Blogging, emailing and messaging aren’t owned by anybody. Tweeting is owned by Twitter. That’s a problem.
In all fairness, this probably wasn’t the plan when Twitter’s founders started the service. But that’s where they (and we) are now. Twitter has become de facto infrastructure, and that’s bad, because Twitter is failing.
Getting 20,500,000 Google Image search results for “twitter fail” paints a picture that should be convincing enough. (See Danny Sullivan‘s comment below for a correct caveat about this metric.) Twitter’s own search results for “hourly usage limit”+wtf wraps the case. I posted my own frustrations with this the other day. After Eric Leone recommended that I debug things by going to https://twitter.com/settings/connections and turning off anything suspicious, I found the only sure way to trouble-shoot was to turn everything off (there were about twenty other sites/services listed with dependencies on Twitter), and then turn each one back on again, one at a time, to see which one (or ones) were causing the problem. So I turned them all off; and then Twitter made the whole list disappear, so I couldn’t go back and turn any of them on again.
Meanwhile I still get the “hourly usage limit” message, and/or worse:
So Twitter has become borderline-useless for me. Same goes for all the stuff that depended on Twitter that I turned off.
Meanwhile, I’m also raising a cheer for whatever Dave is doing toward “building a microblog platform without a company in the middle”.
Tweeting without Twitter. I like the sound of that.