We just wrapped up another amazing #Blogchat on Twitter. If you aren’t familiar with #Blogchat, it’s the largest chat on Twitter, and when it gets rolling starting at 8pm Central, there will be over a tweet left every second. So while there is a TON of great info, it’s impossible to keep up with everything.
And a lot of people won’t even try, and up till a few weeks ago, they would wait till 9pm Central when I would post a transcript for #Blogchat that I had created with a free site called WTHashtag. But there were some changes to Twitter’s Terms of Service, and apparently WTHashtag.com is down now.
But, I know there are some services that can still create transcripts of Twitter chats, although most of them have difficulty catching all the tweets, and if they do, there’s no organization other than to show them in a stream as they happened.
So there is a HUGE demand for transcripts and transcripts that can easily be organized and searchable. Because let’s face it, if you are trying to sort through 5,000 #Blogchat tweets, you need a way to organize the information and track the conversations as they happened.
I think if a company came up with a way to create a killer Twitter chat transcript tool, that they could totally sell transcripts. I sent the tweet out tonight asking if people would pay say $3 for a great transcripts, and dozens of people said they would. I didn’t see anyone say they wouldn’t. When you think that in #Blogchat alone there are 1,000 or so active participants in a good week, and likely at least that many lurkers, you are looking at least a couple of thousand potential customers. And I could even see where a company could sign an agreement with chats to become the ‘official’ transcript for that chat. If a great product/transcript was available, it could quickly corner the market and easily generate several thousand dollars a week in sales.
What the transcript would need is:
- Be searchable. By keyword, Twitter user, etc.
- Be portable so I could use it on my iPad, or Kindle, whatever. Maybe PDF form or something else.
- Have a ‘conversation view’ or something similar where I could chose to have the tweets organized by conversations. It is almost impossible to track conversations when tweets are spaced out in a convo every 5 mins, and there’s 300 new tweets a minute.
Those are some ideas. If someone was going to charge you say $5 for the PERFECT #Blogchat transcript, what would it have to have in order for you to buy it? What’s missing?
And to clarify, I am NOT looking to sell #Blogchat transcripts. I have no idea how to even create them. I am trying to get a discussion started to show companies that there is potential to this idea. Do you think there is?
UPDATE: Great discussion in the comments, but I think Fred may have come up with the perfect solution – “Hey Mack. I think your idea is in the right direction, but as several (like Shannon Whitley @swhitley, Rick Stilwell @RickCaffeinated and Debra Ellis @Debra_Ellis) pointed out, there are some potential legal and “do I want to contribute to a discussion that somebody else monetizes” issues that need to be overcome (ironically, you don’t own your own tweets – twitter does).
Personally, I’d look to solve this problem from a slightly different angle – rather than sell chat transcripts, I’d look to develop an independent app for “personal use only, running on my own personal device” that provided the type of functions you listed for any chat/search/etc.
Think of it as a “twitter-mining” tool. That, to me, would have significant value and possibly avoid the personal and legal pitfalls of an entity trying to sell Twitter content.”
Well, you can do a search. but the results are spit out in a RSS = API call. @fredmcclimans @kristofcreative @RickCaffeinated
@georgiawebgurl @MackCollier @margieclayman Well, we’re offering a limited number of private betas to folks who want to solve this problem WITHOUT falling afoul of Twitter TOS. It’s free, in beta, and we’re committed to building chat audiences around business needs that are valuable to both chat participants, moderators, and chat sponsors. Should we start a conversation?
@fredmcclimans @RickCaffeinated Fred. Great idea. However, ANY tool that takes tweets into an application and republishes that content, without Twitter permission, falls afloul of TOS. March 12, 2011 was a pivotal point for many Twitter developers as they reasserted this for all API apps.
We give transcripts from #speakchat between guest and moderator now, but cannot continue to do indefinitely as it takes resources and someone has to pay for those resources.
