Twitter, Qik, Mogulus: you're all dead

Twitter, Qik, Mogulus: you're all dead

Summary: ...as far as enterprise land is concerned. My Enterprise Irregulars colleagues have been debating the merits of some shiny new toys like Twitter, Qik and Mogulus.

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...as far as enterprise land is concerned. My Enterprise Irregulars colleagues have been debating the merits of some shiny new toys like Twitter, Qik and Mogulus. The conversation kicked off with the extremely smart Jason Corsello:

Maybe this is Scoble specific but I just don't get it.

- Mogulus shows a connection error or just a bunch of people walking or typing

- Twitter is a bunch of code conversation I don't understand

- Qik shows people driving in a car with nothing to say

Who has enough time to waste watching this stuff?

Almost to a man (with the notable exception of Mike Krigsman who can't get enough of Twitter,) they've variously declared these services 'a joke,' 'waste of time' and in one case 'utter crap.' Mike waxed lyrical about making contacts for his NakedIT series via Twitter. Yes, Twitter allows you to lurk around and use it as a way of discovering people who want attention. Loic LeMeur, Mike's first NakedIT interviewee markets Seesmic anywhere he can. It's easy for any blogger on a big name title when you can spin the line: "I have a ZDNet blog and..." But as Chris Selland, a former CRM analyst of formidable reputation and business development manager fired back:

If I were still making a living writing/analyzing - i.e. being 'present' online - I'd probably find some uses for twitter too. But as a biz dev guy (who doesn't have time - or a reason - to be online much) - and despite the fact that my job is *all* about relationships - I find twitter to be pretty pointless.   LinkedIn, on the other hand, I use every single day.

Vinnie Mirchandani, one of the most repsected tech negotiators I know who has a rolodex even Scoble can't match (forget Scoble's 300 video interviews of mostly tech startup CEOs; I guarantee we'll have forgotten about 90% of them by 2009) said:

I am still searching for a network which has more buyer reps ...most of those are old school membership organizations and the old boy network...no technology needed or allowed in them...

Which brings me neatly back to the title of this post. I've tried to play with Qik. The quality is so poor except under optimum conditions that it's almost unusable. Scoble trumpeted that he and the other Web 2.0 digerati would be broadcasting live from the PodTech bus to CES using Mogulus. It fell over pretty quickly and never really recovered. Another dud. As for Scoble's track record on tech picks, read his mea culpa on HD-DVD. It's the tip of a deep iceberg. Enterprise looks beyond the superficiality of the latest shiny toys. It is no longer so easily sucked into the hype and hope that typifies this branch of the fashion industry we call 'tech.'

As to Twitter, in its present form it's not going to make it in the enterprise. If you want proof, check out the comments at SAPs SDN blog following a post where I discussed the monetization options. Jeremiah Stone a SAPper for whom I have huge respect, largely because he challenges me about the new toys over which I tend to get over excited asked:

I do nothing but communicate with team members solving hairy conceptual and practical problems, and none of that interaction takes place over twitter. It takes place in regular conference calls, on our project wiki, in our project blog, in email, over IM, and last but certainly not least, in face to face conversation. What does twitter bring to the workplace party that these other modes of conversation don't?

This was a question my Irregular colleagues also raised. Are these enterprisey folk right? They are all influencers of what I call real spend, not the $5 app but the apps that come with a CXO approval price tag. Are they too out of touch to get it or are they dealing with reality? Let's be blunt, Twitter has no discernible business model except to get as many eyeballs as it can and then figure out. As I said at my SAP SDN blog:

But as we all know, developers need to get paid to put food on the table and hopefully profit from their labors. At present, Twitter is going down the community building route in the hope it will find a business model. For those of us in enterprise land, that has about as much chance of flying in the CXOs office as the proposition of installing chocolate teapots next to the coffee machine.

We could debate monetization all day long but alongside that must go utility. All of which leads me to believe that despite the fact enterprise can learn a lot from consumer style applications, the potential for cross over is limited. The theory might be right and at least one enterprise leader, JP Rangaswami, has bravely put his head above the parapet on this topic. In the Twitterverse I asked: "Most of my enterprise colleagues think Twitter is a waste of time. Discuss. Hint: Banks spend 20x Google's annual revs [on IT.]"

Two responses typify the way this discussion goes. James Parr said:

Most of my colleagues (recruitment) think Twitter is pointless too; til it gets critical mass of people they can't see the bens

while Nik Taylor offered:

"Enterprise People" in London initially shunned the telephone as being a secretarial tool. Lawyers in the Temple won't use Email

I still love Twitter and the many opportunities it gives me to discover new voices, garner opinion, get help and yes - have a bit of fun.

But, in its current form and despite all its openness and other attractions, Twitter won't get traction in the enterprise. That's why I believe that Twitter's utility will be mimiced, enhanced and made into a 'proper' enterprise application. Something Twitter like will be absorbed into other applications. Then we'll see who 'gets it.' Watch this space. You won't have long to wait.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Browser, CXO

Dennis Howlett

About Dennis Howlett

Dennis Howlett is a 40 year veteran in enterprise IT, working with companies large and small across many industries. He endeavors to inform buyers in a no-nonsense manner and spares no vendor that comes under his microscope.

