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Twitter Gets Major Funding, Adds New Data Center

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the power-up dept.

Businesses 125

1sockchuck writes "Twitter has announced new funding led by Kleiner Perkins, with reports placing the new round at $200 million for a valuation of $3.7 billion. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said the microblogging service added more than 100 million new accounts in the past 12 months. That kind of growth requires a lot of servers, so Twitter will open a new data center in Sacramento as it begins to operate its own facilities, following a path forged by Google and Facebook."

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Yay... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34567588)

Another company blows all their money on a data center...

In 5 years, the newest fad will arrive, and Twitter will be out of business, or suffer extreme drops in revenue and users.

Don't believe me? How's MySpace these days? Or Gawker? Or one of the other dot-coms that went under after their popularity waned.

Re:Yay... (0)

devbox (1919724) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567650)

Another company blows all their money on a data center...

Yeah, I think it's quite unbelievable that companies are wasting their money on things they require in their business. There must be like a million better uses for it than actually making sure their business works and grows.

Re:Yay... (4, Funny)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567710)

There must be like a million better uses for it

coke and hookers?

Re:Yay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34567830)

no thats Yahoo!

1) Get Data Center (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568242)

2) PROFIT!!!

Re:Yay... (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568054)

Hopefully some of that money will be spent on IT things, like security. ...come to think of it, I know some security-oriented IT people who would be interested in working there. I wonder how one would apply to work there?

Re:Yay... (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568606)

Why do they need to be in the data center business? What benefit do they gain from having to deal with HVAC and power and all the other nonsense that comes from running a data center? They could just co-locate in a current data center and probably negotiate one hell of a good deal if they really are big enough that they were able to build their own center. How much space do they REALLY need? All they are doing is tossing around 160 (?) character text bursts. It isn't like they have persistent connections for those hundreds of millions of users.

Re:Yay... (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568712)

By the look of the article, they may well be going with a colo.

And you'd be surprised how much traffic that they generate--keep in mind, they're serving gigabytes a day, as each of those people tweeting is reading others' tweets, so each 160-byte iteration gets multiplied by however many people 'follow' that tweeter.

There's many accounts that have >1Million followers; that means each tweet multiplies into ~160 megabytes of traffic.

We're talking some serious database wrangling going on; I'm surprised that they've managed to go this far without having multiple dedicated server farms and still show any kind of responsiveness.

Re:Yay... (2)

entotre (1929174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567744)

True, but because twitter is driven by marketing, i like better comparing it to Second Life

Bringing Second Life to Twitter (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567914)

#===> #===> #===>

Re:Yay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34567796)

This is silly. That companies will decline or fail in the future is not an argument against infrastructure expansion.
Presumably the other options -- renting servers, or doing nothing at all -- were not attractive to Twitter.
Even if they do fail, an asset like a data center is still salable or rentable.

Re:Yay... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568180)

That companies will decline or fail in the future is not an argument against infrastructure expansion.

No, but the fact that around 70% of tweets are completely ignored should be telling them something about how effective their infrastructure investment is going to be.

Re:Yay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34568510)

But at something like 90 million tweets per day, that means over 10 million are not ignored. That's nothing to sneeze at. They are also not in a position to judge what tweets are important enough to serve, so they have to have infrastructure for all of them. If I were one of the creators, I'd be happy with my money, even if many people think the whole thing is a joke. I don't see the point myself, but I'm not going to rag on something that's obviously making someone a bucket load of cash.

Re:Yay... (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568892)

That measurement is flawed. 70% of tweets are not replied to. You can't possibly know if they're being ignored or not.

I don't have a Twitter account, but I've used its search to check what people are saying about $subject. Of course I won't reply, but I'm still interested in reading them.

Re:Yay... (2)

matazar (1104563) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567816)

My question is how many of those 100 million accounts post more than 1 message before they become forgotten. How many last more than a week....

Re:Yay... (5, Insightful)

dummondwhu (225225) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567828)

Yes, it surely makes no sense to grow as much as possible when the opportunity presents itself because it's going to all come undone at some point. We might as well hide under our beds instead of going to work. Hell, I know the work I'm doing now is going to be a useless piece of shit in a decade, so why bother?

Re:Yay... (2)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567846)

Also in 5 years the value of the equipment in said data center will have dropped substantially.