This dialogue is interesting and makes me wonder as a chat moderator why anyone would object to paying for something that makes your life and learning easier.
The free part is participating in the chat. 😉
mackcollier what would a “smoking” transcipt look like?
@fredmcclimans @RickCaffeinated Fred that is what @taariqlewis already does 😉 with Stanzr.
Now back to the question of would you like a transcript that allowed you to shorten your learning curve and what value does it have for you?
Yesterday, I threw this question out on the Twitter API discussion forum. [cricket, cricket]
If I receive a response, it may not be a quick one, and we probably already know the answer.
However, I like how this discussion is progressing. This is a great brainstorming session.
@taariqlewis @georgiawebgurl @margieclayman Actually I think you emailed me about this and I never got back to you, sorry I will do that shortly 😉
@georgiawebgurl @margieclayman Actually, I think if a company could come up with a killer transcript and offer for free, it would be wonderful exposure for them as it could quickly become ‘the’ transcript that all the most popular chats use.
@prosperitygal @RickCaffeinated @taariqlewis Oh yes, know Stanzr well. Could it be that the future of twitter chats isn’t twitter-based?
This is a very interesting topic. Let me just say this: For almost one year I eagerly participated in #blogchat. I still do when my Sundays don’t get so crazy. I live in MST time, but Tucson (which does not recognize daylight saving time). Bottom line 5PM or 6PM my time is not always easy. So I depended on the Transcripts. You once cautioned all of the participants save the link and create a PDF of the transcripts that WTHashtag provided, but I didn’t. I did religiously save each weeks links in a folder for my favorites. Of course, I can eliminate that folder now. Here are my observations:
1. Fred’s idea is great.
2. Asking if I will pay $3.00 per week for a transcript is kind of like saying to a car buyer “can you afford $200 @ month (never mind what the true yearly cost is or the interest charges over 36-72 months). In other words, how will people answer if you asked would you pay $156 a year or $78 for six months? Because in the scheme of things no one wants to process $3 items.
3. Keep in mind that a lot of the #blogchat tweets are incidental shout outs. They are nice, but add nothing to conversation, but they might be part of a string. I would be curious if you filtered out all of the “chatter” non-essential to the conversation tweets…how many tweets would you have?
4. I have come to rely on @allison_boyer Blog World blog posts called “overheard at #blogchat”. She usually catches the best nugget to expound on.
5. I totally understand where Debra_Ellis is coming from – who owns what? Who gets recognition. The whole intellectual property topic is also part of this conversation.
Before I close, I am going to provide a funny story. Did you know I am a published “author” with my work available on Amazon? Go here http://amzn.to/mE4UMT You see I was one of the 4 photographers for the 1965 yearbook staff of Cathedral Girls High School. Not only did I load the film, take the photos, run the darkroom, create the proofs, attend every school activity with my two BFF Gale and Michelle…we had the artistic eye for the presentation. Now 46 years later…someone gave http://www.classmates.com a copy of the yearbook and it is being sold on Amazon for $59.95 per copy. Who is getting the proceeds, I have no idea. But I do know this, on the last page of the yearbook the entire staff is listed and I don’t remember be contacted for permission to use my work product!
I will look forward to seeing the outcome of this discussion.
@JudyHelfand @allison_boyer Judy my fear, as I was telling Taariq yesterday is that eventually Twitter will find a way to shutdown Twitter chats. Several of them are growing to the point where they are attracting sponsors and income for the organizers and communities, and I could see Twitter wanting to either get a cut of that, or trying to stop hashtag-based chats because they ‘fear’ they could be monetized in some form. It sometimes seems as if Twitter is more interested in trying to keep others from monetizing the site than they are in trying to monetize it themselves.
So I think what we’ll eventually see is the popular Twitter chats either dying out, or moving to a new location where the organizers and members have more control over it. I’ve actually been thinking about this for a while now, but I would be very surprised if in a year’s time the Twitter chats look as they do now.