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8 comments
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  • Tweet Dreams, Maybe?

    Dennis, an amusing irony is I only was aware of this blog when it appeared in
    twitter - that's how I choose to stay up to date with ZDNet's blogs! ;-)

    As for "Enterprise Land" rejecting Twitter, I have found it an invaluable tool for
    making new connections - it brought together a collaboration project between the
    UK, Spain and Netherlands very recently which simply would not have been
    identified without twitter -and it involves three parties who are very much all in
    enterprise land.

    I must note a very interesting closing at the end:

    <i>Something Twitter like will be absorbed into other applications. Then we?ll see
    who ?gets it.? Watch this space. You won?t have long to wait.</i>

    I am intrigued by this comment. Can we take this to mean that ZDNet is planning
    something tweet? Please do tell us more Dennis - soon!
    David Petherick
    • I'm saying nothing

      ..more at the moment other than that I have an involvement with a project designed to overcome the issues that Twitter exhibits: security, no threading, no grouping, private/public group settings. Soon. Trust me, you'll all be the first to know at ZDN - and via Twitter - of course.
      dahowlett9
  • Technology and it's use

    This was an interesting post, Dan.

    On one hand, you provide a keen glimpse under the covers of some services that
    will have to smooth some of the bumps in the road if they plan to aspire to true
    mass adoption

    On the other hand, though, you seem to be taking an approach of "Here I am.
    Entertain me." For some of these services, that may be missing the point.

    Some people do get a certain enjoyment out of idly watching large numbers of
    Twitter streams, but plenty more don't. For them it's just a handy way to keep tabs
    on people they're already interested in -- and to let their own connections do the
    same.

    I was watching Mogulus last night for the first time, and for the people in that CES
    channel, they were getting something they simply could not get anywhere else:
    realtime, high-quality video straight from CES, in a very casual setting, while
    chatting with others who were there for the same thing. It was compelling. It's not
    without its frustrations if you're sitting in a channel with nothing going on, but as
    people get more sophisticated with notifying their viewers when a stream is about
    to start, that too will improve.

    For Qik, this (alpha -- and we mean it) service is such a new thing, people DO take
    videos of the strangest, most non-compelling things. Frequently starting with their
    feet. It's live video from a cell phone -- there's a certain novelty that makes people
    want to try it even if they have nothing to say.

    But for others, it is an incredibly powerful too. It enables people to capture a
    moment, live, and to interact with their viewers in realtime, with nothing more than
    the tools they were already carrying: little or no planning is required (although a bit
    of planning can go a long way towards improving the experience). Sure it has its
    limitations, due to everything from the state of 3G in this country (very rapidly
    getting better) to the nature of rolling out something like this to begin with: there
    will be bumps. But that doesn't mean there aren't gems already -- and we're just
    getting started.

    Things like Dean Kamen describing his greatest invention, his inspiration, and his
    outlook on life, captured impromptu while Scoble was taking a walk between takes
    on his main network:
    http://qik.com/video/6923

    Finally, I don't know if you were on the test list for the newest version, but the
    quality just keeps getting better, too -- and we still have a great number of
    streaming developments yet to come online:
    http://qik.com/video/6570


    cheers,
    Michael @ Qik
    Michael 3
    • "Technology and its use"

      I shouldn't be allowed near anything without an edit button :)
      Michael 3
      • *Dennis

        See what I mean? Sorry, Dennis. I have "Dan" on the brain this morning, apparently.
        Michael 3
    • ahem

      My point re: Mogulus was that it didn't do what was advertised on the Scoble tin ergo - dud. Ustream might have been no better. You guys know what I think about Qik and even as we speak I'm downloading the latest client. So we'll see.
      dahowlett9
  • RE: Twitter, Qik, Mogulus: you're all dead

    The value of live / real-time goes far beyond a shiny toy - whether it be to enrich our lives or enable enterprises to be nimble.

    These tools enrich my lives daily. Not being able to go to CES this year, I am still able to be a part of that overall excitement. My son is able to have more meaningful interaction with his grandparents in India and vice-versa even while I am driving him to his pre-school. Having never been to places like Uruguay, China, New Zealand, Sri Lanka - thanks to these tools I am not just able to see it through these eyes but able to inteact with them and experience this with them.

    In an enterprise setting - Twitter is replacing the need to fill out project status reports. Send a Tweet - the entire team is notified, the status is automatically archived and you are done. Live video is reducing cost of customer service as field service agents are now able to have a much more meaningful interaction when they are out on the field diagnosing a problem. Healthcare professions answering Nurslines etc. are able to give better advice as they can now see a live video. The list goes on and on....

    In terms of Qik, at this alpha stage, we are constantly understanding the various ways our users are using the service and using that collective intelligence to improve quality. Some of the videos taken with the new client (in a controlled rollout) can be seen at http://www.qik.com/blog.

    bhaskar @ qik
    bhaskar2
    • Use cases?

      I'd be interested in use cases given your assertions.
      dahowlett9