Archives for November 2008

Twitter Keeps Flying But Magpie Makes The Money

magpie.jpgAs I was growing up in rural Colorado, we had plenty of opportunities to see magpies in their environment. They were usually standing over the latest roadkill. Basically they are scavengers. They get fed from nothing they have done on their own but finding the opportunity. I draw that picture to my own mind and drawing the metaphor of the name and bird over to thinking about the latest company and their attempt to monetize from the efforts of others. I am speaking from the recent launch of a advertising site that is asking people to use their Twitter stream for advertising purposes. I am speaking of Magpie. I had a chance to hear of this from my friend Lucretia Pruitt (@geekmommy) on Twitter itself.

I spoke about the idea of a third party monetizing Twitter earlier today. I think that Twitter needs to get on board with a private beta or an alpha or a something. I know they have been wrestling with this like most others on how they take something and make money at it. They throw ads on it and sit back and hope the sales guys can turn a profit. I’m not in the boardroom of Twitter and this is probably already a part of their behind the scenes workings. At least I hope so given their latest offer of $500 Million from Facebook. To turn down an amount like that you have to have your reasons. I know they say Facebook is overvalued but that is another blog post completely.

Frankly they may do well to have Magpie or another third party prove the ability to make it work and then just take some of the money they have and buy it up. I’m sure that they would not have a problem to make that happen unless of course the price tag of the company was too high and in that respect they merely block the company from the API and not allow them to use twitter for that purpose. The terms of service clearly allows for them to do what they feel is best for Twitter:

We reserve the right to alter these Terms of Use at any time.

Magpie spends the time the effort and energy to monetize the system, gets everyone used to the fact that Twitter now shows up with ads in the streams, or in the background and companies bring the ads and back the money truck up to the Twitter dock.
I have seen and read about the idea that the people on Twitter are calling the Magpie service the PayPerPost (Ted Murphy’s company that used bloggers and their blog content for advertising, now known as IZEA) of Twitter. People forget that PayPerPost was not real popular with the blogging elite or the purists, yet the investors and VC types have been writing checks to the group on a regular basis. I can foresee the same thing happening for the folks at Magpie. They are beginning to get some traction and according to TechCrunch people that use their service are bound to make some decent money.

[photo via Neil Phillips]

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