Sam Redman's Musings

Random thoughts on a variety of subjects

A workable Twitter business model

Lots of people are pondering how to make Twitter work as a viable business. Maybe we are looking at this the wrong way. Maybe the Twitter concept has defined something which should be a public service.

So, how about a government takeover (buyout)? Shouldn’t this be a function like our national postal service? Doesn’t it make as much sense as our present government owned entity to deliver physical mail? Yes, they charge for mail… but, it still has to be kept solvent by government funding. Perhaps a better analogy (or comparison) is the interstate highway system (free to everyone, the general public and corporations). Sure, the highway system is funded by gasoline taxes and Twitter could be funded by similar taxes on isp’s (maybe a bandwidth consumption tax).

Subsidy is their current (workable) model. The way Twitter works now is that it has been subsidized by hopeful venture capitalists, so running on a subsidy is their proven “business” model. To meet the promise that it will “always be free” to everyone (including corporations), might require some sort of a nationalization. All of our public highways (not just the interstate system), except toll roads, are paid for by tax revenues (as we have other public services, such as fire and police protection and our national defense). Providing services which are universally used (and needed) is a normal and proper function of government. Twitter is the new “penny postcard” (from the 1930’s and 40’s). It makes sense that it be a post office service (or like the post office, but maybe not run by them). The only other models (to keep it “free”) are contributions or annoying advertisements.

I prefer the interstate highway model (it works).

—- Sam

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This entry was posted on March 29, 2009 by and tagged , , .