I’ve seen the term “alpha geeks” used a bit more lately. These are the folks that create the software and the platforms we use. To be clear, being the first in your market to use Twitter does not make you an alpha geek, those folks write code.
There have been some interesting discussions and developments with regard to Twitter and data distribution lately. Last night on WeatherBrains we learned that Daryl Herzmann’s IEMbot has been locked out of Twitter for 6 days. Daryl is pleading with Twitter to give him some idea of what is going on, so far silence.
WeatherBrains listeners will remember that James Spann was recently locked out of Facebook just ahead of a severe weather event. It took a note from This Week in Google’s Jeff Jarvis to Facebook to get a response. The answer, “It was a mistake.” The next day a second reply said the people who would have answered the question of why the account was disabled were out of the office when the question was first asked. So, when they actually replied, the answer was, “It was a mistake.”
This post from Matthew Ingram is worth reading. It is an interview with a developer who lost a $15,000 a month business when Twitter “killed it cold.”
So, what is next? The alpha geeks seem to be frustrated with Twitter and are looking toward something called “personal news feeds”. Pay attention, these folks will build the infrastructure, not just sit back and wait for something better to come along. Dave Winer invented RSS and has developed a “tabbed river”. App.net is being billed as a Twitter competitor and the alpha geeks are taking interest. Terry Heaton’s latest essay looks at advertising in the personal news feed. If you read only one of the links in this post, read Terry and ask yourself how well you’ve monetized your social media efforts.
I have long suspected that one of the reasons local television meteorologists embraced social media was because of a vacuum created by the lack of ways to distribute digital content. Station websites were quickly automated, and we, wanting to communicate, and being geeks ourselves, needed an outlet.
It is time for an evolution. I’ve gotten to know some alpha geeks in the weather space and am looking to build the next generation of digital weather distribution. We’ve started the process and would like to have your input. One of my mentors, Dan Satterfield, once told me, “Meteorologists do it with crystal balls.” (rimshot) Our job is to predict the future, and the best way to predict the future is to create it. I’d love to hear from you.