Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Social Networks The Internet IT

Twitter and the Rise of Data Platforms 33

snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister sees Twitter's latest move — to develop 'analytical products' based on Twitter data and to encourage third-party developers to do the same — as part of a growing trend toward a new kind of software platform. 'In the past, tool vendors have offered developers languages and code libraries that gave them access to computing functions in simple, standardized ways. In this new paradigm, however, a platform consists of more than just frameworks and APIs. It also comes prepackaged with a complete, rich data set, and often that data is the platform's most valuable aspect. These new "data platforms" are creating exciting new opportunities for developers, though they are not without their challenges.' Chief among these issues are privacy and security, as evidenced by a recent letter to Google from government regulators and activist tools such as PleaseRobMe. But for developers, the challenges also include livelihood. 'Even more than mobile platforms such as Apple's iPhone, a data platform like Twitter's is a walled garden. If Twitter cuts off a developer's access to its data sources for any reason, that developer's business is sunk.' Even those who develop 'cloud middleware' around such data platforms stand to gain little from their efforts, as doing so pits them in competition with their data platform vendors, which are in a far better position to reach potential customers."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Twitter and the Rise of Data Platforms

Comments Filter:
  • It's a bubble (Score:0, Interesting)

    by For a Free Internet ( 1594621 ) on Saturday April 24, 2010 @01:42PM (#31968134)

    Capitalism is in its epoch of decline. The tendency of the rate of profit to fall means that big capital refuses to invest in any productive industry. Twitter, Facebook, Google, the whole internet "economy" based on a house of cards resting on top of speculation on advertising arms races over the rapidly shrinking pool of disposable income, are just the agonal gasps of capitalism in its death throes. A choice faces humanity: socialist revolution, or barbarism of nuclear world war. Reforge the Fourth International!

  • by comp.sci ( 557773 ) on Saturday April 24, 2010 @02:55PM (#31968526)
    In the end it all boils down to using this data for advertising (what else could you use this data for to make money as a company?). I don't think it's an exciting development at all, rather it's a pretty boring topic to me: finding out whom to best sell different products to. I just cannot get excited about a problem that doesn't really do anything productive / create anything of true value. Personally I don't have any problems figuring out how to spend my money and actually dislike the idea of being advertised to specifically. In the end we have to realize that no wealth is created by these technologies: there is only so much money to go around for people to buy products. All these advertisement datasets help is finding new ways to get people to spend their money on the "right" thing for them but it doesn't actually create cool new products or give people more money to buy products. Maybe I'm overlooking some exciting key aspect to these datasets (social analysis maybe?) but Im not yet convinced that this is not yet another bubble.
  • It's more like DRM. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday April 24, 2010 @03:21PM (#31968668) Homepage

    What we're seeing with these "data platforms" is that you can do some restricted things with the data, but you can't just get the data and work on it yourself. Compare, say, Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The entire data set is downloadable for free. (I have an application downloading the updates every night. []. So do many Wall Street services.) Don't expect that kind of access from Twitter.

    Companies hate to make that data freely available. Even most WHOIS access is throttled, and that's supposed to be public data. It's not about data volume any more, now that terabyte drives are in the bargain bin at the computer store. It's about control.

    "Data platforms" with such restrictive access are really just another form of "digital rights management".

An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.