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An Ode to a Valuable Partner
I had 6 blogs in syndication on blog platform Posterous until this morning when 4 of the 6 are unavailable on top of the fact that there have been reports for weeks that they stopped accepting new registrations. This all just a few months after being acquired by Twitter in an undisclosed deal. I luckily heeded their backup warnings and just last week downloaded all of my content. For once I didn't get caught short! Yeah for me on that one after losing quite a bit of content when Amplify.com went dark and a ton of photos when Photobucket.com went down plus others over the years less dramatic and long ago accepted. It serves us all to remember that we must backup our content, especially that which is hosted on 3rd party/free networks like the previous examples. For me, Posterous was one that I invested heavily in. Six of my forty publications including my four flagship sites of:
Three of them were top level domains which I can transfer to another host and upload my saved content with not a period disrupted. CNN had this to say about Twitter's buyout of Posterous last March:
"Launched in 2008, Posterous -- like its archrival Tumblr -- pioneered the "microblogging" space. Its specialty is content that's longer than a tweet but shorter than a traditional blog post. The services are especially good for sharing photos, videos, quotes and other multimedia snippets."
The management there has been warning of the impending shutdown since the buyout almost one year now in such statements as:
"We'll give users ample notice if we make any changes to the service," Posterous wrote in a blog post announcing the takeover. "For users who would like to back up their content or move to another service, we'll share clear instructions for doing so in the coming weeks."
I'm still sad to see it go. Posterous was my much thought out 3rd place backup platform to my primary blog publishing patforms at Google's Blogger.com and Wordpress.com and as a self publishing platorm was relatively easy to navigate it's backend although it did admittedly had it's shortfalls like the inability to ad html code to sidebars, a limited selection of premade templates and always left one with the feeling that they had picked the modern equivelent of video formats "Beta Max" vs Tumblr's "VHS". It was cool, very Web 2.0 but not adopted by the cool kids in the same way that Tumblr was and since the two platforms were virtrualy identical in form and function I always had a sense that it's run would be limited.
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What is Twitter?
Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from Twitter.com, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests.
Where did the idea for Twitter come from?
Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.
How is Twitter built?
Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes.
We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.
How do you make money from Twitter?
There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.
In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within Twitter.com, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet.
At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.
Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on Virginamerica.com that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.
What's next for Twitter?
We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users.
We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.
Joined Vator onPosterous is the easiest way to post rich media online. Simply compose an email to email@example.com, including any text and attachments. You can attach images, video, audio, documents, and links. We'll convert everything to most web friendly format and publish it online instantly.
Joined Vator onAuthor, Syndicated Columnist, Editor In-Chief and Group Publisher at SGB Media Group. Founder & Executive Director at Startup Hive incubator, Founder & Chairman at Boardroom Advisory Services