Twitter Moments As A Platform

The conversation we had on this blog a couple weeks ago about Twitter becoming a journalistic entity by hiring editors to curate Tweets and create what is now known as Moments was interesting. But it missed something important about Moments that I did not realize at the time. Moments will be a platform for anyone to curate Tweets and publish them as Moments. I figured this out yesterday in this tweet conversation with Madhu who is Twitter’s product manager for Moments.

When anyone can create a Moment and publish it into Twitter’s Moment stream, then we will have something very interesting. A crowdsourced newspaper.

Think about following an event like Twitter’s Flight conference via the Moments interface. It would be way better than all the liveblogging services that I had to rely on yesterday as I wanted to follow what was going on there.

But a curated set of tweets could be used to cover a lot of interesting stories and events. You can see the potential of it in the current Moments stream, but the total number of Moments is small and not that many of them are interesting to me right now. Opening up Moments as a platform will change all of that. I can’t wait until that happens.


Comments (Archived):

  1. jacopogio

    Interesting, but how it would be a “crouwdsourced newspaper” ? If I understand well, every Moments will be just a separate stream “curated by hand” by single users.

  2. jason wright

    night and day difference in my perception from two weeks ago.employing NYT veteran still seems too ‘establishment’ to me.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Is everything about the status quo bad? You do bring up a good point though — if Twitter or someone else is curating content, it should be known what biases they have – who their advertisers are, what other conflicts of interests they may have. Not sure how to actually solve that problem of people being honest and forward though. Would be a good gauge for the quality of content or perhaps with the angle being covered anyhow.

      1. jason wright

        the tension of the new world order of peer to peer and the old world order of hierarchy. is it possibe to have both within one platform at the same time?

        1. Matt A. Myers

          I could theorize that yes it is. Finding the right support structures may be the difficulty.

  3. Trevor McKendrick

    You should check out if you want a crowd sourced newspaper.It’s kind of like an open source newspaper, and it seems to work. Eg they get 1st-person interviews of sudden news events before anyone else (old and new media).I think I even saw the founder tweet at you… (Austen Allred)

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Ah, I guess reality had to start sometime this morning; top of page article: teacher dead and 5 others wounded because of sword attack at a school in Sweden – the attacker was injured from gunshot wound, is in custody.

    2. William Mougayar

      Grasswire is interesting. Is it curated from Twitter? how do these streams appear?

      1. Austen Allred

        Saw this pop up in my Google alerts :)Grasswire is entirely crowdsourced, call it a Wikipedia for news if you must.At any given time there are dozens/hundreds of volunteers in our newsroom finding and fact-checking the stuff that ends up on The text section, what we call “The Facts” is also written by the Grasswire users. (You can click the “Edit” button and make changes, but if they’re not good the newsroom will stop them from going live).The links are often from Twitter, because that’s where a lot of news breaks, but not always. They can be other sites or social networks as well.Right now it’s just world news, but the cool thing about the process we’ve built is that it’s scalable, so we’ll be launching all sorts of verticals and topics soon. Some stuff that I’m really interested in (Bitcoin/Blockchain), some that I don’t care about (eSports, weather), but our goal is to be able to cover every deep niche ever. Especially the stuff that’s underserved because of the economics of most media companies.

  4. LIAD

    ah. I get it now.user created & curated makes sense to me.a twitter native version of Storify. effectively adding a new native content a result – whats the over/under in months on them firing their probably very highly paid and over the medium term highly redundant staff editors.+ allows non-tweeters to engage/interact and create value on the network. smart. (still a shitty name for the product though)

    1. fredwilson

      as paul graham said, “in the beginning you have to do things that don’t scale”

      1. David Semeria

        One of my favourite quotes…

      2. LIAD

        Come on. 300million users. 4,000 employees. You’d have thought they could have pulled together a few moments without hiring in help.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          If you look at magazines, there’s almost certainly likely one of the founders or initial core employees who curates the content — I guess they’re called editors? Finding out what the initial successful formula is in many different categories isn’t going to necessarily be the easiest thing – especially with a medium like tweets.

        2. thorsky

          Nah, that’s the wrong way to look at it. The challenge inside Twitter and any large, high profile org like this isn’t separating good ideas from bad ideas. It’s not even separating good ideas from great ideas. It’s that they’ve got, literally, hundreds of ideas that are “no brainers” as potential investments.You don’t even work there, and I’ll bet that right now if I said you could have a team of 15 plus access to Twitter’s platforms and distribution channels and gave you 10 minutes to think about it, you could tell me a really plausible story about how you could turn those resources into an enormous increase in return visits, or 10 million new users, or a product extension that generates 8 or 9 figures in revenue, or $10 million in operational savings Twitter could drop to the bottom line, and on and on.The challenge is that the total resources required to accomplish all these no-brainer investments is at least 50x what the company can conceivably execute and absorb.Anyway, that’s why resources inside companies like Twitter are so scarce.

      3. Matt A. Myers

        If only most angels/seeders/VCs understood this..

  5. Rick Mason

    Much better way to do it would be someone who could aggregate Periscope or Meerkat contributors and stream live news. There has already been moments on Meerkat when I followed an Oklahoma tornado chaser who offered a better view of the storm than cable news.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Maybe you are seeing the power of the pair, specialization by a publisher and a narrow personal interest of yours. For more, see also today…

      1. Rick Mason

        It is not about narrow interests, when news is breaking live the networks can’t always have a person in place. But today anyone with a phone, say a journalism student, can race there and provide a richness to every story, not just some stories.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Some news, e.g., 9/11, is of interest to nearly everyone, but some other news is quite narrowly specialized; following some of the writers on Twitter can be a good way to get a some of the specialized content.

