It is my sad news this morning to report the demise of the world's most famous microblog. Twitter, we hardly knew ye.
From a distance it appears to be healthy enough. It's still growing faster than kudzu in a rain forest. The number of Twitter users surged a staggering 1,700 percent since last year. More than 20 million people visited Twitter.com in July, according to Comscore. Some (not so) poor slobs just dropped another $100 million into its profitless coffers, boosting the paper value of the company past the $1 billion mark.
[ Also on InfoWorld, Cringely has more thoughts on Twitter's twisty tale: "Twitter harpooned, Internet survives (just barely)" | Stay up to date on Robert X. Cringely's musings and observations with InfoWorld's Notes from the Underground newsletter. ]
I especially love this line from the IDG news report: "The money will give Twitter more time to figure out a business model." Hey, if somebody wanted to give me $100 million, I'd be happy to spend my time working out a business model -- preferably from a beach chair in the Caymans.
More than 3 million people now hang on every 140-character belch that comes from the keyboard of Ashton Kutcher. (Though, aside from shacking up with Demi Moore, it's unclear what he's done to deserve all the attention. Have you ever watched "That 70's Show?" I mean, more than once?) When The Gloved One died in July, researchers recorded 80 tweets per second mourning the loss of MJ. There are now academic studies of varying ridiculousness about the impact of "Twitter influencers." There's not one but two TV shows that are allegedly being built around Twitter. (Of course, in TV land they'd build a program around your grandmother's dead cat -- and it would still be better than "That 70's Show.")
So no worries, right? Wrong.