@MackCollier @JudyHelfand @allison_boyer Mack. I agree. You and the moderators of the leading Twitter chats have started the NEW-NEW television of Social Media. Given that folks are spending more of their time online, the chats are filling entertainment, education, community and even marketing functions. Twitter goal to “help you follow the most relevant conversations” in this new evolution of the attention economy is barely sufficient to reward both producers and participants or readers of Twitter chats. You and the rest of social media have evolved well past Tweet a link or monitor a feed.
I think the customers of this market are not dumb. Chat participants and chat moderators know their value and they should be allowed to control that value in this new evolution. Right now, on Twitter, neither chat moderators or chat participants have that opportunity beyond followers and friends. Sorry, Twitter is too big to turn as fast as you. As such, either the chats continue to evolve off Twitter or they die out.
You are right. In a year’s time, it will look very, very different.
@MackCollier @JudyHelfand @allison_boyer Mack – I couldn’t agree more. Two quick reasons: 1st, I agree with your point about Twitter, hash tags and monetization – it will ultimately become an issue (and Twitter will win the battle). 2nd, and more importantly, I’ve watched chats evolve over time (both those that I participate in and those that I host) to the point where Twitter doesn’t really seem like the right medium for the type of discussions that we are now having.
To be blunt, hosting, moderating and managing chats (especially as chats continue to evolve) is not something that Twitter was designed to support. There is an entire level of features (for both participants and moderators) that is lacking in their architecture (and has limited the ability of chats to evolve beyond their current form).
To survive, chats must evolve as the participant’s needs evolve, and I don’t see Twitter being the only option in town for very long.
Since chats are simply real-time discussions, do they really need to happen on Twitter? IMO, the answer is ‘no’. Granted, there would be a loss in viralness, but taking the discussion off Twitter opens up array of possibilities.
@kristofcreative I agree. Getting off Twitter is an opportunity, but why lose viralness? Why not have both real-time and viralness to each social media platform that matters or where our customers/community may spend their time? I think we’re possibly heading back into broadcast model, again. Mack Collier is Twitter’s Oprah. Why not enjoy his show wherever in social media you were?
Lets face it. Moderators are monetizing the content of chats in one form or another. I for one understand and accept it as part of being a member of a community. I contribute on that basis. Selling transcripts of insight gleaned from chat participants for me is not a real business opportunity. Direct monetization in that manner feels a little abusive and as you and others point out will be subject to Tos. I think people would see a flight away from chats if selling transcripts became the norm.
Chats are a way to raise your profile as well as engage with other smart individuals and build relationships that may eventually turn out to be mutually beneficial. I believe the opportunities are for some form of application that is built on a model that provides benefits for moderators and users.
Exactly what those benefits would look like provides an opportunity for those with the time and resources to develop it. Chats also feel a little abusive at times. Some people are openly manipulative raising their profile and using the insight gained but giving little back to the people who make the chat successful.
There is no doubt if you spend the time and effort to develop a chat you deserve to accrue some benefit in the process but uttimately it has to be about the user and finding creative ways to reward your community. I am grappling with the same problem at the moment for the launch of a new chat.
Thanks Mack for opening this disucssion out to the community. Clearly you have thought carefully about the implicatons for blogchat participants and respect what they bring to the party.
That is my take on some of the issues.
Respect to you my friend.
@kristofcreative 3 years ago several of us were having regular ‘Plurkshops’ on Plurk where there were over 600 plurks left in an hour. For reference, the first #Blogchat on Twitter about 6 months later had about 200 tweets. The Plurkshops were driven by about 20 people only. So the chats can work off Twitter, but it will require moving and cultivating the community once again.
I could see a scenario where there is a site specifically created for the chat, where a company ‘sponsors’ the chat by providing the technology to facilitate the chat on the site. The chat organizer could get sponsorship fees, and the participants could get a discount off services from the sponsors, or something similar. And everyone could get a transcript provided by sponsors. Seems like a win-win for the sponsors, the organizer, and the participants.
