks for use in just this type of situation.

It would be easy to say “You get what you pay for” – neither I, nor any user, pay to use Twitter.  And you’d be right.  But you’re trying to make this a business, and so I respectfully suggest that you begin running the operation as though *everyone* is paying.  Bring in some experts.  Redesign – from the ground up if necessary.

Once folks develop a habit of use, they begin to feel entitled.  They show up, you provide a workable twitter service, and somewhere along the way you figure out how to monetize.  That’s the value exchange.  But when they show up and all they encounter is a timeout (there’s the 503 again just now in twitterific) or a condescending error page, they feel cheated.  People are funny that way. 

And they will leave.  As I’ve said before, I really like Twitter.  But the value exchange is currently askew.

(oh, and there’s that 503 again… three times while I was posting.  )