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Twitter Business Model Giveaway

Ok, I like working for free–so here goes:

Twitter, you should sell rights to hashtags! That’s at least as good as Promoted Tweets… (actually way better!).

Here’s two scenarios:

  • Sell administrative (subscription) access to #NewYorkCity-Mayor’sOffice. During times of emergencies, the owner or renter (here the Mayor’s office) could command control over it (for example, mute all other contributors to that hashtag). Perhaps the owned or official hashtags could be colored.
  • Sell administrative (subscription) access to #NewYorkCity to a top clothing or entertainment brand. Same thing: some type of admin access or control.

What’s good about this?

  • Subscription revenue is better than ad sales.
  • It’s not as intrusive as a promoted tweet (which is really a commercial–actually more like a billboard).


Earthquake Posits Twitter As New Real-Time Communication Infrastructure

Folks, within seconds of the recent earthquake that hit the U.S. I saw the Philly Inquirer had retweeted the USGS’s announcement about it.

There’s nothing more instantaneous or real-time than Twitter, right?

So here’s the obvious question: shouldn’t every municipal fire, police and emergency orgs have their own official Twitter hashtag?


Twitter the Tool Rocks, Twitter the Product Name Doesn’t

I’m a big fan of Twitter. Really, I think it’s bonafide communication infrastructure—on par with the phone, tv, fax… Sometimes I say it’s RSS on steroids, your own personal multi-media channel… I have a lot of emphatics for it ( I just made that word up!).

But you know what would really help me out? If Twitter was named something else.

Most of the time when I’m trying to explain it, it really feels like I’m trying to defend it. The word ‘twitter’ just has so many negative connotations: insignificance, small, ephemeral, light, transitory, fleeting…

So Twitter product guys, what’s with the name?

I think with a name like Burst—or a utilitarian acronym—adoption rates could have been even faster. “Facebook”, “email”, “internet”, “SMS”… these are all much better names because they’re descriptive or utilitarian—not self-deprecating.

Product naming isn’t for the birds.


Someone Let Me Text A Personal Coupon To My Dad!

Here’s a radical mobile/coupon idea: let me text a coupon that I create to anyone.

Maybe call it MePon.

For example, I know my Dad never splurges for good coffee. I would occasionally get a kick out of texting him my own Starbuck’s coupon–basically a $2 voucher that he can redeem at Starbucks for some bold Cafe Americano (my favorite).

It would have to be a totally open platform–perhaps just a connection between me (my phone) and my bank account–and to a lesser degree, brands and establishments.

For example, perhaps I could text him this: “Dad, it’s raining today–a good day for some steamy espresso. No cookies though! STBCKS-173846”

That code would allocate $2 from my bank account to a specific vendor–in this case Starbucks. Upon redemption, the money would be withdrawn from my account and passed to Starbucks. Every user needs a unique code–and every establishment. Not too hard, right?

Here’s some icing for this cake: Every brand should look out for those VIPs who are couponing–or meponing–a lot and reward them with status (mayorship?) or redeemable points (my own free drinks?).

Ok, I’m on a roll: If you integrate check-in apps or perhaps NFC, you could theoretically buy a specific person a drink at a bar… without knowing their name or username–ripe for generation Y; or you could spot tip good service…

Does this exist already? It should!


Do You Prefer Knowing or Thinking?

If this excerpt rankles you then read the whole darn thing.

We prefer knowing to thinking because knowing has more immediate value. It keeps us in the loop, keeps us connected to our friends and our cohort. Ideas are too airy, too impractical, too much work for too little reward. Few talk ideas. Everyone talks information, usually personal information. Where are you going? What are you doing? Whom are you seeing? These are today’s big questions.

It’s from Neal Gabler, senior fellow at the Annenberg Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California.


Loves all these comments!

Groupon’s Mojo: Simplicity

I don’t generally use coupons, but I think Groupon is brilliant in its simplicity.  When you arrive at the site, there’s really only one question.

Here’s a great quote from Andrew Mason, founder of Groupon (from

The premise is “dead-simple value that you can comprehend by looking at one page in three seconds,” says Mason.

In the age of TMI (too much information), this concept will make or break a business.