The land, if they own it, can be sold easily.

So why does this matter again?

Re:Yay... (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567922)

Suffer extreme drops in revenue? what revenue?

Re:Yay... (1)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568062)

Well, I'm not sure about anything else but they do have sponsored trending topics. So there is at least some revenue.

Re:Yay... (1)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568022)

Another company blows all their money on a data center...

In 5 years, the newest fad will arrive, and Twitter will be out of business, or suffer extreme drops in revenue and users.

Don't believe me? How's MySpace these days? Or Gawker? Or one of the other dot-coms that went under after their popularity waned.

Yes. Clearly if Myspace can't make it, no other company can make it and every company that is doing well should just give up.

-Taylor

Re:Yay... (2)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568080)

'cause obviously once you build a data center optimized for Twitter, it can't possibly be used for anything else... hey, maybe somebody should invent a general purpose computer, instead of these damn servers that can only host one application!

Re:Yay... (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568630)

But why should Twitter build the data center? There are companies out there that just build data centers. I almost went to work for one two years ago. They own the One Wilshire building in Los Angeles. They were planning on building something stupid amount (15?) of data centers over the next couple of years. It would be interesting to see the ROI figures on Twitter's data center build out.

Re:Yay... (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 3 years ago | (#34569570)

"There are companies out there that just build data centers."

The fact that they "just build data centers" is no guarantee that they will build them better than the company that build datacenters on top of something else. Once you are big enough in an industry, there's no guaranteed benefit in going out for a provider. In fact you are *guaranteed* in the limit that it will be cheaper to do it yourself (your costs will be just the same than those of the provider but you will save on its benefits).

So the question is not why they build their own datacenter but if they'll be up to the task.

Re:Yay... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568150)

But this data center is for twits.

Re:Yay... (4, Insightful)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568664)

How did this get +3 on the moderation? I'm going to guess twitter haters?
Not all huge sites are shrinking in size, look at facebook, youtube, google themselves.

Twitter is one of the greatest new forms of communications in the last 20 years.
My first 2 tweets stayed for 6+ months iirc and were just "twitter is lame" and "update: twitter is still a wank" or something like that.
I didn't 'get' twitter.

Now that I do, I do not understand why on earth SMS still exists, this website / application(s) allows me to talk to people instantly across the planet with a 0$ fee (unlike SMS) and I can include pictures, links or whatever, I can use trending topics to see what is big in the world right this second! (yes, that's big)
When someone posts "is that an earthquake?!" I go to twitter, type in earthquake and can have confirmation in seconds

Twitter allows manufacturers, famous people and important people to instantly share messages and thoughts with people. There is an awful awful lot of stupid and irrelivant shit, mark my words I understand this but inbetween all that it's amazing, utterly amazing.

I can see my friends have conversations - and yes they can do it privately but they can also do it publically, that ability to see their conversation - is almost like being at a resteraunt or bar where everyone is having a chat - my ears are tuning in (if I desire) to their conversation and I can at any moment join in, all wirelessly, all instantly - in any timezone.

I don't often praise things and it sure as shit took me a while to get it, infact until you literally have an account and follow a couple of people, I totally get hating on it - the interface is silly to understand at first, once you do get it - it's incredible, utterly incredible.

My only problem with twitter, or rather their only problem is that I simply can not fathom how they can monetize it - in any way. Google however purchased Youtube and I distinctly recall me saying "what the fuck is google thinking? 4 billion? That's stupid - this is googles first big mistake" - I mean there was no ads back then and it was 5 years ago, bandwidth is fucking expensive and they just paid money to serve up terabytes of data a day, why?!
Anyhow: TLDR is that twitter should utterly replace SMS, without question, SMS is completely dead to me, all my friends with twitter I can tweet in seconds, it's a fucking incredibly powerful and clever communications tool, once you learn it, you'll love it.

Re:Yay... (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 3 years ago | (#34569376)

(Are you trolling? If so, I bit the hook..)

How can twitter "replace" SMS? Twitter *uses* SMS. I virtually never go to the twitter web site, I receive the tweets directly on my phone, via SMS. (Yes, there are twitter apps too, but they don't seem any more convenient to me.)

Re:Yay... (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 3 years ago | (#34569636)

No twitter CAN use SMS, do you not have data on your mobile phone plan?
Are *YOU* trolling?