  6. David Sevenoaks

    One of my first thoughts on seeing Moments was that it would be a really cool way for my company to create more engaging case studies of customer implementations. Many interesting possibilities when they open this up. I’m a big fan.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      I think I understand what you mean – though could you give an example?

      1. David Sevenoaks

        Well first some context: my company builds new types of marketing tools for retailers that work in stores and also on apps and webshops.My thought was that it would be a cool way to create and share an impression of how a solution works at one of our customers. So for example combining Vines showing customers using our products in store and online as well as tweets with headline stats and results. Very easy to make but potentially high impact. The way I would do this now is writing a (time consuming) blog post or making an (expensive) video Hopefully it will also easy to embed in other pages. I will definitely be trying this out once they open up the creation tools.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Yup, cool. I was thinking the same and being directly tied into the network could have value — assuming Twitter doesn’t continue to decrease visibility of natural posts; of course that is countered by paying for posts to get more exposure, which can of course hurt user experience when it’s not natural.

  7. Joe Lazarus

    Agreed. The platform shouldn’t just be for news stories and events, but for any topic that would benefit from a curated list of retweets around a particular interest.A few years ago I made a Twitter bot that automatically retweeted a few select posts every day that it thought were among the funniest things on Twitter that day. The bot grew fairly quickly to 1 million followers. I suspect there’s demand for all sorts of broad and niche topics that people could subscribe to as Moments and receive curated “best of” Twitter updates from a range of accounts rather than just flowing specific people: humor, sports teams, video games, photography, music, etc.

    1. fredwilson


    2. sigmaalgebra

      Yes, there is something of a fundamental issue here of the level at which both curators and readers work. For related thoughts, see also my post today…

  8. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    I like that crafting Moments will engender formation of titter meta-networks of Editors – these communities could expand to establish home turf outside Twitter into say LinkedIn or native arenas like web based Newspapers.How long before we see communities that truly straddle semi-permeable walled-gardens between platforms as enabled by API?In this scenario – is Twitter primarily a data source, a viewing tool, an engagement environment or do they now take an active role as a curator of community?

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Sorry, a core challenge is getting down somehow to getting at or approximating the meaning of the content, on Twitter, whatever someone might tweet about, whatever someone might curate, all the rest of the Internet content, etc.Why? (A) Too darned much Internet content to filter and curate and (B) almost inevitably what the readers want is not to follow but to have meaning for their collection of personal interests. Following is a weak approach to the crucial, desired meaning.Next, to make a business out of curating, etc. Internet content, really need a strong advantage in some sense or stand to be crushed by the mob of competitors all doing the same obvious, trivial things.

  9. Jeff Pester

    Agreed that opening up the platform will result in some great new content channels, but still think Moments should be a standalone product. It can also exist as a feature/channel within Twitter, but as long as it’s exclusively siloed inside of the mothership it’s unlikely it will be enough to persuade current non-users to run out and sign up for Twitter.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      I would think the goal is increasing value and getting more readers, than directly getting signups. Higher quality content, which curation of many pieces of content allows an in-depth look at a topic, will likely have more people staying longer and coming back since the value is gathered for them.

  10. jason wright

    are you an official outlet for the ‘new twitter’ publicity blitz?

    1. Matt A. Myers

      I’m sure you know Fred’s bias here..

      1. jason wright

        i know he’s got a lot of stock

        1. fredwilson

          it’s way more than that. i have invested so much of myself in this company and product.

          1. LE

            i have invested so much of myselfI feel bad that is happening to you for that reason. Because you know that rationally that’s a bad thing. Not that it’s bad you want twitter to succeed (or improve, whatever) or that you have invested so much in it, but that you state you are doing it for this particular reason. [1]Same thing keeps people in bad relationships that they should end. Once again, not criticizing your effort, just pointing out the human nature underpinnings.[1] I used as an example the other day how when you buy a car you are more likely to “win” the negotiation if you waste the time of the car salesman. [2] He is more likely to not walk from a deal if you have wasted his time. And you are more likely to not walk from a deal if he has wasted your time (which is why they always make you wait, sit and so on).[2] The example was if you walk in and say “I will only pay $x” salesman/dealership might easily reject you. However if you waste several hours of their time first, even over several weeks with phone calls and say “I am leaving now unless you give me $x” they are way way more likely to give in to the same exact demand.

          2. sigmaalgebra

            [1], [2] are keepers — kept, indexed, nice!

          3. jason wright

            you’re still off the board though, aren’t you?a man with your experience and insight would be an invaluable asset to the new twitter i would think.

        2. LE

          It’s more than stock.

  11. Matt A. Myers

    Will you be able to pull in content from elsewhere?

  12. William Mougayar

    So, we’ll have to make choices about which curators to follow, which is an interesting dilemma. Then, Twitter will ressemble Flipboard?Thing is, with curation, most curators get bored doing it after a while, unless it’s their profession or they are getting paid for it. But maybe Twitter is figuring something out there, as I don’t want to read too much into this potential direction yet.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Monetization strategy: Twitter Red, not to be confused with RedTwitter.

      1. jason wright

        Robin Red

    2. jason wright

      it’s for those with a clear ‘agenda’, much like twitter itself.

      1. William Mougayar

        Possibly like across various channels. It could be interesting.

