Twitter gets cash — can it be fixed?

by Mathew on June 24, 2008 · 8 comments

As has been rumoured for some time now, Twitter has closed a financing round — and with some all-star money types, including Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Bijan Sabet of Spark Capital — although no one is saying how much the round was (rumours continue to be $15-million), or what the valuation placed on the company is. All that aside, the big question is whether it’s going to be able to fix what is broken at Twitter, and — assuming it can — whether people are willing to wait around until that gets done. For the past couple of months, the downtime at Twitter has been far higher than virtually any other social-media tool I can think of, and there has been a constant stream of people either leaving for Jaiku or Pownce, or moving their social graph to FriendFeed and elsewhere.

As Mike Arrington said awhile back at TechCrunch, it’s possible that Twitter has become so central to some people’s online behaviour patterns that it almost doesn’t matter how much it goes down, because people will bitch and moan about it — and then get right back on Twitter and complain about how much it goes down. I for one hope that Ev and Biz and the team are busy building a completely separate architecture they can migrate the service over to at some point, because I think Twitter has established a clear place in the world of social media, and not just as a conversational or ego-stroking tool, but also as a news delivery mechanism. I would hate to see that go to waste.

  • bbluesman

    I'd like to think that with Jeff Board he'd be bringing some of his back-end engineering support as well, to get better return on his investment and help this wounded whale bird fly right. Time will tell.

  • http://broadcasting-brain.com Mark Dykeman

    Oddly enough, I wrote a rant about Twitter at almost exactly the same time as you wrote this blog post.

    I agree with you. I think they should be a robust system in parallel with the current system, then migrate us to the new one. Heck, they can have a whole weekend to do that if they want, fine by me.

  • http://broadcasting-brain.com Mark Dykeman

    Just thought I'd mention that my rant won't actually be published until tomorrow (Wednesday)

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    I agree, Mark. They need to fix this thing once and for all.

  • http://blog.burbary.com Ken Burbary

    In addition to the new funding and management support from Jeff and Bijan, Twitter has also recently hired some large scale computing heavy hitters to solve the architecture problem. John Adams is the new Director of Operations. He was interviewed by @techcrunch recently and discussed this very problem and some of what he'll do to solve it.

    http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/06/23/john-adams

    Let's hope this finally gets them over the hump so we can all stop writing blog posts about how poorly Twitter is behaving.

  • http://www.justhardwork.blogspot.com Paul Marshall

    The good news for Twitter is that I as well as many others that I follow and connect with have not (and inexplicably) cannot/willnot leave despite my new found hatred for flying whales. I know there has been people leaving, but I haven't seen it in my follow groups. If we have toughed it out this long I think the majority will wait it out at this point. What this means to Twitter is bring in the right people (John Adams et al), use the new funding and put all the technology problems to bed.

    One thought though…if Twitter no longer has any technical problems to post about I expect the volume of Tweets to drop dramatically, which will implicitlt help fix the problem….hmmmm.

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  • http://www.justhardwork.blogspot.com Paul Marshall

    The good news for Twitter is that I as well as many others that I follow and connect with have not (and inexplicably) cannot/willnot leave despite my new found hatred for flying whales. I know there has been people leaving, but I haven't seen it in my follow groups. If we have toughed it out this long I think the majority will wait it out at this point. What this means to Twitter is bring in the right people (John Adams et al), use the new funding and put all the technology problems to bed.

    One thought though…if Twitter no longer has any technical problems to post about I expect the volume of Tweets to drop dramatically, which will implicitlt help fix the problem….hmmmm.

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