Re:Yay... (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 3 years ago | (#34569860)

Of course I have data.. but since I want the tweets to 'come to me' rather than have me seek them out(*), SMS seems like the only way to currently do that.

(*) I have in the past wished for a twitteremail gateway so I could get a whole page of very frequent tweeters as an email once a day. But generally, I like getting it via SMS.

Re:Yay... (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 3 years ago | (#34569976)

You don't have push notifications on your phone?
Maybe in the US, SMS's are free but where I am they vary from 5 to 30cents - that's a lot of money over thousands of tweets.

Data is the future, SMS packets are dead soon.

SMS vs Twitter (2)

bayankaran (446245) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570580)

SMS is completely dead to me, all my friends with twitter I can tweet in seconds, it's a fucking incredibly powerful and clever communications tool, once you learn it, you'll love it.

SMS might be dead to you. And I am guessing you are in USA where a text message will cost anywhere between 5 to 20 cents. But for a majority of the world which is not you, SMS is THE form of communication other than a voice call. I pay less than one cent per SMS. And I sent SMS to any cell phone, whether it is a smart phone or not.

Twitter has its use. SMS has its place.

You remind me of someone who claimed cinema will be dead when television was introduced.

Re:Yay... (1)

frozentier (1542099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34569354)

You're missing a lot of fads that are gone, such as facebook, YouTube, Google... there's just nothing on the internet anymore.

One question that we all want to know (5, Funny)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567612)

Now, when they get that second server, will we be able to at least get 255 chars in a tweet?

Re:One question that we all want to know (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567856)

No, but 10,000 more fake Puff Daddy twitter accounts will appear in its place

Re:One question that we all want to know (2)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568526)

No, but 10,000 more fake Puff Daddy twitter accounts will appear in its place

Hey, now. Don't be mad at P. Diddy. It took so long for Puff to register alternate names that some people got them before Diddy did. Puffy's doing his best, and I'm sure Sean will get the last of them before his next name change.

Re:One question that we all want to know (2)

tux0r (604835) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568036)

It's not the technology upgrades which will engender longer tweets, it's profitability.

When the new subscription rate slows and Twitter decides that promotion/advertising revenue isn't enough, I expect the ability to tweet longer will be a "premium" (paid) enhancement. 140 char tweets stay free, but if you load up your account with Twitter credits ("Twedits"?), every block of 70 extra chars costs you x twedits...

Re:One question that we all want to know (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568048)

Now, when they get that second server, will we be able to at least get 255 chars in a tweet?

The limit is based on the restrictions of making tweets SMS-compatible, so, no.

Another fine investment decision... (4, Insightful)

Denny (2963) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567624)

Are Twitter at any point going to get a revenue stream?

Re:Another fine investment decision... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34567770)

This is a popular response, but they've been profitable since they began the Google/Bing search deals last November/December. It looks like this round is to catalyse and sustain growth.

Re:Another fine investment decision... (3, Informative)

rochocinco (1959854) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570496)

Where are you getting that info? There were a lot of reports end of last year about them being profitable. But, in August of this year, they admitted they are not profitable. There is an interview on CNN Money.

Re:Another fine investment decision... (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568268)

Wait, why would earning actual revenue be a requirement for a startup being worth investing millions in or paying billions for?

Now that's just silly!

Re:Another fine investment decision... (1)

eepok (545733) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568342)

Access to personal records = $$ Marketing = $$ Understanding influence dynamics = $$ They're just selling info and access.

Re:Another fine investment decision... (2)

omnibit (1737004) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568816)

Are Twitter at any point going to get a revenue stream?

Yes. They're now selling promoted tweets for up to $100,000 [wsj.com] . Engagement rates were significantly higher [mashable.com] than what was seen on Google's sponsored links, though that's likely due to its novelty. With enough promoted tweets however, you could start to see some serious cash rolling in.

Re:Another fine investment decision... (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34569572)

Are Twitter at any point going to get a revenue stream?

Ah the Ponzi scheme.

The funding was delivered in the form... (3, Funny)

forkfail (228161) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567644)

... of 1,428,571 $1.40 checks, so it'll take a while before they can actually use it...

Wow (1)

ferrocene (203243) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567646)

I'm still blown away that a company such a simple idea, run on such a simple site, requires a CEO.