    3. LIAD

      leads to more you follow moments or follow moment you maintain 2 follow lists, one for people who’s tweets you want to follow one for people who’s moments you want to follow.etc etc.

      1. William Mougayar

        I’m not sure how accurately we can speculate about the 3-4 steps down the line for how this might unravel.

        1. LIAD

          agreed. but if not done carefully will end up a clusterfck

          1. sigmaalgebra

            It will be largely a clusterf*** but out of it might come something useful.

          2. Madhu Muthukumar ⚡

            I hope not 🙂

      2. sigmaalgebra

        Right. So, can look at the Internet content as roughly a tree with levels of brand names, domain names, Web page URLs, JPG, GIF, MP3 URLs, etc. So, at what level to work? E.g., curate tweets, tweeters, curators, etc. See also my…here today.

      3. Rob Larson

        Also: will they hire meta-curators to curate the curators?

    4. JamesHRH

      They have no idea how users are supposed to use what they are building.They are just doing the smart product platform thing – giving 3P dev whatever tools will make them happy / use the platform more.Jack is no Steve, but, given that he isn’t, this is the next best thing to do: make the product platform a bigger ecosystem.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Cruel? Yes. Wrong? No. Correct? Likely! :-)!

      2. LE

        Jack is no SteveYou would have thought that Steve would have simplified his life by not shaving which Jack doesn’t do.

      3. William Mougayar

        Mind you, I have been impressed by Jack’s progress and evolution. I wouldn’t under-estimate him yet.Steve Jobs didn’t become Steve Jobs overnight.

        1. JamesHRH

          A couple of more smart announcements like this & I will, personally at least, let him off the hook for his “I am the Next Steve” posturing.

          1. someone

            esp. “I will serve as CEO of Twitter and Square!” … not exactly a humblebrag

        2. Alex Dunsdon

          Do u have a sense of how much is real vs pr?

          1. William Mougayar

            I don’t, but he sounds genuine and original.

    5. LE

      Thing is, with curation, most curators get bored doing it after a while, unless it’s their profession or they are getting paid for it.Interesting so that suggests that twitter has to find some kind of way of rewarding those who curate with some intangible value or brain candy.

      1. William Mougayar

        there is a body of existing (recent) knowledge around curation, and what works and what doesn’t. i hope they don’t ignore that.

      2. William Mougayar

        Yup. Biggest puzzle on earth: what will Twitter do next? I’d have better odds predicting the World Series.

    6. Michael Makunas

      People are already curating on Twitter. A retweet is act of curation. As is using something like storify. Who I chose to be in my timeline is itself curation. (I actively choose to follow voices that would otherwise not hear).So I see this as a natural (and awesome) progression for Twitter. What will matter (to me and others) if they are committed to moments being a platform that elevates multiple views or if it ends up just being a vehicle for the already entrenched voices.

      1. William Mougayar

        I agree with your first para & to your 2nd, trick is if they can help me in better sifting noise from signal.

    7. ShanaC

      we can play the wait game

      1. William Mougayar

        Or guessing one.

    8. Madhu Muthukumar ⚡

      We’ve got a few ideas here :)One of the magical things about Twitter is that people are constantly curating content, whether in their timeline, in other’s timelines (e.g., retweet), in lists or in collections. We’re excited to let people have more avenues to do this and allow more people to share and discover the stories happening around the world.

      1. William Mougayar

        Madhu, thanks for reaching out, but I didn’t understand what you were trying to say, as it’s too high level and generic. If you’d like my feedback and can be more open in private, feel free to email me [email protected]

      2. jason wright

        do you see the day when a journalist wins a Pulitzer from Twitter?it’s that old chestnut that there will always be more smart and creative people sitting in the branches of other trees. i can imagine that whatever ideas you may have others will have better ones. isn’t that the whole point of twittering?

    9. jason wright

      yes, curating is a labour of love, and mere ‘Moments’ it will not take.

    10. Douglas Crets

      I hope they don’t do what MEdium just recently did, and force you to follow people you have never had any intention to follow. I woke up a couple of weeks ago to hundreds of new follower alerts, realizing that this was all happening without my consent. Not that this is a bad thing, but I didn’t like being told who to follow. I like the discovery experience of bumping into randomly great pieces of writing and deciding for myself.

    11. Kevin Hill

      I’ve been waiting for the ‘paid curators’ model for awhile now. I really hope it works out and enabling Twitter Moments curators to sell ads on their stream seems like a it possibly could work.Hard thing is the split, which probably needs to go in the curators favor in order to not encourage too much circumvention of the system by the curators.

      1. Drew Meyers

        Do you think curating content/moments on Twitter would lead to enough monetization to warrant Twitter sharing much of it with a curator? I’m highly skeptical those numbers would make it a worthwhile investment of time for a curator.

        1. Kevin Hill

          Yeah, thinking about it more you are probably right. Having some form of Premium Streams might be a good alternative.

          1. Drew Meyers

            Pay to access streams, and give curator % of the total proceeds? Could work. Allow people to create their own paid curation channel, and twitter keeps 20% of the revenue for providing platform and audience. But will people pay – that’s the question.

