Making selling funding talking
June 7, 2008
Using Twitter as a command line (Tw00ts) is something that I’m keen on exploring- there’s a bunch of ideas in notebooks just waiting to be pulled into prototypes – but in the meanwhile here’s an example that I just threw together a couple of weeks ago.
Now, as a command line it’s syntax is pretty complex.
Let’s break it down.
First, it’s a mix of English, with bad grammar, mixed in with machine code, and using a currency which is timestamped.
Second, no license used. Attribution in username
Third, the arguments and methods:-
Initiating the command by invoking a question. This pulls in the attention of the user base, acting as a single central processor funnel, thus maximizing on chances of a responding message.
Spelling mistake, but dropping the unnecessary characters acts as data compression.
start argument with a negative, to a tune to early adopters curiosity
3. we all
this is not going to steal loads of time
no need for www or .com
respect to the location of the company
small amount, minor tip, about £1
major currency, easy to convert with twitter timestamp
7. to just
any improvement would be good
Stabilizing is the preferred task, we would all guess
URI, data compressed
Now, using twitter as a command line with such soft parameters, the service would have to be a complex system, superior AI, and capable of setting off a bunch of processes.
Fortunately, Chris Reed picked up the message and processed the command line, in a way pretty much as expected from the syntax. Though in hindsight, I should have appended the command with some extra parameters. More on that in a mo, for now, have a look at the response message.
It’s pretty clear to read, so I can judge that something is about to happen.
And the solution looks simple.
Twitterfund, the actualization of the command line I sent into Twitter, is in itself a curious project. I think it raises so interesting questions.
1. what happens when the community raises money, with or witout strings attached, to better a service and become more attractive then Venture Capitalist’s funds?
2. when running a campaign like this, who should be it’s Guardian’s, or do we really need them if we are all visible on teh interwebs.
3. What if Twitter doesn’t take the money: what do we do with the shared fund? Is it worth using it elsewhere?
4. Will people use the fund?
Chris and I had a couple of emails back and forth before all this was set up. I was keen on TweetCharity as a domain name so that we could use this piece of media.
But using the word Charity opens a another bag of worms.
So TwitterFund was selected.
Next, who owns the paypal account. You know, it’s like who has the ‘God like’ system admin password. I was keen on the hunt of for the most trusted twitter user, suppose it would have ended up with someone like Scobe. But at present Chris is holding the fort on this.
The additional parameters I need to think about compressing into Tw00ts are about tone. What happens when a project using a suite of online tools come together? Chris has Twitter, a blog, a domain name, a paypal account all sync’d. Sweet. Making the components come together, making them sing is another thing. This is now about art direction in 140 characters.
Anyway, let’s see what happens with the fund.
Follow the project’s Twitter feed and send what you think of the project to @fund.