twitter's business model?

Twitter's been flakier than usual this week, and supposedly the twitgineers are busy fixing database borkage and scaling stuff up and twiddling bits and furiously adjusting the machine that goes PING!

And yeah, they've had investors temporarily filling bank accounts to pay for the lavish web 2.0 drug binge parties development of a more robust and scalable nanoblogging platform.

But... Where is the money really coming from? It's not advertising. It's not subscription fees. The only other reasonably viable option is that they're building it up to hope to sell it to some web 2.0 behemoth. And I can't see why Yacrosoft! would pay $millions for it. Or anyone else, for that matter.

So, where will the money come from to pay for the server farms, pool tables, and cocaine parties growing workforce?

Twitter's been a pretty stellar example of the power of community momentum. Even though the software is technically and demonstrably inferior to its competitors. The Twitter community stays put because nobody wants to be the first rat to jump ship, in case it doesn't sink after all. Twitter works JUST well enough, and JUST often enough to keep us all coming back. "maybe it's working now... how about... NOW! hmmm... now? or... now? YES!" The power of intermittent reinforcement in action. And none of the alternatives are dramatically better - they all suffer the same lack of clear business model that reeks of profound inability to scale sustainably.

A viable business model doesn't look like this:

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