          2. Kevin Hill

            If the prices and product are good, sure. Personally I could see myself subscribing to 2-3 feeds at $0.49-0.99 / month for high quality information that could form a nucleus of a great online community, which I see as twitter’s big selling point over a tech like RSS.That means your average curator might need to pull in 2000-3000 subscribers to start making it a part-time job which seems completely reasonable. Probably you could tweak those numbers 10x, have $0.09 streams and hope for 10,000+ subscribers

          3. Kevin Hill

            Ah, and here’s the hook, you can get the stream for free, but delayed something like 1-7 days. Great way to try, and focuses on Twitter’s key advantage of speed of new information. Just imagine seeing ’39 new moments waiting’ and it just being < $1 away

  13. Eric Satz

    When that happens not really clear on how Moments differs from Twitter itself

  14. Stephen Bradley

    Thanks a bunch, Fred. This is exactly what I presented to you as AuthorBee over a year ago, and you told me it needed to be part of the native platform. An open-to-everyone Twitter Moments, as you (and also Ben Thompson) have now described it, IS exactly what AuthorBee is. It is the new method of social content discovery we saw coming 3 years ago, we’ve been building for the last 2 and we launched more than a year ago. It may not have the streamlined interface that it could with with more capital to work with, and it isn’t integrated into the core Twitter experience… (tho that means it can expand to include social content from other platforms)… but this is not a new idea. In fact it’s something pretty well developed and with a pending patent.

    1. fredwilson

      yup. it has to be in the platform, not out somewhere on the side

      1. Stephen Bradley

        Until Twitter realizes they can’t do both platform and editorial in the same product well, and decides to split the two up (a la Foursquare/Swarm)? Then it’ll probably be seen as a bold stroke of genius.

  15. Shaun Dakin

    Doesn’t storify do this already, but with all possible channels? Still not really getting moments. Though every day I try, in my moment of zen!

  16. JimHirshfield

    Twitter Moments …aka, Kodak Moments for the Pepsi Generation, I mean the Twitter Generation. Now I get it.

  17. awaldstein

    Fred = cmo for Twitter.They are lucky to have you as they are not doing it themselves.If I didn’t hang out here I would completely have written this off.

    1. William Mougayar

      …and their CPO 🙂

    2. Jess Bachman

      Ha… should just package these as Twitter Tuesdays.

  18. kirklove

    This is TV and a DVR for social media. Everything old is new again on mobile.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      What’s old are the content of the publishers and the interests of the readers. What’s new are being able to have narrow specialization by publishers and narrow personal interests of readers and, then, getting each publisher connected with the appropriate readers, that is, letting each reader get the content they will like for each of their narrow, personal interests.

      1. kirklove

        That’s called Cable, no?I’m not being cynical. I grew up on 3 channels. I now have over 1200 and can DVR the exact shows I want. That’s taking a giant hose and me dialing down the stream. My two cents.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Well, I gave up on TV. I get it for free with phone and Internet, but the last time I watched it was for the first Republican primary debate.I just don’t see TV as having the content I want. E.g., last I heard, AVC, Hacker News, Ars Technica, Venture Beat, etc. were not on TV!For the 1200 channels, you found the ones you want. But a long time ago Technorati was tracking 100 million blogs. Google search”number of domain names”now reports 252 million. At 10 a day, that could take a while to search through them all!For Internet content, we need a good way to automate connecting narrowly specialized content of publishers with narrow personal interests of readers — call it search, discovery, recommendation, curation, subscription, and notification or whatever. And something like “Top 40” lists won’t get at narrow, specialized content or interests. And it can’t be manual — too much work. And it can’t be based much or at all on keyword/phrases. Why? Because what the readers really want is content with the meaning they have in mind, and keyword/phrases make total, useless hash out of meaning. So, somehow have to find a way to get at, approximate, or something, meaning. Having computers understand meaning like real human intelligence does is a computer science holy grail problem.

          1. kirklove

            Sorry. Not comparing content on each platform. Just an analogy.

          2. sigmaalgebra

            Sorry, occupational hazard of math and computing — taking things too literally.But 1200 channels is much easier to search through manually than 252 million domain names or 100 million blogs or 1+ trillion Web pages or how many video clips, still images, etc.

  19. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I can think of a bunch of people right now who are going to make good use of this. And it feels like one of those things that should have been there all along.I’m starting to warm to Moments (as it is now, curated by on staff editors). I can definitely see how it’s going to do its job.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      It does feel like a natural fit.Twitter’s product really has been stagnant for a long time, and it really makes me question why. Were there really not enough resources available to allocate them to innovation? Was there too much bureaucracy? The only thought I have is that too much priority was put towards revenue stream generation.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Yeah, I think that’s the cruel task master that is going public. Costolo has said as much.To me, if a company can still be as strong as Twitter is even while doing very little on the product development front, then their chances of setting on fire now that they’ve engaged in that are quite good.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          I agree – assuming they get the vision back, and perhaps they do now have the visionary/product person they need back at the helm.