He's like the CEO of txt messages.

Re:Wow (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567684)

Not really, some text messages can send pictures, music, and sometimes video (depending on the phone). Well, if you are using a N-Gage QD, maybe.

Says something about the state of things (3, Funny)

thewils (463314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567662)

Consecutive articles on /. $30M for biofuel research, $200M for twitter. We're fucked, but at least we can tweet about it.

Re:Says something about the state of things (1)

mistiry (1845474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567712)

Completely.
Utterly.
Entirely.
Correct.

Re:Says something about the state of things (2)

Bryan3000000 (1356999) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567844)

But biofuel research has no immediate profitability or practical necessity (since we have oil), while Twitter is a highly, um, used, uh, and even my refrigerator can use twitter if I, uh, and there's a lot of profit just waiting to be, uh, figured out how to, um, be made somehow [yeah, we're screwed]

Re:Says something about the state of things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34567990)

Yes. What a freakin' waste of money.

Sacramento? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34567714)

Will the abundant solar offset the enormous cooling requirements during the Summer months?

Do they hope to be involved with CA government somehow?

I'm not knocking the choice. You're close enough to the BA to stil have some connection, and housing in the area is very affordable for the time being. You shouldn't have any trouble finding educated people to work there.

I'm just curious what the rationale was for that location.

Amazing Innovation : (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34567760)

With a 140 character constraint.

Yours In Miami,
K. Trout, C.I.O.

Location of Twitter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34567776)

Somewhere between twat and shitter

Simple concept but . . . . (2)

Liquidretro (1590189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567838)

Simple concept yes, but simple to scale? no, simple to manage adding new features? no simple to manage adding 100M new accounts a year?, no Simple to do way over 50 million tweets a day? no In January of this year they were doing 50M tweets a day, but they have added 100M users since then. Just think of how many they are doing now, so yes they need a CEO http://blog.twitter.com/2010/02/measuring-tweets.html [twitter.com] Plus they have to figure out how to make money on all of this.

Now.... (1)

wholestrawpenny (1809456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567924)

Twitter servers in Sacramento? One more reason to hope California falls into the ocean.

Twitter... I just don't get it (3, Interesting)

dskoll (99328) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567956)

Maybe I'm too old (hey... get off my lawn! Sorry...) but I just don't get the appeal of Twitter. Billions of tweets per day of which maybe 7 aren't banal. Never mind the business model, I just don't get anything about Twitter.

Re:Twitter... I just don't get it (1)

straponego (521991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568006)

Well, granted, but you see: people are stupid.

Re:Twitter... I just don't get it (1)

eepok (545733) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568288)

You see, I continually miss that step in my line of attempting to rationalize things like Twitter and Facebook. I always go the route of "people need to feel like they're noticed" and "people who don't like who they were try to reinvent themselves online instead of real life"...

... but I can just stop at "people are stupid".

Re:Twitter... I just don't get it (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568998)

Huh? Did you post something? Sorry, I almost missed it.

Seriously though, this is why you and I will never become rich. We don't identify with the mass of humanity that finds such things useful or interesting.

I always sucked at trying to guess answers when I watched Family Feud. The answers had nothing to do with what was right, but what was popular. *shrug* Lucky thing I have a profession where people need that answers to be right, and are willing to pay for it.

Re:Twitter... I just don't get it (1)

garompeta (1068578) | more than 3 years ago | (#34569158)

For smart people there are two options: being a social pariah, or owning the society. Mark geekberg, I mean, Mark Suckerberg ended up owning it, literally.

They are the new AOL (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568050)

Having all the stupidest people on one sight makes them relatively easy to filter away.

Re:They are the new AOL (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 3 years ago | (#34569422)

Having all the stupidest people on one sight makes them relatively easy to filter away.

So, you're on twitter then?

Re:Twitter... I just don't get it (1)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568088)

Speaking for myself it's a cheap way of keeping in touch with a group of people I know that share a similar interest. For the most part we treat it as a glorified chat room.

Re:Twitter... I just don't get it (2)

shish (588640) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568120)

It's IRC, badly re-implemented over port 80; the only real improvement is global stats, so you can see which chan^H^H^H^Hhashtags are most active at any time

Re:Twitter... I just don't get it (4, Interesting)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568232)

Maybe I'm too old (hey... get off my lawn! Sorry...) but I just don't get the appeal of Twitter. Billions of tweets per day of which maybe 7 aren't banal. Never mind the business model, I just don't get anything about Twitter.

