Twitter on Monday announced its new @anywhere platform. Getting to the bottom of what @anywhere is wasn't easy -- and I'm still not confident that I've accurately sussed it out.
The post on the Twitter blog announcing @anywhere is cryptic. It's just three paragraphs long. The first two paragraphs natter about how Twitter doesn't require a "relationship model," and talks about a "new set of frameworks" and "open, engaging interactions providing a new layer of value for visitors." I've read that last phrase several times, it makes less and less sense every time I read it.
The blog post concludes:
When we're ready to launch, initial participating sites will include Amazon, AdAge, Bing, Citysearch, Digg, eBay, The Huffington Post, Meebo, MSNBC.com, The New York Times, Salesforce.com, Yahoo!, and YouTube. Imagine being able to follow a New York Times journalist directly from her byline, tweet about a video without leaving YouTube, and discover new Twitter accounts while visiting the Yahoo! home page—and that’s just the beginning. Twitter has proven to be compelling in a variety of ways. With @anywhere, web site owners and operators will be able to offer visitors more value with less heavy lifting.
What is it that the computer industry has against heavy lifting, anyway? Heavy lifting, done properly, is good for you, it strengthens the leg muscles and lower back.
The presentation unveiling @anywhere didn't go that well, according the Wall Street Journal "Twitter Looks to Extend Its Reach"
Twitter co-founder and Chief Executive Evan Williams unveiled the new feature during a presentation at the South by Southwest interactive festival in Austin, Texas. Mr. Williams spoke before a crowded auditorium, but as his presentation went on more and more people exited the room.
I expect the people were leaving the room in search of aspirin, because Williams was making their head hurt.
Williams took a Q&A on Twitter after his SXSW presentation, in which he said Twitter will not be sold or merged in the next two years, and answered questions about Twitter capacity, the API team, and his favorite bourbon.
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This story, "Why Is Twitter's @anywhere So Complicated?" was originally published by Computerworld.