      2. someone

        it did seem they had worked on little besides infrastructure for some time

      3. Lawrence Brass

        What do you mean with ‘allocating resources to innovation’ exactly? I have always wondered about the innovation process and how deliberate can it be. I like the idea that it is something related to company culture, more related with art than discipline or perhaps I am confusing it with creativity, or the output of creativity if you wish.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          That’s a big question. I suppose I was referring to innovation of their core product – features and value specifically for their users; easy example is why they ever even limited the length of Direct Messages – they stuck to a theme instead of building for the value that a feature brings; short public messages make sense for quick consumption of many messages.It’s possible there were the resources allocated, however perhaps whomever was in lead or had final decision making authority wasn’t a product person – and blocked ideas from being implemented.This is why the visionary of a product, having a hand in everything is so important. With Airbnb’s multiple recent advertising culturally insensitive or tone-deaf ads that were clearly approved (or not even checked for approval before launching campaign) – shows to me that the executives are only looking to manage the money making, they’re managing for economic gain – not for cultural or company values – they’re not managing their brand.The creative process is brainstorming – and then you must go through a pruning process of what’s actually going to be useful and valuable to enough people. Each idea should go through some kind of test – some will feel intuitive, and others – you may need someone who will benefit to actually tell you what they think, e.g. do user testing and interviews – “how do you think you might use Direct Messages differently on Twitter if they had no character limit?” – or even then A/B testing that with 50,000 people and see if there’s a positive change in engagement.You need a culture, a product leader(s), that that is their mission. It is hard to find and foster those people, and they’re not going to be easy to bring into a startup until you have a bigger budget to support the buffer for time for the experimentation that it requires; mind you it can still be intuitively done, and then the actual execution of ideas matters too.

          1. Lawrence Brass

            Matt, thanks for the reply. I am in that exact stage you mention in the last paragraph on something I have been working on, mainly feeding from comments from close collaborators and peers and also from direct observation and analysis of the target market and competition. But largely, it is just conversations, talking to people and trying to watch for the signs. I would like it to be a more formal process. Do you think A/B testing is valuable for a beta stage with less users than 50,000, say 1000? I really don’t think I would like doing A/B testing on production, at least without people’s acknowledgment.

          2. Matt A. Myers

            A/B testing can very easily be done wrongly, and it really depends on what you’re wanting to do testing on before an answer can really be given as to whether it’d be good or not. Usually at smaller numbers you can just use intuition – or what I prefer is actually watching to see how users interact with a product. Perhaps do in-person A/B testing and see if people behave noticeably differently.

    2. sigmaalgebra

      Good point: Right away you seea bunch of people right nowYup. So, to avoid being crushed in the mad rush, i.e., to be successful, should have some advantage, barrier to entry, etc.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        I have a feeling that the current curation stars will no doubt shine on Twitter Moments (thinking Swiss Miss, etc.).

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Never heard of Twitter user Swiss Miss. But she must be popular because Google found her right away just from searchTwitter “Swiss MThen I clicked on the Twitter URL for Swiss Miss that Google gave me, and right away thought, yet again, either to get rid of JavaScript or fire all the JavaScript programmers.Why? Because the JavaScript guys put up a big block on the screen, so that I couldn’t read the Swiss Miss content, asking me about logging in or being a user, and just then I didn’t want to do either. Instead, I just wanted to read a little of Swiss Miss. So, I did.How? Sure, have Firefox select all the text on the screen and copy that to the system clipboard. Then pull that text into my favorite text editor. Then run my macro uniqueln to get rid of sequential, duplicate lines and leave only the unique lines, run my macro ds to double space the text, run my macro to flow the text within columns that actually can be seen on the screen but not across blank lines but honoring left margins, and then run my macro xblnklns to remove extra blank lines.Gee, with that little UI/UX, @JLM “barbed wire enema”, I was able to read some of the work of Swiss Miss.There I saw something like: “Sex with two people is a twosome. Sex with three people is a threesome. Sex with everyone is awesome. Now I know why they call him handsome.” Gads.Good news: If that is one of the most popular Twitter curators, then there is room for a lot of improvement!My conclusion: She needs to find a good man, be meek, sweet, pretty, darling, adorable, precious, sexy (she seems to have that one covered), secondary, submissive, subordinate, subservient, sympathetic, empathetic, artistic, devoted, caring, committed, affectionate, romantic, intimate, passionate, faithful, honest, trustworthy, perfect with the washing, cleaning, sewing, and cooking, get married, be a wife and mother, concentrate on church, cooking, children, cleaning, and sewing, and to f’get about Twitter. Sorry ’bout that. :-)!Shouldn’t be a big loss to the future of Twitter.As it is, she stands to be one of Mother Nature’s mistakes and a weak, sick, or dead limb on Darwin’s tree.The good news is, whatever the reasons are for her not to be devoted to being a wife and mother likely won’t be passed down to her descendents.

          1. ShanaC

            SwissMiss is married with Children……and if I am not mistaken, an Atheist

          2. sigmaalgebra

            “Married with children” — terrific!!!!!!

          3. ShanaC

            yes, so what you say comes off as very insulting about what motherhood should look like

          4. sigmaalgebra

            What? Just what are you referring to? Cough it up. Quote it. There’s no reasonably reliable way for me to know what I wrote that you are referring to. Give me a quote and a URL, and I will know.

          5. sigmaalgebra

            This is late for me, so I’m going for some sleep now and maybe watch a little of the James Bond movie with Daniela Bianchi, if that is not too offensive! :-)!

          6. Kirsten Lambertsen

            As far as I’m concerned, she can be and do whatever the hell she wants. She’s wildly successful and sigma doesn’t know shiz about her. Sig is trolling, which is just sad.

          7. ShanaC

            i’ll email you

          8. sigmaalgebra

            Ah, extra credit for knowing the origin of “church, cooking, children, and sewing”. I added the “cleaning” :-)!

          9. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Unsubscribe.This kind of comment is basically trolling and not really worthy of the discussion here on AVC.

          10. sigmaalgebra

            “Trolling”? You have not been at all clear what you mean. And I have no basis on which to guess accurately.If I wrote something wrong, then tell us what it was. Cough up. Let it out.Give me a URL and a quote. Be clear.If “trolling” is pejorative, then I’m sorry you are angry, but you have given me no information on what you mean.

