Much talk of late has centred around the difficulties that Twitter has had scaling its infrastructure. Given the vacuum left by the regular and annoying downtime that Twitter faces, people have been discussing the alternatives – many a new entrant has launched, claiming new and exciting features that makes their offering that little bit more compelling than Twitter itself.

For a service like microblogging however, that is quite a slim offering (albeit with a big infrastructural scaling requirement), the maxim Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) springs to mind. Microblogging isn’t (no matter what Scoble says) a revolution of the highest order – it’s a nice little service offering that people will use (and use heavily) but one in which reliability is the preeminent requirement.

As the incumbent and originators of the genre the users of Twitter have grown accustomed to the way it works, they have no real qualms about it’s functionality (other than the dysfunctionality of it’s lack of reliability), as such the best strategy for a player wanting to walk into the Twitter vacuum is to provide an offering that is almost indistinguishable from Twitter, with two major exceptions;

  • It is designed from the ground up to be scalable, thus avoiding the problems that have plagued Twitter
  • It encourages, welcomes, and facilitates users bringing their twitter discussions directly into it – people don’t want pain when changing a service, reducing the stickiness that glues users to services is key to having them shift

So who will it be? This week identi.ca looks a likely candidate but only time will tell…

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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