It’s not a bad joke, Twitter is apparently somehow involved in a new TV show. Among other things, this earns it our rarely used “WTF” in sign language image.
Twitter has not yet responded to an email, but investor Fred Wilson seems to think it’s a good idea, saying “TV isn’t TV anymore. It’s just the largest screen in the house.”
So we’ll wait for more details of the show to surface before we write the inevitable blog post trashing the idea (update: details!). In the meantime, Twitter, as a heavy user there are a nearly unlimited number of things I’d so much rather you guys spend your time on than going Hollywood. Here’s a few key ones, I’m guess lots more will show up in the comments and we’ll get to at least 300 or so things Twitter could better spend its time.
Keep The Lights On. Twitter is still not a stable service.
Fix Track. This is the “Google Alerts” feature of Twitter that made a brief appearance in 2007 but was stripped out in the uptime wars of 2008. It may have made sense to remove it at the time, but we’re long past due on this much needed feature.
Fix Search. Twitter’s main value is as a search engine, and it’s pretty broken. There’s lots of work to do here.
Stop Breaking Stuff. Twitter just doesn’t seem to feel comfortable in its own skin, making changes to suit the masses that are just confusing and need to be reversed.
Fix Private Messages. Twitter’s direct messages (private messages) has occasional hiccups. Sometimes they are mis-delivered, as in they go to the wrong person. That just can’t happen.
Maybe Launch Some Features. Twitter is so concerned with uptime that they rarely (never) launch new features. Sites like FriendFeed are embarrasing them with innovation, and others like Facebook are copying the core Twitter service. I get that uptime is important, but if you have time for meetings in Hollywood, you have time to add new features. Spend that time interviewing new engineers at the very least. You need more people badly.
Ok, that’s six. Let me know what you’d like to see Twitter do before working on a television show in the comments, and we’ll add the smartest and most entertaining to the main post.
Update: Some of the better suggestions from comments:
Groups/Friend List — @zee and @blackrabbit
Increased/No limit for API requests — Sam Houston and Jeff
“A business model.” — @robinwauters
Spam filtering — Sean Percival
Integration with Steam — @carltonprest
30-second edit window — @Sheamus
Analytics — @MiikoMentz
iTunes Genius-like recommendations engine — Wesley Barrow
Auto-linking of hashtags — @silvaldropout
Threaded conversations — jcunwired
Some of the suggestions were a bit more amusing:
“surrendering to FF” — Johnny Schroepfer
“Limit the amount of followers a cat can have to 499,999.” — @robinwauters
“Gonorrhea – something I’d like to see before a Twitter TV show.” — Dante
“A phone number where I can short the stock of the TV network that plans to air this show.” — swag
“I’d like to see Twitter allow people to order cheesecakes by tweeting @twittercakes, before I would like them be involved with a TV show.” — @chacha102