The Twitter phone .. Of OpenGardens, co-creation of content and where #cnnfail is more important than CNN itself ..

The twitter phone - Of OpenGardens, cnnfail and co-creation of content.JPG

Follow me on Twitter @AjitJaokar

I have been thinking of the idea of a twitter phone for some time. The concept of a twitter phone is not new of course .. And INQ1 has already committed to one ..

However, my ideas lean towards how to make a true OpenGardens phone through Twitter and the #cnnfail over the weekend gave me some more ideas

Here, I am talking of taking the idea of a twitter phone to its logical extreme and approaching the idea from first principles. Specifically, Twitter is a co-creation platform and hence a twitter phone must also be a co-creation platform at its core

This means, it needs to be more than the ‘twitter app’ on the phone(and every phone will have one)

It means more than having twitter on the front screen (which Operators will fight)

And It means more than worrying about cannibalising SMS revenue(which will be cannibalised for sure)

Twitter is a combination of many things i.e. Instant messaging, Microblogging, content streaming(RSS like), Real time alert, Real time search, Citizens media, Communication medium and it is open and it’s global. It is not for geeks since twittersphere says that 5 to 10 thousand people join it every day(and there are not that many geeks – that’s mainstream ). Successful companies like Zappos have been built on it and Time magazine put it on its front page this week and techcrunch counts twitter as one of it’s top sources of traffic

So, I am not going to make an attempt to convince the still sceptical segment(especially in the mobile industry) – instead I will focus on how such a phone could be built on first principles

1) Functionally, a twitter phone would make the basics of twitter very simple. This means enabling the basic elements like tweets, replies, follow and so on

2) A twitter phone would also be minimalist – as is twitter itself i.e. it would add very little to twitter

Now, here are features that make it really different

a) I would like to see it as a pure social media, co-creation phone. So, #cnnfail would be more important than CNN itself! since #cnnfail is co-created content. But on a serious note – we want the ability to dynamically choose our own channels(twitter hashtags) and these may not be the CNNs of the world. This would be the ultimate OpenGardens phone! Complete choice to the user

b) A retweet button since retweets are the new social currency of the web

c) A visual interface based on mashups between twitter feeds and maps overlaying twitter feeds on a variety of maps. This has been done already in many ways the UK snow tweet , twitter vision and the UK holidays map as shown above

So, there you go.Thats it. Completely technology agnostic and Open. The key is to make it a pure co-creation phone .. connecting people worldwide

That would be truly open gardens and disruptive


Some additional thoughts

Here is an update on the twitterphone concept:

1) The history of single service consumption applications has not been great. Ex – espn phone(mvno). Note that here we are speaking of a communication led phone and specifically twitter already offers an existing community. The device manufacturer will not ‘own’ this

community. They will rather leverage – participate in the already vibrant community

B). The twitterphone may be low priced with a data only connection.

C) Shock – horror! It may not even have SMS!

D) Maps – this is an important feature. The visual interface could incorporate an overlay of twitter hashtags on maps. There can be many different types of ‘maps’ – ex a map of the London underground could be one. So the interface would merge(as chosen by the user) a map with

a hashtag from a set of maps and a set of hashtags

Follow me on Twitter @AjitJaokar and also will post under #twitterphone

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  1. Hi you may like to take a look at Phweet. I’d be happy to share more with you.

  2. Ivan Orozco says:

    I was thinking why Sprint iDEN network was not re-launched as a twitter mobile network based on push-to-talk as a way of sending twitter posts.