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Summary:

Seesmic founder Loic Le Meur outlines 20 reasons why his company bought Twhirl, an Adobe AIR-based Twitter client that is preferred by the self-obsessed net-set (including yours truly). Some see it as a future-of-the-web move. The Valley echo chamber seems to agree. I’m stingy with such […]

Seesmic founder Loic Le Meur outlines 20 reasons why his company bought Twhirl, an Adobe AIR-based Twitter client that is preferred by the self-obsessed net-set (including yours truly). Some see it as a future-of-the-web move. The Valley echo chamber seems to agree.

I’m stingy with such compliments. In my opinion, the 21st (and real) reason why Loic bought this little client: users. Twhirl is very popular these days; it accounts for 7 percent of the traffic on Twitter, putting it in a good position to help Seesmic — whenever it comes out of alpha/beta/gamma testing — attract new users to its service very quickly. (Of course, Twitter fame can be fleeting, forgotten the minute the net-set discovers the next new shiny shiny.)

Seesmic, in simple terms, is a video Twitter-type service, but I have grappled with two questions: What is Seesmic’s utility, and what pain point is it trying to solve? The company showed off its service at our NewTeeVee Live conference and Loic was recently on The GigaOM Show trying to explain the service, but I still don’t quite get it. Perhaps, Alan Patrick over on BroadStuff puts it best,

Videoblogging has a limited runway compared to text blogging (today at any rate) and this is a way for Seesmic to shift its focus from video to overall ‘microblogging.’

  1. Spot on.

    One great thing this acquisition does do however, is hopefully inspire the AIR developer community even more. :) Great stuff

    The main issue I have with the seesmic ui is the ‘pseudo-threading’ of the conversations can make me feel ‘lost’ quite quickly.

    It’s a lot of fun though, and can be a very addictive medium once you join in and engage with others. (that ‘first reply moment’)

    Systems like this have been waiting to happen for a long time. Recent changes in the flash video serving economy have made it easier, so I expect we’ll see more thing ‘like’ this soon.

    stay tuned :)
    Kosso

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  2. [...] say I remain skeptical on that front (and it seems like others, including my friend Om Malik, share some of that skepticism). If what this deal means is that I get more “I’m streaming — come chat!” [...]

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  3. There might be benefits in getting early adopter crowd to record from thwirl and manage conversation threads through an expanded seismic .

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  4. Don't think.Org Friday, April 4, 2008

    “What is Seesmic’s utility, and what pain point is it trying to solve?”

    How dare you think? Do you know what happens to people with such thoughts – have you seen “clockwork orange”.

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  5. We can’t say whether Seesmic will become as big as Twitter, but your comments about the service echo alot of the thoughts about Twitter when it was first released and we now see what sort of utility it has become to so many people. I personally don’t use Seesmic but I see it’s potential.

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  6. Not just users – a Seesmic strategic shift ;-) I suspect videoblogging is just not as “spreadable” an application (with today’s gear, anyway) as textblogging – Thoughts here:

    http://tinyurl.com/3587lj

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  7. I’m a Twhirl user. Every time they add support for new services such as Twitpic & Tweetburner it prompts me to use them. I’m guessing many other users are the same. Twhirl was already planning on adding Seesmic support prior to this announcement, so capturing users was already going to occur.

    So the key here will be to make sure that with this purchase the Seesmic integration is implemented in a clean unobtrusive manner. If Twhirl becomes too aggressive in their execution of Seesmic support and begins to falter on it’s main Twitter functionality, reason 21 will be pointless as users being flocking to another Air application in a heartbeat.

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  8. Sorry, wrong link – I was attempting to point to some more analytical work we had done to come to the view:

    http://broadstuff.com/archives/675-Joost-Deserts,-and-whither-Web-Video-a-Seesmic-shift.html

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  9. Please, OM, don’t say ‘pain point’, ever again. It’s so corpspeak. Say, challenges, instead. Ugh.

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  10. What I learned from Twhirl – that AIR handles well. It was the first AIR app that I used. It works, and speaks well of the developer.

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