Commentary

Call For Submissions On What Twitter's Biz Model Should Be: I'm Serious!

As anyone who reads this column knows, I am a Twitter-aholic, a condition that was most recently brought home to me last night when I found myself constantly checking tweets as the election results rolled in.

But part of that obsession is something most of you never see. I wonder, as do many of us, what Twitter's business model is to be. I want it to eventually figure out how to make money so that my habit can continue to be fed. Twitter, for its part, is not so obsessed. In an email founder Biz Stone sent out to Twitter Nation this week, he said the company was looking to make new hires, but the list of open jobs, which you can see at this link, definitely supports Twitter's philosophy that it's more important to work on the product first and ponder revenue models later. Of the 10 open positions listed, only one job, director of strategic partnerships, falls into the category of business development, which may or may not be an attempt at making money.

The irony is that meanwhile, it seems like more and more corporations are making it part of their business model. Dell says it's made hundreds of thousands of dollars off of the tweets it's posted alerting its followers to deals. Even Dunkin' Donuts is there, and the discussion today is of salsa bagels. (Oy vey, ole!) If the salsa bagel comes into existence, you'll have heard it on Twitter first.

But none of this helps Twitter much, except in keeping it atop the buzz-o-meter. So, I'm writing this column to ask you to figure out what Twitter's business model should be --and be prepared to present it. Maybe it should charge corporations for tweets. Maybe it should make every 20th tweet an ad. Maybe it should see if all of us addicts would accept a subscription model. The choice is yours.

If your idea is interesting enough, you'll get to present it at OMMA Social San Francisco on Jan. 26 at the Hotel Nikko. (You may have to pay for airfare, but, hey, fuel costs are down!).

Here are the details:

1. With a tip of the hat to Eric Wheeler, CEO of 33Across, your submission comes with a gimmick. Just like a tweet, it has to be 140 characters or less. (Abbreviations are OK; including your tiny URL, which links to a 20-page treatise on how Twitter can make money, is not.)
2. Your submission can be sent to me at cathyptaylor@gmail.com -- or you can DM me your idea at my Twitter handle, which is cpealet.
3. The deadline for entries is Friday, Dec. 12.
4. Whoever we pick will appear on a panel with a few other people, where they will briefly present their idea, though at that point, we will let them expand way beyond the 140-character limit to explain themselves
5. We have no control over whether your idea will go anywhere, but you'll love the applause from the adoring OMMA Social crowd.
6. Don't ask me who the moderator is, because I don't know yet. Maybe Biz Stone will have nothing to do that day.
7. If no one submits anything, I'll be mad.
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OK, all, that's it. We await your ideas.

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1 comment about "Call For Submissions On What Twitter's Biz Model Should Be: I'm Serious! ".
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  1. Garrett Davis, January 12, 2009 at 11:47 a.m.

    Hi,

    I am a non-twitter person. I am attending a focus group about the potential to use twitter to market transit. By nature of my age, my superiors feel I would be suited to this discussion ( 25 yrs)

    My question is "what are the people who say they are addicted actually addicted too?" Is it because you can communicate with large groups of people or is it the freshness of the information? Any comments would be appreciated.

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