Thursday, December 04, 2008

Meet The Other Evan—Evan Weaver

We've never had the opportunity to properly welcome Evan Weaver to the Twitter team. Evan joined Twitter in May coming from CNET Networks and before that, SAP. Although he worked remotely from Delaware at first, Evan very quickly became a leader on our infrastructure and performance initiatives. Thanks to his contributions, technical vision, systems experience, and pragmatic optimization strategies Twitter's Engineering and Operations team has made significant progress moving away from early scaling problems.

Evan represents the unique brand of talent we hope to continue to attract at Twitter. None of the founders of Twitter have college degrees but Evan's Master's degree and combined study of philosophy, computer science, jazz, piano, poetry, and bioinformatics more than makes up for that fact. Plus, his strangely offbeat sense of humor regularly cracks everyone up. Please join us in belatedly welcoming Evan and thanking him for his enormous contributions to Twitter's recent and continued success.

Monday, December 01, 2008

An Expert Visits

john hodgman at twitter
Originally uploaded by rcarver
Author, actor, and Daily Show "Resident Expert." John Hodgman is a Twitter user and fan. When a recent book tour had him visiting San Francisco Mr. Hodgman managed to make his way to Twitter HQ for a little tour. While here, he took some time to learn about the preparation of toilet wine and we got the inside scoop on his glitzy celebrity lifestyle. All in a day's work at Twitter, Inc.!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Giving Thanks via Twitter

Instead of simply being a date which will live in gluttony, this Thanksgiving was made special thanks to Tweetsgiving, a project designed to raise $10,000 in 48 hours in order to build a classroom in Tanzania. Guess what, it worked!
WE DID IT!!! We raised over $10,000 in just 48 hours through the power of Twitter
Congratulations to the folks at Epic Change who raised 106% of their goal in such a short amount of time. MG Siegler of VentureBeat has a nice write-up of the accomplishment.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Live From India

We're hearing lots of reports about on-the-scene reporting using Twitter from India as horrific terrorist attacks continue to unfold. Om Malik has suggested this Twitter Search query to follow the bad news as it continues to break.

Oh, Canada

We were surprised today by out of control Canadian SMS costs and had to put 21212 into the same one sided SMS mode that folks in the UK, Australia and elsewhere currently use (they can send updates but can't receive). We posted first on our status blog.

Please understand that we did not mean to pull the rug out from under you if you depend on receiving Twitter updates through our Canadian shortcode. We would have preferred to take more time communicating this change but we had to act quickly and responsibly.

It's clear we have work to do on our SMS offerings. Our long term goal is robust SMS interaction with Twitter around the world. Similar to our other reliability efforts, we can achieve this with the right focus but it's not a quick fix. We're focusing now and we'll keep everyone updated as we make progress.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Meet Rael Dornfest

Rael Dornfest is a famously talented engineer, author, and entrepreneur. Before founding Values of n, Rael served as Chief Technology Officer at O'Reilly Media and is known for his pioneering work on RSS as well being the series editor of O'Reilly's celebrated Hacks books. I met him personally a number of years ago and have always thought he was one of the smartest guys I know.

A short while ago it became clear to Rael that while the innovative personal productivity and information management applications his startup had created were useful products with a loyal following, Values of n was not going to meet its huge expectations as a standalone business.

As an early user, Rael has long been fascinated with Twitter and the unique challenges it presents. He started a conversation with us about how we might work together—and we recognized an amazing opportunity.

Today we're thrilled to announce that Twitter has acquired the assets of Values of n, which include an intelligent sticky-note application as well as a personal productivity application that works over email, SMS, and the Web. Rael has already started adding energy and momentum to the team as a full time Twitter engineer.

Values of n will be shutting down existing products. However, the technology behind the scenes will live on and potentially re-emerge as part of Twitter's systems, services, user experience, or open source libraries. Nothing specific in this regard is planned but there is some smart work in there by the newest member of our engineering team.

Welcome to Twitter, Rael!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

His Tweets Are Shaqalicious

It's official: Shaq is on Twitter. Today's New York Times sports section has a great article about how quipmaster and pro basketball player Shaquille O'Neill discovered Twitter and rose to the challenge. What does Shaq think of Twitter so far? “It’s a fun thing. It’s a way for fans to connect.” Follow Shaq @the_real_shaq—his tweets are shaqalicious.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Let It Out

Like most people, you probably have nothing at all to complain about. However, if you feel the need to kvetch, why not follow @kvetch and direct message your complaints? Theoretically, you'll fee better. If you don't, then just complain about it. More info at