Saturday, April 11, 2009
In a current ZDNet Blog Posting, Sam Diaz analyses the recent technical issues Twitter has (again). Twitter is growing dramatically in the last months and apparently the Twitter backbone is increasingly in trouble. The same happened already about a year ago.
The analysis of Sam Diaz is of course correct, but in my opinion he still completely misses the point in discussing technical issues why Twitter might or might not catch up with the upcoming demand in the service. The point actually is, that the communication concept of Twitter is appealing to many people, which is good, but in the history of the Internet it was never a good idea to rely on a proprietary protocol in any important communication channel.
So the real question is a much more generic and actually should be: how can we get rid of Twitter as fast as possible and replace it with an open protocol and a scalable distributed architecture, comparable to Email, XMPP chat and the like. There are good reasons why proptietary protocols largly failed on global communication systems like the Internet; those that are still around are a continuous pain in the ...
I confess, I am using Twitter as well, but it is of course a lock-in situation. If you want to follow the interesting stuff, you currently have to use Twitter. However, now we still have time to replace Twitter with something like Laconica (identi.ca) or anything similar down the road. Even better, Twitter might open up it's system and try scaling it that way. However, now is the time to act: Twitter is still a toy, but it is on the way to become a serious communication system we might depend upon in some years. And I believe, no one wants to depend on a communication system that is proprietary and unreliable at the same time.