Maybe you are too old. I use Twitter to see what my friends are doing. The old people will say "bah, well I *call* my friends and talk to them, grumble grumble", but I can't call everyone all the time. I have friends that I don't talk to that often, because we run in different circles, but that doesn't mean I don't care about them. If they got a new job or they're having fun on a vacation, I'm happy to know, just the same as if I bumped into them at a party and they told me. It's not highly meaningful discourse, but it's not different from a lot of the interactions we have with people on a daily basis. Only I don't have to live across the street from them to bump into them.

Specifically, I live in Silicon Valley near San Jose, and I have a lot of friends who live in San Francisco. I'm busy, and I work crazy hours, so its nice to just get an idea for what they're up to. Or sometimes they'll share a funny link, and that amuses me. I use twitter on my Android phone, so it's best for idle time - waiting for a computer to reboot, waiting for the microwave, waiting for Starbucks to finish my drink. Just times where I have a few minutes, and I'd otherwise just stare off somewhere. At Starbucks, actually, I normally try to chat with people so as to not be antisocial, but sometimes there's no one to chat with. So I check twitter and find out what my friends are doing.

And often they're talking about plans they have to go to a party, or go to a concert or some cool event, and then I give them a call and might go myself an meet up with them. So I get to go to a party with a friend that I may not have realized was happening, just because of twitter.

So plenty of people don't get twitter, but I'm a real person who gets real use out of it. I may not have explained it perfectly, but all I can say is that it fits in with my lifestyle. I'm a 26 year old techie, your lifestyle may vary and twitter may be useless to you.

But more so than anything, I find it funny how people always feel the need to let people know that they don't understand twitter.
-taylor

Re:Twitter... I just don't get it (2)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568296)

It's not age that is a factor, it's the unwillingness to adapt to new things. I'm 43, I remember fondly things like my Commodore 64, my Atari 2600, and 70s 80s music, but I refuse to be stuck there.
Times change, you either change with them or you get left behind. I find Twitter an interesting and useful way of keeping up with my friends, some of whom are thousands of miles away. We've even used Twitter to co-ordinate a get together of some folks from across the US.

Artificial restrictions are stupid. (1)

gottabeme (590848) | more than 3 years ago | (#34569164)

Sure, you can use any communications medium to coordinate anything. That's not the point.

The point is that artificial, technological restrictions are stupid, and it's a mystery as to why people choose to submit to them.

Re:Artificial restrictions are stupid. (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 3 years ago | (#34569648)

"The point is that artificial, technological restrictions are stupid, and it's a mystery as to why people choose to submit to them."

Because when you have no choice you don't have to think about the choice.

People *like* being stupid for the most part (and by "people" I mean "everybody"; you and I included).

Huh? (1)

gottabeme (590848) | more than 3 years ago | (#34569836)

No choice? There's an entire Internet of choice. There were alternatives to Twitter before Twitter was thought of. What are you talking about?

Re:Artificial restrictions are stupid. (1)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#34569946)

I'm sorry, what exactly am I submitting to? I wasn't aware I was being forced to use Twitter.

Re:Artificial restrictions are stupid. (1)

gottabeme (590848) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570336)

You're not. You're enlightened. :) The mystery is why anyone does choose to submit to them. I never said anyone is forced to.

Re:Twitter... I just don't get it (1)

dskoll (99328) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568726)

Thanks; that was a good explanation. I think it really is an age/generation gap.

I keep up with my friends via email or IRC (I *do* get IRC because you can have relatively meaningful conversations over IRC, or you can use it Twitter-like just to splat up up interesting URL.)

When I have idle time, I don't like to be communicating, checking Twitter, checking IRC, etc. I like to just do nothing. I seldom get a chance to do that, so zoning out for a bit and disconnecting is very refreshing.

Re:Twitter... I just don't get it (1)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568806)

Thanks; that was a good explanation. I think it really is an age/generation gap.

I keep up with my friends via email or IRC (I *do* get IRC because you can have relatively meaningful conversations over IRC, or you can use it Twitter-like just to splat up up interesting URL.)