    3. ShanaC

      but curation is hard to scale professionally

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Could you expand on that? I’m not sure what you mean.

        1. ShanaC

          bodies in seats is money

      2. Drew Meyers

        agreed. insanely hard to scale.

    4. Madhu Muthukumar ⚡


  20. pointsnfigures

    This is much better. Instead of a traditional journalist, I’d like to see them hire someone like Nate Silver from 538. For them, it’s all about the numbers-and they understand how people shade, skew them. Can you imagine how Moments will look when the Cubs win the World Series? Oh wait.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Unfortunately many of these systems is all about velocity that decides who comes out on top. I think the gem is not getting sucked into that trap, surviving the fads.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Right: It will be a gas war of competitors all doing much the same trivial, obvious things. Instead, to win at that game, need some advantages. Good for Twitter? Maybe? Good for the curators? I doubt it. Looks like they will be working for less than $0.50 per hour. Nothing much good will come from that.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Most curators will do it to push an agenda that an owner of some for-profit system generates – or spend their own time because they believe in an issue needing more exposure, or like some will do a good job, get “lucky”, and turn it into a business of some sort.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            Good list of motivations that imply we need a better solution.

          2. Drew Meyers

            I wrote this in 2011, but stil think it’s relevant & achievable business to curate: http://www.drewmeyersinsigh

          3. Matt A. Myers

            Yup, that’s a great idea. You know what.. I might even try that soon for a specific use case. Will keep everyone updated – will try to remember it was you who suggested idea!

          4. Drew Meyers

            Cool would love to hear the results.

  21. iggyfanlo

    My simple layman’s interpretation of Twitter/Moments is AP wire/newspapers… The main Twitter feed is the AP wire on steroids with tons of raw content, Moments is the edited product into various hierarchies; papers; sections; articles; journalists… I assume you can follow any or all of these layers

  22. OurielOhayon

    i wish this was not just tweet. many times a tweet is worth little without the context provided by the source which may not be part of the tweet: eg a link, a picture. i wish twitter could enable user to compose stories out of tweets and what makes them possible (think storify but on steroid)

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Right, the limit on tweet size is a double edged sword.

    2. Madhu Muthukumar ⚡

      Totally hear this point, and we’re working on it. That said, you’d be amazed what a Tweet can contain…

      1. OurielOhayon

        well maybe so, but that would be so much better if available

  23. Michael Ducker

    I hope you didn’t miss Flight yesterday, where we announced and opened up the ecosystem of tools and APIs that underpin Moments to the public:

    1. Richard

      Most of Flight was focused on great products making it easier for companies to make sense of the info within their @ data stream, this seems potentially to be at odds with bringing on new users. Lets hope they keep things in check

    2. ShanaC

      🙂 thank you

  24. Brandon Burns

    This seems off.Moments exists to solve Twitter’s problem of being too much work for most people. Curating moments = work. “Moments as a platform” sounds nice — after all, putting “as a platform” behind anything makes it sounds better — but as far as providing a product that’s less work for users, it doesn’t add up.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      I suspect that a more powerful approach, at least for Twitter, would be some, maybe designated as special, twitter users, each of whom tweets high quality material on some narrow, specialized topic and then gets followers, each of whom has that topic as a narrow, personal interest. I.e., somehow need to do a good job connecting each writer to all the appropriate readers. So, such a successful Twitter writer would be a Twitter version of, say, Drudge Report?

      1. Brandon Burns

        I don’t doubt the power of Moments as a platform. I doubt its strategic use to Twitter.A good Twitter experience = curating your feed = work = barrier for a wider audience = Twitter’s chief growth problem. Providing another tool that’s reliant upon users curating it seems off to me. Sure, there’s power in everyday users using Moments to create their own Drudge Report — but who cares when the problem is that the users don’t want to do the work that’s required in the first place?I think Moments makes most sense with a focus on a non-user curated experience. As it was originally pitched.Without restraint, you can iterate yourself away from a good thing.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          You got it. Sometimes there’s some good content at AVC! The bad content? Users who would post bad content have their brain blood sugar levels too low from reading the good content! So, good content is a filter for both the users and the content!With so much stuff on the Internet, nearly all of it just awful, the best of it among the best of all of civilization, manual curation for all the many, narrow personal interests is just too darned much human work and needs automation.

    2. Richard

      Twitter Momemts will evolvle into a FB type wall and a link between you and the companies you follow. Not a bad thing though certainly different from the initial Twitter product

