I totally agree with Dave Winer’s post about Twitter being about the users, not the technology. I didn’t join Twitter because it was cool technology. Second Life +might+ be able to make that claim, but not Twitter. I joined Twitter because my friends were on it and were joining it at a very quick rate. B. Mann seems to think that someone could build a Twitter clone in Jabber.
He’s talking like a lot of engineers at Microsoft (and other companies, truth be told) would talk “my team could build that in 10 days.” That all might be true but you’ll never get the users to come and try your thing out. Also, correct me if I’m wrong but Jabber is an IM system. Twitter is closer to a blog service, where the posting length has been limited to 140 characters and the home page is an RSS aggregation of your friends posts. Yeah, there’s an SMS component (it’s not why I joined Twitter — I don’t use Twitter from my cell phone and really don’t care that you can). Yeah, there’s an IM component (it’s not why I joined Twitter — I don’t use Twitter from an IM client and really don’t care that you can).
It’s interesting that B. Mann wants to build a new Twitter. One that’s better engineered, ostensibly. Hey, I’m all for that too. But he forgets that it’s not the engineering that got me to join Twitter in the first place: it’s my friends.
Maybe we need to engineer better friends before we talk about engineering a better Twitter. Heheh.
Oh, and if you haven’t yet joined Twitter, my account is Twitter.com/Scobleizer.
Om Malik has a list of Twitter Tools. That’s another thing you’d need to recreate — all the little things that have been already created on top of Twitter.
There’s also a belief that I keep reading that Twitter is only a Silicon Valley “fan boy” kind of thing. That’s TOTALLY NOT TRUE. Watch TwitterVision for a few minutes and you’ll see an evenly-dispersed group of people all over the world.