But that doesn’t mean it will ever happen 😉
@taariqlewis I agree that posting TO social networks can be a good thing. IMO, itwould need to be the decision of each user to decide what networks the they want their content posted. My thinking is that the conversation doesn’t have t be based inside or depend on Twitter.
@MackCollier Here’s where my mind was tracking.You already post articles about topic for each week’s chat — and people comment on it. You, and other people, then tweet about it etc. So if you;re already driving people to your site, why not use a hybrid of a commenting system to have the chat on the same page as the post? This Livefyre plugin sparked the idea because it provides real-time discussion. This would keep it all in one place and you wouldn’t have to worry about creating a transcript — because it’s already here. #brainstorming
@Grit08 You make some good points but Mack wasn’t proposing he or other chat moderators sell transcripts — only that there is an opportunity for someone to develop a service to sell transcripts for those who want them.
@kristofcreative I’m absolutely with you there as well. Great point. FriendFeed was really the first innovator in this space and we can learn much from their early efforts.
@kristofcreative @Grit08 Yes *I* don’t want to mess with trying to sell transcripts 😉 And they honestly don’t have to be sold if there’s a sponsorship angle that makes sense for all parties, or even if someone wants to create a killer transcript for chat users for the exposure benefits.
@fredmcclimans @MackCollier @JudyHelfand @allison_boyer next logical step is video… open up tweetdeck.- those tiny avi’s are gonna have a start button and the image will become live video when initiated. It’s gonna be a virtual world. The question is – who are gonna be the pioneers?
Some times it dawns on me that were all witnessing a major shift in the way we do “things”… lots of “things”…
Doesn’t Storify or Memolane can do that rick?
Yes, I have been discussing this for a while offline. Between @taariqlewis @kristofcreative now @MackCollier what amazes me is how when there is time for any growth , whether it is chats, twitter our ours it is met with such resistance.
Life, business our needs always evolve, so why not embrace it and ask how can we make these changes serve all parties.
Funny, most have no idea how much HARD WORK it is creating and delivering a dynamic chat each week. Much more than many imagine.
I find it funny and agree with Mack that twitter should focus on finding their own monetization paths instead of always looking to yank them from other enterprising entrepreneurs.
I talked with IP attorney yesterday and he said this is an interesting situation as much as folks think there is a copyright issue with tweets, that the publishing rights of transcripts is very muddy and may not be the initial challenge we think.
Those are great products. Not sure of Storify and Memolane’s Twitter permissions or TOS status. However, as long as Twitter chats are published on Twitter, the rights of how to use that content will originate with Twitter. For some, that does not matter so much. However, if you’re a Twitter chat moderator, you need to ask: How can I maximize value for my chat audience and for myself, today?
Mack, I’d prefer to buy some form of subscription: optionally monthly or annually vs pay per ORGANIZED transcript. The “for pay” model i like the best and always SMILE monthly when i see the charge on my PayPal account vs wince is the approach used by @Evernote (.com). Free option – and then with added features, a $5 month subscription, or a reduced annual billing.
However, a feature i REALLY, REALLY want is something like Tweetchat.com to check into a chat through but that then gives you the choice of sending your commentary within that specific chat To or Not To your main stream. Our followers are sort of deluged if we’re an active chat participant.
I believe this would be one of the MOST customized features and i have no idea if it is technically possible to side-lane the tweets within the chat structure or not. There has to be a good reason, though, why this is not already out there as a feature.
@sherrylowry@evernote Great point Sherry. We absolutely agree with you. Why does a chat always need to be published into your stream? Wouldn’t it be nice to just talk TO someone instead of chatting at your stream? This is something that we’re already offering to Twitter chat moderators who’s users desperately want more control over how they engage online.
I think it would really be worth buying. Especially having all the key features that you mentioned. But what about support and updates? That is one reason I do like subscription based things because if I’m having problems with it I do like being able to get help or support as well.