Facebook’s $75B Valuation Is About Potential Value–Not Actual Value

If Facebook is valued at $75B then it warrants the question: What’s $75B mean?

Well, IBM is about $200B.

Cisco is about $100B.

Canon is about $60B.

I’m no smarty pants, but these three companies provide goods and services that are valuable to a lot of folks all around the world. Facebook, on the other hand, is really communications and marketing infrastructure (or a platform for really good advertising).

Don’t get me wrong; I’m no naysayer or Luddite. I do think Facebook is worth a lot of dough–perhaps $75B is legit–but there’s just something fishy about suggesting it’s on par with the Ciscos and Canons of the world.

Here, think of it this way: If Cisco and Facebook went insolvent in the morning, what would you observe? If both were public companies, shareholders at Cisco would wait in line for assets to be liquidated. Facebook? Wouldn’t it evaporate like dew in the summer sun?

Bottom line: Facebook has the opportunity to get the right product in front of the right person at the right time more than any other company in the history of human kind. That’s pretty crazy–and valuable.


Is Huffington Post the Ambulance Chaser of Internet Media?

Here’s my suspicion of the new darling of Internet media:

  • HuffPo editors use Twitter and other real-time & mostly social media to find out what’s trending.
  • Then they grab a writer to jot out a quick story or grab an AP brief to see can get in on the action.
  •’s formidable SEO capital catapults them to the top of searches for that topic.
  • They get zillions of ad impressions for their advertisers.
  • HuffPo’s leading lady isn’t po’–she’s rich.

Good for her.

Bad for the internet.

I’m not the first to comment on this, but I was just infuriated to see a tweet in my stream that pointed to an article about a man who drive down the freeway with his wife on the hood of his car.


Internet publishers: you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Either have editorial discipline and focus and accept reasonable margins from loyal and interested readers OR make a ton of money gaming the system and be out of business soon.

10 Reasons Why People Use Twitter

10 Reasons Why People Use Twitter

I dig Twitter. No doubt I’d prefer that all my friends and family use it–but they don’t! Here’s why: they all think that it’s used to tell people what you had for breakfast. Who started that rumor?!

So this blog is dedicated to showing some things you can do in 140 characters–aka the Tweet!

1. You can point/link to something you find interesting.




2. Point to your own content–for publishers/bloggers.




3. Update your users.




4. Post a fact related to your industry.





5. Post a job.




6. Practice diplomacy.



7. Provoke.



8. Ask a question.



9. Be funny.



10. Post a pic.





Twitter, Facebook? This Stuff Is Infrastructure!

I finally figured it out: my passion for this social media stuff is grounded in the reality that what we’ve got at our fingertips is new infrastructure.

Roads, schools, tv, radio, your social ‘wall’ and your Twitter ‘stream’.

When radio came out, did a company own the technology?

This is heady stuff.

The Subject Is The Message, Says Me and Jack Dorsey

My friend lambasted me for sending him an email where I only used the subject line. There was no message in the body.

I actually recall thinking: this is unconventional, but more efficient. I’m gonna try it though!

Said friend compared me to his mom! Somehow, taking this utilitarian approach is old school or unsophisticated.

I’ve been doing it at work too. Why not! It’s certainly the most read part of your message, right?

Well, me and Jack Dorsey are on the same page. From the Huff Post: Twitter Co-Founder Jack Dorsey On The Power Of Tweets:

“Dorsey also told Rose that he uses text messaging “a lot more” than email. Email, Dorsey explained, “[is] not great for communication because it’s not focused on the most important thing. The subject is the message, and that’s the message. The subject is in the message in the IM. It’s bringing the content to you right away.”

Jack Dorsey The Philosopher

Some big quotes from Jack Dorsey, from an article on–about his Charlie Rose appearance:

  • We’ve put a lot of emphasis on tweeting when a lot of the value is actually following people.
  • And we spend so much time putting these organizations and public figures on this massive, massive pedestal, but we have to remember they go through all the small details of live that we do. And you can make them human again and you can interact with them.
  • Dorsey described iPhones as “general purpose computers”.
  • I just want to build stuff that really simplifies our base human interaction.