  25. sigmaalgebra

    When anyone can create a Moment and publish it into Twitter’s Moment stream, then we will have something very interesting. A crowdsourced newspaper. “Newspaper”? At this point, newspapers are not very interesting and, instead, are dying! :-)!As I explained yesterday in… NYT? RIP. It’s a beautiful new day! In “crowdsourced”, what is the “crowd”, the people who tweet or the readers who curate?Either way, the source is a challenge to mine: (A) The high quality tweets will be tough to find in the whole steam; (B) for any given collection of topics in a curation, the best material will usually be from the rest of the Internet instead of just from tweets.E.g., some of the best of the Internet is on, let’s see, AVC, but the AVC content is mostly not tweeted. Sure, some tweets could link to AVC content and then curators could report the links, but that approach has some indirection which will be less effective.The recently new, Internet publishers, curators, etc. — Drudge, SAI BI, Politico, Breitbart, Medium, Venture Beat, Ars Technia, Victoriana Magazine, and many more — are all looking for a specialization that will give them an audience that is both devoted and large (of course, with specialization, devoted and large are in conflict).For its target audience, Hacker News is a better approach than curated tweets, that is, is free to copy or link to tweets but mostly links to much more.As I wrote yesterday, and tried to explain, a huge theme for the future of content on the Internet will have to be specialization for publishers and personalization for readers. So, one person will have in effect a collection of personal interests and, then, will subscribe to specialized curations to cover those interests relatively accurately.A question, then, is how to help readers do that?Even though here we are talking mostly about content we can call news, the brand names and domain names of the curators will be weeks, months, or years old so that we can help readers find the domain names of the curations with the specializations that accurately cover the reader’s personal interests.E.g., at what level of the tree of names do we seek to help the readers — URLs, the domain names, specialized cuations, general interest curations?Or to be more clear via an example, Drudge has a list of brand names and domain names of publishers and publishes titles of and URL links to particular stories that Drudge curates for one of the somewhat narrow personal interests of his audience. Okay, but one could do fairly well just giving Drudge readers the brand names and domain names of the news publishers Drudge links to most often.Besides, there’s the old “The news is always the same. Only the names change.”!Seems obvious to me. Where’m I going wrong here?

  26. LE

    I think this has potential. However the presentation is still to confusing for my brain. And that’s because I even took a look (see below)I clicked on the “moments” tab and saw that I could see something about Hillary Clinton testifying.…But it was a bit disappointing and it’s unclear (from what you have written above) exactly who decided to put this information there. And why it has a random number “657156430106071040” as part of the URL instead of something descriptive of what I am reading about. Small matter of course but I might as well mention.Most importantly (and even getting beyond the visual complexity of the presentation) how would anyone who was not a twitter user now (which is what twitter is trying to increase) even know that this existed? I only went there because of this blog post. Otherwise wouldn’t have a clue to even see this. And would they stick around to figure things out and find any value? This is exactly the problem surrounding twitter now, a learning curve.Opening up Moments as a platform will change all of that. I can’t wait until that happens.I don’t disagree. However my guess is that nobody on the twitter team can think down to the level of a person not already familiar with twitter and make this happen. This is super clear to me. People don’t want to think and don’t want to take the time to learn the ropes.Things need immediate intuitive appeal and usability and that’s not there in this product currently.

  27. Kurt Stangl

    There is nothing new here and Twitter has always been journalistic in a sense. They’re just evolving their product towards the inevitable end which is someone helping keep the life in the party for any given discussion.The moments policies page is nothing more than a community policy page, that product manager is doing content management to get the best threads at the top and all of these things are classic community management. The real goal here is a good content curation tool but there WILL ALWAYS need to be an interesting person (or people) IE a community management team, who are passionate about the community and helping keep the discussion fun and enjoyable (and thus profitable).

  28. Merlin Hus

    They are just doing the smart product platform thing – giving 3P dev whatever tools will make them happy / use the platform more.

  29. Tom

    Step one is the rise of the Aggregators, Apple News, Google AMP, Twitter Moments, Facebook Instant who take the articles and place in them in a faster social feed and monetize ads against using their data.Maybe step two is aggregating the aggregators, Apps like Flipboard and Nuzzel.Same thing will happen to TV content.

  30. bsoist

    I was one of those who had zero interest in moments last time this came up, but this is more interesting to me.Not sure it’s a game changer, but it is more interesting.

  31. josephrueter

    I wonder if is headed in this direction. Will a tool kit like it power something like curated “moments” feeds?

  32. henry springer

    Twitter can easily see which events people are talking most about, it’s similar to hashtagging. Create a moment around that event and voila you have a moment that is relevant based on user discussion.The thing twitter really needs to fix is what tweets we see in these moments. When a user clicks on a trend/hashtag they see a collection of tweets, usually resembling a live twitter stream that contains the hashtag. Instead, it would be great to see tweets from people with a large following, tweets that have had a lot of re-tweets/favorites. As a user, this would break through a lot of the noise that is twitter.

  33. ShanaC

    At it’s core I think we need to get into a conversation aboutWhat’s a paperwho gets to writeHow we want our news served to us, even if it is the “light” stuffWhat is journalistic ethicsWhat is impartialityWhat does it means to have views representedHaving lots of people, or anyone create moments could be very powerful for underserved communities (local news! protests in baltimore! iran!) where typically the national media has to send people out.on the other hand, for “light content”, we’re starting to walk into a no-mans-land of really trying to figure out how much the world is ad basedTwitter Moments just highlights how vulnerable this all is because it serves both discovery and our need for right now

  34. Luis Garcia

    Its funny to see how Twitter is desperate not to look like Twitter. They realized 140 characters was good enough for selling ads (and that´s their ‘original sin’). So they started to include extended tweets, a new layout, images, galleries, videos, perhaps video channels in a few months, etc. They want to become a little Facebook, or a little Youtube… nobody knows. They don´t know who they are, and it can´t end well.

  35. Douglas Crets

    Twitter should by for the filtering and finding of people that people should curate for Moments, not that Twitter likely doesn’t have this kind of algorithmic searching itself, but you never know.

  36. Tim Robbins

    Twitter is old news. It just lost it all to be in the matter what they do

  37. komradekittens

    We’ve got a few ideas

  38. Kevin Hill

    Does the Moments API have a ‘score’ or similar value that you can attach to a moment. I can think of a couple of uses that get very interesting when you are able to sum scores across multiple streams, or compare streams based on scores with algorithms similar to what netflix uses with it’s recommendation system.

