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  • 12.07.09

Is Twitter Ready for Prime Time?

Twitter’s going to be rolling out a number of revenue generating tools, from advertising to paid pro accounts, but is it ready to be an enterprise level solution?

There’s been a lot of talk recently about Twitter’s business model (or lack thereof), and how they plan on making money in the future, whether it will be through advertising, paid pro accounts, pay-for-features or some combination.

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A question remains, however, is Twitter ready for prime time? The fail whale is a common enough site for those people who are active at Twitter.com, and phishing attacks, accounts banned for no good reason and porn spambots who mention users by name (for increased visibility) are degrading the quality of conversation and community at Twitter.

In addition, there’s a question of whether Twitter is delivering all of your mentions to your attention.

I was doing a little experiment the other day to see if I could reduce the number of API calls TweetDeck makes to Twitter on my behalf. (I know, I’m a geek.) I figured that since a request to Twitter for my mentions (@therichbrooks) takes one API call and a search on “@therichbrooks” doesn’t require any API call, that I could just substitute one for the other.

In other words, searching for “@therichbrooks” should bring back the same results as seeing all my mentions, right?

Turns out…not so much. This is a recent example of my mentions column vs. my @therichbrooks search on TweetDeck. I’ve highlighted the tweets that only appear in one column.

Mentions vs. Search (@therichbrooks)

You’ll just have to take my word for it that the last few in the right (search) column didn’t appear further down the page in the mentions column.

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I can’t seem to find any rhyme or reason: it’s not specific to whether the tweets start with @therichbrooks, whether they’re a RT, whether I follow the person, or whether the tweet comes from a beautiful woman.

I also ruled out the possibility that it was TweetDeck; the mentions page and search at Twitter.com showed the same results as above.

At this point I’m actually keeping both columns up and running on TweetDeck so I don’t miss any other mentions. I just wonder what important messages and opportunities I’ve missed already.

If Twitter does want to be an enterprise level tool, it needs to deliver leads and opportunities with at least the consistency that we’ve come to expect with voicemail and email.

Follow Rich Brooks on Twitter – @therichbrooks

About the author

Rich Brooks is founder and president of flyte new media (http://www.flyte.biz), a Web design and Internet marketing firm in Portland, Maine. His monthly flyte log email newsletter and company blog (http://www.flyteblog.com) focus on Web marketing topics such as search engine optimization, blogs, social media, email marketing, and building Web sites that sell.

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