When I have idle time, I don't like to be communicating, checking Twitter, checking IRC, etc. I like to just do nothing. I seldom get a chance to do that, so zoning out for a bit and disconnecting is very refreshing.

Yeah, I do notice that sometimes I have this weird anxiety about being connected, like I should be reading something on the web, even when I have nothing to read. I get so used to checking the phone, I'll keep checking it, and have this odd anxiety when nothing is there.

Finding a balance is interesting. The connected world offers so much, its easy to get sucked in. When I'm walking through a parking lot, its easy to read my phone and just keep my peripheral vision out to avoid hitting something, but that's stupid. If I catch myself doing that, I make sure I put my phone in my pocket and check out what's going on in the real world. Enjoy the trees and the breeze.

So doing nothing would be nice sometimes. But I do like having twitter there too. I don't *always* want to do nothing.
-Taylor

Re:Twitter... I just don't get it (1)

butalearner (1235200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568304)

Turns out a lot of companies give away free stuff on twitter. I made an account a few weeks ago solely to try and get said free stuff. Also turns out that a lot of other people do this, so it isn't working out too well for its original purpose.

But on the bright side, if you follow the right people it's quite interesting. Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson), for example, is active there and definitely worth following.

Re:Twitter... I just don't get it (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568566)

[sigh the standard karma whoring response to posts about Facebook and Twitter.]

Maybe I'm too old (hey... get off my lawn! Sorry...) but I just don't get the appeal of Twitter.

It's more likely you don't comprehend the universe doesn't revolve around you and other people have other interests. (BTW, I'm 47, so how old is 'too old'?)
 

Billions of tweets per day of which maybe 7 aren't banal.

Let's check my twitter stream today... One tweet containing my daily photo shoot 'assignment' (from a site dedicated to sending out such to encourage creativity). One tweet from my local paper linking to an article about roads re-opening today after flooding over the weekend. Two tweets from a photographer I'm following letting me know about a place where has a guest article, and another to an eBay auction where he's selling some used gear. (Great deals too... but he shoots Nikon and I shoot Canon, so no soup for me.) One from a an online woodworking guild reminding me of this weeks meeting. One tweet from a cook/author I follow asking for help with some historical research... A pretty typical day, none of it 'banal'.

Re:Twitter... I just don't get it (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568818)

... A pretty typical day, none of it 'banal'.

In fairness to the GP, most of twitter's posts are banal. The fact is these aren't randomly distributed.

Re:Twitter... I just don't get it (1)

he-sk (103163) | more than 3 years ago | (#34569056)

One tweet containing my daily photo shoot 'assignment' ...

LNK PLZ, K TNX BYE! ;-)

Re:Twitter... I just don't get it (1)

frozentier (1542099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34569370)

My grandmother doesn't get the appeal of the internet either, but that doesn't make it irrelevant.

Re:Twitter... I just don't get it (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34569798)

Then you aren't an attention whore.

Attention whoring is what twitter is for, thats all. Its so people who think someone else gives a shit about what they can say in half a thought have a place to spew their ignorant incoherent incomplete thoughts.

Other than that, its about the biggest step backwards in communications ability I think we've experienced in history. I think a world wide EMP that wiped out all electronics would be less damaging than twitter and SMS in general.

Re:Twitter... I just don't get it (1)

Zorque (894011) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570052)

It's kind of like the Kardashians. Literally nobody knows what it does, it doesn't contain a single original or intelligent thought, and it's everywhere for no reason.

Re:Twitter... I just don't get it (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570064)

Come on, this is such a stupid argument. Sure, I agree that what your cousin is doing this afternoon is pretty banal and unimportant. But what my cousin is doing this afternoon could be funny, interesting, amusing, or just nice to know because he's my cousin. And it makes no difference to me whether you're interested in what he has to say or not.

But who needs e-mail when we already have fax machines.

Twitter will be gone or out of money in 2 years. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34568030)

How many tweets per day are mindless Retweets? How many accounts tweet more than once a day? Twitter is not a killer app for the web, it's a highly limited service that allows you to post 144 characters online, with no built in image uploading. How can anyone think twitter is worth pouring money into?

Re:Twitter will be gone or out of money in 2 years (1)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568312)

As someone has already stated, Twitter has been running at a profit for quite some time.

They make a profit. Just like Madoff did. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34569678)

Just like Bernie Madoff was

Re:They make a profit. Just like Madoff did. (1)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#34569940)

Says the AC without a source to his name. Bugger off.