  39. Kirsten Lambertsen

    You’re not following the right people 😉

  40. fredwilson

    this blog is a view into my brain. i’m obviously thinking a lot about twitter these days. it may bore you but i’m obsessed about it.

  41. Jess Bachman

    I enjoy these posts. It’s just like reality tv. I feel like I am watching a VC put in work.

  42. Matt A. Myers

    Any blog you after AVC?

  43. LE

    One of the girls there looks a bit like Jennifer Jason Leigh but it’s not showing up in her IMDB.

  44. sigmaalgebra

    That was really bad! One glance at Fonzi, and I made sure never to watch anything of him. So, I never saw that TV show, whatever it was.But, gee, so that’s where the phrase “jumped the shark” came from. Okay, not a complete waste.

  45. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Oooooh. gotcha.

  46. LE

    One of the things about sitcoms is predictability of the characters. To that point writing about the same things is good, not bad. If you like sitcoms. (I never did I can’t stand laugh tracks and stupid sitcom humor…) [1] AVC is not a sitcom though it’s an eye into whatever Fred is thinking on a particular day. Which today was Twitter.You are also missing a key point about how Fred has said he goes about what he does. He has said that he wakes up and writes what comes to his mind at the time. It’s not an “assignment”. It’s not planned out in advance. It’s whatever moves him at the moment. Just like when I wrote this comment. You said something and I was moved to reply to you. He stopped doing MBA mondays .. which was fine with me ..Happy days? Winkler’s mom was a customer of my Dad during the peak of that show. She bought merchandise for her synagogue giftshop from him. Still didn’t make me watch that show. I hated that character “the fonz”.[1] To this day when I want to make a lame joke about something I say the joke and then announce “laughtrack” as if to imply it’s a stupid sitcom joke and not to take it as serious humor.

  47. Matt A. Myers

    Oops – any blog you visit …

  48. Richard

    It felt like there were two seperate companies at twitter flight the first providing tools for companies to develop actionable intelligence and the second creating tools for developers to deploy apps (twitter realted or not) The tools for twitter users seemed to be missing

  49. bsoist

    My dad, who was a teenager in the fifties, didn’t even like us watching that show because of the fonz. My mom said it was because it reminded him of himself a little too much.Same reason her dad hated All in the Family. He *was* Archie Bunker – even looked like him. 🙂

  50. LE

    All in the Family was pretty representative of the way things were back in the 70’s. Was before political correctness and all of that horseshit. You can’t have a dialog about something if it can’t even be said or discussed. All of that has gone out the window.In an odd twist (compared to what you just said) my Dad wasn’t bothered by Hogans Heroes [1] despite having spent years in a concentration camp and losing family in the Holocaust (parents, siblings, relatives). For some reason it just never bothered him that we watched that sitcom.The Fonz always annoyed me because he is representative of a character that talks a good game but (iirc when I watched a few times) never followed through on any threats. [2] Just the “I am tough” act by verbal intimidation and facial cues. No stick or follow up.I guess in media classes they teach that was some kind of metaphor for the cold war. (Just a guess).[1] With the guards a variation of “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” (Godfather).[2] Am I wrong? Did he ever get into any fights on that show and beat the shit out of anyone? Or was it all bluster.

  51. bsoist

    A – Hogan’s Heroes was a great show! Never really wondered how it might have affected survivors, though.2 – “Am I wrong?” I watched the show a lot but was pretty young and don’t remember specifics, so I don’t remember if there were real fights, but I think you are wrong about him “never following through.”D – re:pc horseshit: I understand what you are saying but I don’t agree with your take on it 100%. I DO agree that crossing certain boundaries should be encouraged in both private conversations among friends AND in comedy. ( I think that’s one of the biggest benefits of comedy – pushing the boundaries of beliefs/ideologies/worldviews/whatever )

  52. Stephen Voris

    Part of the problem with “political correctness” is that different people mean different things by it – to its proponents it’s something like “a (minor) gesture of respect”, whereas to its detractors it’s more akin to “semantic bureaucracy”.I personally tend to agree with the detractors, in the sense that I think respect is achieved more at the sentence level than the word level – and thus that political correctness trades actual respect for the appearance of it. On the other hand one might argue that simply paying attention to the appearance of respect is conducive to actual respect; I tend to think the opposite is more the case, but then, as I said I tend to agree with the detractors.

  53. LE

    Well like with everything else the answer is out there and the fact that the question is asked gives you the answer.…That said a viewer who watched the show inveterate may have seen a scene where someone told stories about what the Fonz had done in the past. After all people fear the mafia but rarely see a killing themselves. (This is my spin in defense for the other point of view basically.)That said there is no question that people use fear and intimidation to get what they want with no intention at all of causing any physical harm. Think of a typical angry customer in a store or an angry traveler trying to abuse an airline ticket clerk. It helps if that person is also large and ugly looking (or just large). But why does that matter? Not like they are going to actually cause physical harm.

  54. bsoist

    I hear you. I have no interest in “semantic bureaucracy” or policing speech or thought.I do think it’s okay to challenge friends and colleagues from time to time about the things we say. Something like the paying attention to you mentioned. That gives us the opportunity to get to the real issue instead of just paying it lip service – to get to real respect and not just the appearance of respect.Thanks. Your comment helped me crystalize some thoughts I’ve been having on this issue for quite some time now – since something Fred posted more than 17 months ago. 🙂