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Twitter brings us the funny headline of the week

Twitter Money

I always like to end the week with a laugh, and I got a good one out of a Reuters headline this morning. I don't know if it's really funny. But I found it hilarious for some reason. Here it is:

Business Users Force Twitter to Change Direction; Company Now Sees Way to Make Money

I have this image in my mind of the guys at Twitter sitting around and scratching their heads. "Boy," says the first Twitter executive, "we've really got a great thing going on... it's just that personally, I can't see a way for us to make any money at it."

"I know!" says Twitter #2. "I mean, we'll all make a killing when we sell the place and retire at the age of 14, but in order to do that we have to produce a spreadsheet."

"What's a spreadsheet?" says Twitter #3.

"It's, like, this thing that tells the giant corporation that will buy us and then lose their shirts why they won't lose their shirts if they buy us."

"Oh," says Twitter #3. They all sit around for a while. And then it happens.

"I know!" says Twitter #1. "I know how we can make money!" Everybody gets very excited, of course. "We're not going to be a social network anymore!"

"We're not?" says everybody in the room except #1.

"No!" he replies. "We're going to reposition ourselves as a communications network!"

"Oh!" they all cry. There's a short pause. "And that will make money?" says a small voice that could be Twitter #3.

"Yes," says #1.

And that was that. In one giant clap of conceptual thunder, Twitter goes from being an immensely popular social phenomenon that has no idea how to monetize itself into the next great profitable start up.

Not a bad way to end the week.

19 Comments Add Comment

I'm still looking for ways to monetize my online entrail reading idea.

Hmmm. I wonder if it was really "business users" who forced Twitter execs to change direction, or was it their wives? Or maybe their mothers?

At least Twitter is built upon the solid business principle of providing a product that meets a basic human need; entertainment for vast numbers of the unemployed.

Would you *pay money* to be able to "tweet"? To get "tweets"?

Didn't think so.

No comments? You guys are my survival tool here at work! Screw it i'm going to Vegas.

Conception- Coming up with a time idling non productive application we’ll call something cute like, “Twitter.”
(This is a kind of fun thing to play with and develop while the economy tanks.)

Deception- Get the trendy in the know techies and celebrities to lead the masses to think it is really cool way to immediately share idle thoughts and build their brand.
(Hey this really is a neat thing let’s share it with a few of our tech buddies.)

Reception- The masses now believe it is cool because look at the cool people who twitter. WOW, it is possible to know when their favorite celebrity/computer geek goes to the rest room and what they had for lunch at a much quicker news delivery time than a magazine or web page.
(Gosh this has gotten wild beyond our dreams popular with the masses which begs the question, “How do we, the founders, cash in?”)

Reflection – Masses discover moment to moment character entries can make celebrities seem pretty mundane and being asked by a company to twitter their favorite ice cream flavor etc… are kinda dull things to discuss, and dull is an application that doesn’t sell much doesn’t make much profit either.
(Uh oh, people are getting wise, we better really hurry up and figure a way to cash in before we lose out relevance.)

Perception- Twitter makes the claim that is was developed as a serious communication application for the efficient money makers among us and that the poor masses misapplied the proper application of Twitter for their personal amusement.
(If we can’t dump this thing on some corporation quickly, none of us will ever see a dime.)

People might just fawn over the regal invisible clothing that Twitter is trying to adorn itself with. Twitter may even raise tons more IPO capital than they can utilize with out ever turning an actual profit (.coms of the 90’s revisited). But in the end some capitalist will ruin it all by paying too much for Twitter and after a time of owning it say loudly and publically, “Twitter is wearing no capital generating clothes at all.”

... and they will re-brand themselves as Goldman Sachs.

I know what a Twit is,,,an so do most people,,,so are twitters a bunch of twits ,,,or what???

Seems that way to me..

Yes, Leeroy, there is the minor problem of no revenue, or any likelihood of ever generating revenue.

If telling people what was going on and charging them for it was profitable don't you think someone would have done it a long time ago?
I mean if you could deliver it to them each morning, why wouldn't people pay for it?
Sounds like a winner to me... no one has ever lost money with that model because you can never improve on delivering news.

If you are going to start making money at least have a real product like the pet rock. I loved my pet rock and I think its still in one of my desk drawers and not at the bottom of the bird cage catching left overs from "Tweety".

The U.S. manufactures less and less real things these days. Instead, we produce lots of tweets. Our airwave is awash with that virtual stuff. Can't eat it, Can't make money off of it. But the masses are happily entertained as they slowly fade to oblivion. Tweet on...

Does anybody remember MySpace before it was bought out by a certain large corporation for purposes of converting it from a social networking site to an actual profitable generating business? See how well this one works out...

Just what is twitter and why use it? I just talk to people.

Twitter, just another exercise in self absorbtion.

The fact that one can monetize that trait of human fraility is not only to be expected; it should come in as a blazing, honking profit producing juggernaut.

Although, I'm no Jack Welch.

Mix my martini and shut up you mommy track wench.

Did you see that picture of Biz Stone!!! Holy crap, look, it's Doogie Houser MD for the IT industry!

Ya know, I can hardly stand this instant messanger Outlook Communicator they make us all have at work now...whose gonna be the first Corporation to mandate the use of Twitter? Not mine (I hope...)

Biz Stone...jeeepers...Stone(d) Biz(ness) more like...

Spot on, Jack, they are twits. However, betting against Twitter finding a successful business model is betting that the twits will be smart with their money. I'll pass on that particular bet.

Twitter briefly filled the basic human need to be more trendy than the next guy. Trendy things are by definition fleeting. Trendy people are, by definition, endlessly fickle.

I'm sure my shamelessly trendy and tragically hip brother in law has already moved onto something like communicating by flinging yak dung with a jai lai cesta. I'd ask him, but he'd be pissed off if I sent him something as mundane as an email.

Twitter is a new channel for communications. You can reach out and connect with potential customers, supporters and detractors. There is a ton of value that it holds for companies that use it as another channel for outreach. Adding simple analytics on to your feed will easily yield an offering that companies will pay a small subscription fee for. Let's not forget that a 1% conversion of 40M users @ $10/month is a $50M business. Not too shabby for a 30 person company. Granted, costs of infrastructure are high, but you can see a path to success if executed correctly.

Just because you don't get it, don't label it a fad or a scam that will fade.

Remember Google pre 2002? Sure, they have a ton of IP, but they too figured out a business model later in the game.

Skype's doing $600M+ in revenues, and there was a time people were saying no one would pay to upgrade from a free service.

And let us not forget Keynes - 'in the long term, we are all dead'.

"Twitter is a new channel for communications. You can reach out and connect with potential customers, supporters and detractors."

What you marketing clowns still cannot comprehend is that the vast majority of us despise junk mail. We won't like junk tweets either.

My company's email filters show about 98.9% of our inbound email is spam. I am not making this up, and it is a "normal" rate for a large company. Tweets from twits are not really all that different from email, and soon, 98.9% of all tweets will be junk, if they aren't already.

Gotta go, just got a tweet that my favorite rapper, PoopDoggyPoop is on his way to McD's for fries! Lat3rz!