Wait... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568106)

What's Twitters business model again? Sure, lots of people are babbling on it, but what's their plan for monetizing the babbling? Or do they plan on pulling an AOL and trading their massively overinflated stock for stock in a company that actually has tangible assets?

Re:Wait... (1)

eepok (545733) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568316)

Watching webs and spheres of influence, sticking in moles to be paid influencers. It's all marketing and data mining. Maybe a bit of recording youthful indiscretions for future blackmail.

More than 100 Million new accounts last year? (1)

eepok (545733) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568216)

How many Twitter accounts *are* there? How many unique (in the scientific, not cultural way) individuals actually use twitter? What percentage of that 100 million and then the entire population are actually just marketing accounts?

"Hey guys! All the impressionable consumers with disposable income are over here now!!!"
*five minutes later*
"@JackNormalGuy "Yo dawg dez nue kix are sweet! U shood check there syt, srslyLOL!! bit.ly/4Tju7"

Re:More than 100 Million new accounts last year? (1)

wholestrawpenny (1809456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568602)

100 Million? That's a lot of Nigerian Bankers.

Datacenters in hightaxland? I don't get it. (2)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568548)

Seriously, between taxes, power costs, employee costs, etc.. Why build datacenters in hightaxland? I figure NV, WA, TX, FL would be better for datacenters, and ideally WY or SD if there's adequate fiber available (and ya gotta wonder, given the military presence especially in western SD)..

Local costs of living are low, utilites and taxes are low, real-estate costs are low.. Do everything remotely and have local monkeys do hands-on if you can't reach remote KVM or serial/ILO, and fly folks out for the occasional builds..

Re:Datacenters in hightaxland? I don't get it. (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 3 years ago | (#34569026)

I thought the same thing. There are lots of places with enough smart people and low costs of doing business. Blacskurg, VA (well, Christiansburg - right next door - actually) is a great place. If there hadn't been a small sinkhole on the proposed site we would have gotten a $500M datacenter.

Fat internet pipes, cheap land and taxes, and a big university (VT) to pull cheap college grad (and undergrad) labor from.

Re:Datacenters in hightaxland? I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34569816)

FL? Really? Really?

*sigh*

The only truly good location you've listed is NV - NV is one of the most disaster-proof areas of the country. Cooling doesn't come cheap, however, and given Twitter has no real form of revenue, that's going to be a factor. TX is... decent, at best.

As it were, Sacramento has some damned good pipe, which is pretty damned important.

Re:Datacenters in hightaxland? I don't get it. (1)

basotl (808388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570070)

Well they have one planned for Salt Lake City, Utah which seems to be an area catering to the tech market recently. The article stated there was no response on if that location was still on schedule. The exact location for Sacramento seems unclear to me. It sounds like they may be taking advantage of readily built space.

Cash burn rate? (2)

drolli (522659) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568838)

Can anybody explain the long-term business model of twitter?

98 Million Spam Accounts (1)

Vegan Cyclist (1650427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568936)

It's possible i suppose, but 100 million legitimate accounts sounds a bit dubious... Probably 1 in 10 of people who 'follow' me are bots/spammers.

100 million new accounts ... (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34569834)

And 99,595,000 of them were created by bots for spamming.

Only about 50k of those have been on any day following the day the account was created.

The company I work for runs a website with about 3 million registered users ... we see about 15k of them on a day to day basis, probably 2.5 million of them have never logged in after they created their account, and the rest only use it once or twice and never come back.

You can certainly say its because people aren't interested in what we offer, and you'd certainly be right, however I think you'll find our numbers probably have a ratio about the same as twitter.

People will sign up for new free shit just to try it and never come back, or they'll sign up with multiple accounts so they can reserve names or because they forgot they registered previously or have a new email address or any of a bunch of other reasons.

If twitter would work with me a little bit, we could probably create 300 million new accounts in a few days using a script ... and the script would use the website just as much as the 300 million new accounts created, that is ... none at all.

Re:100 million new accounts ... (1)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570254)

and 99% of statistics are pulled out of someone's ass.
I love Slashdot and it's armchair experts.

And now they're WELL FUNDED twits. (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 3 years ago | (#34569842)

*Golf*YAWN*Clap*

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