Today In Twitterverse: Enjoy The Buzz While It Lasts

Cody Brown, a Rails developer, online publisher and student at NYU, has some interesting analysis of Twitter to share on his blog.

Twitter and Myspace are different companies in different markets but there is a lot of evidence to suggest that they share, and will always share, the exact same problem. MySpace and Twitter are hugely popular for uses neither company anticipated. The mission of each company is so vague that their products are stretched and molded into a variety of different uses. Instead of targeting and building their business around one of these users they take their sudden popularity as a sign they have a killer product. They don’t.

I like the ‘tude, but there’s another school of thought that says, let the consumer decide what’s great (if anything) about your product. And who cares what you thought you built, as long as you built something that people use and enjoy (for whatever purpose under the sun)?
Site members sometimes make a single use of a platform like Twitter or MySpace on their own accord. For instance, for me MySpace is all music all the time. Others use Twitter as a social bookmarking service instead of Delicious. What Brown is driving at is the fact that MySpace and Twitter would be better sites if they picked a path and stuck to it. For instance, if MySpace chose to be the world’s best music discovery engine, that might save it from its current slide into oblivion.
What do you think? Is it important for an information service to narrow its focus to better serve a niche audience?

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I think it is more important for these two services to listen and watch their user base. Then modify their offerings to improve the experience those users desire. No product will survive unless it has a solid customer following. At the end of the day these two systems will live or die based on the advertising model they select. Due to the large number of web 2.0 services that have launched over the last few years, most of which offer a free service, have trained the public to believe they shouldn’t have to pay for an online service.
    The problem with this belief is that advertising dollars are shriveling in this bad economy. Yes, a larger percentage of marketing budgets are being spent online but these total budgets are still much smaller than they were just a few short years ago.