Hi Ryan,

My greatest issue with all this is that you appear to have a form response.
Currently, you're just not handling account transfers at all. And that's the
same policy for general users (of which you have gazillions) and developers
(of which you have an order of magnitude or two less).

The account I am asking about has not tweeted since 2007.

It is not a request asking you to favor one person over another. It is a
request to favor a new Twitter application over an account that hasn't been
used in three years.

If a human being looked at it, the decision would be clear and would
probably take 1/10th the time to execute than all these emails have taken.

My suggestion: expire accounts that haven't been used in over 12 months and
don't have to deal with it.

If that's too harsh, at least handle *trademark* requests. My app's name
_is_ a trademark even if it isn't a _registered_ trademark. Forcing me to
register my trademark (can I register it in the UK, where I live, or do I
have to get a US registered trademark?) just adds more financial
responsibility on my shoulders.

I put in a trademark request as per the link Raffi gave but I haven't heard
anything back – not even an automated response saying you guys received the
email.

On the whole, I just feel unloved because I've put a lot of time and effort
into an app that I feel will make Twitter a bit more fun and I don't feel
that the request to have the Twitter account with my app's name – one that
hasn't been used in three years – is an unrealistic request to make.

Let's say my app is called Dodo. I'm just sad that I am going to launch with
the Twitter account @dodo or even @dodoapp – because both are taken and
unused - but that I'm going to launch with @dodo_app.

That you guys don't see this is a problem makes me think that you don't
care.

All the best,
Aral

On Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 8:24 PM, Ryan Sarver <rsar...@twitter.com> wrote:

> Aral,
>
> I'm not sure where you get the idea that we don't care about developers and
> that humans aren't involved in the process. Raffi and the rest of the
> platform team actively respond to emails from developers at all hours of the
> day on both weekdays and weekends.
>
> As for the issue of handing over @usernames we need to have a rational and
> scalable approach to doing so. We can't just hand it out to one person
> because we like them more than another user. So if there is a dispute over a
> username we need to follow a standard procedure. We obviously love our
> developers and work really hard to support them in all the ways that we can,
> but there needs to be some process that works across the board. If you have
> a constructive suggestion on how that can be done other than just badgering
> the people trying to help you, then by all means work with us on it and we
> are totally open to coming up with a better solution. But to date, this is
> the best solution we have that scales to the number and complexity of the
> requests that we receive.
>
> I've always stated that we are open to criticism and feedback on how we can
> improve, but we ask that it be done constructively.
>
> Ryan
>
>
> On Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 7:45 AM, Aral Balkan <aralbal...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Ah, so Twitter wants to see a *registered* trademark number?
>>
>> (As an aside: why do you hate your developers, Twitter?) :)
>>
>> The thing is, a trademark does not _have to be_ registered to be a
>> trademark. Products get trademark protection automatically.
>>
>> I guess if I don't hear back, I'll have the IP law firm I use to write a
>> letter first. Cheaper than getting a registered trademark.
>>
>> Of course, the best thing would be for a _human being_ at Twitter to say:
>> hey developer dude, we love you, sure we can do that... don't mention it!
>> :)
>>
>> (I just don't get this impersonal "computer says NO" attitude towards
>> developers. Is this just the corporate culture at Twitter or are you guys
>> severely short-staffed? Thinking Twitter really needs to invest in developer
>> relations. Maybe get someone whose job it is to handle developer relations
>> and champion the needs of developers within Twitter?)
>>
>> Aral
>>
>> On Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 3:28 PM, anilchawla <ani...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> Raffi, thank you for the response, but it is disappointing. I have to
>>> agree completely with Aral that these requests are not for "personal
>>> use". Some of us have hundreds/thousands of users around the world who
>>> use our apps as a means to participate on Twitter, and it is
>>> ultimately those users who are affected. In my my case, I have had
>>> several users mistakingly mention or try to follow this inactive spam
>>> account (http://twitter.com/tweetymail) thinking that it was
>>> associated with my service. In the meantime, I am doing the best I can
>>> to communicate with these users using another account.
>>>
>>> FYI, I did not have any success opening support tickets for
>>> brandsquatting/impersonation. Originally, I was told to wait until
>>> 1/31/10 for the username to remain inactive. When I complied and
>>> opened a new request on 2/1, I was immediately denied. It seems that
>>> brand-squatting/impersonation/brand-confusion are all irrelevant...
>>> Twitter wants to see a trademark number. I am a hobby developer who
>>> provides a free service completely out-of-pocket, and now I need to
>>> spend hundreds of dollars to register a trademark just to get access
>>> to a username that nobody ever used?
>>>
>>> I see that you have also replaced the text of the FAQ entry with the
>>> more generic policy regarding trademark infringement. This is too bad,
>>> but I guess it answers my original question -- the existing entry was
>>> no longer valid. I certainly understand that Twitter can't always
>>> transfer usernames to app developers who want them, but there are
>>> certainly cases in which a username (inactive/never tweeted/created
>>> for spam) could be put to better use. A blanket policy on trademark
>>> infringement may make sense for companies and large brands, but it
>>> does nothing at all to help the small-time hobby developers who
>>> contribute so much to the Twitter ecosystem.
>>>
>>> On Feb 10, 7:34 pm, Raffi Krikorian <ra...@twitter.com> wrote:
>>> > hi all, please refer to
>>> >
>>> > http://apiwiki.twitter.com/FAQ#HowcanIreclaimaninactiveTwitteraccount.
>>> ..
>>> >
>>> > We are unable to transfer usernames for personal use at this time. If
>>> you
>>> > believe a Twitter account may be squatting on your trademark and
>>> violating
>>> > Twitter's Terms of Service, please file a ticket athttp://
>>> help.twitter.com/requests/newregarding 'Trademark/Brand squatting'.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > On Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 4:05 PM, Kyle Mulka <repalvigla...@yahoo.com>
>>> wrote:
>>> > > I also have this problem and have gotten no response whatsoever from
>>> > > Twitter.
>>> >
>>> > > Here's the inactive account that I'd like to have:
>>> > >http://twitter.com/twilk
>>> >
>>> > > --
>>> > > Kyle Mulka
>>> > > Founder, Congo Labs
>>> > >http://twilk.com
>>> >
>>> > > On Feb 10, 6:41 pm, Anil Chawla <ani...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> > > > Thanks, glad to know I'm not alone on this. I've looked at filing a
>>> > > > trademark but it is still frustrating to proceed through
>>> > > > lengthy/costly legal process in order to reclaim an inactive/spam
>>> > > > username -- especially for a completely free service. This entry in
>>> > > > the Twitter API FAQ is a glimmer of hope for app developers. I hope
>>> > > > someone at Twitter can help app developers get their specific
>>> > > > situation reviewed. In some cases, such as mine, it is an
>>> > > > all-around-win for the Twitter ecosystem to release these inactive
>>> > > > usernames.
>>> >
>>> > > > -Anil
>>> >
>>> > > > On Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 5:17 PM, Aral Balkan <aralbal...@gmail.com
>>> >
>>> > > wrote:
>>> > > > > I had the same response :(
>>> > > > > Someone told me that the way to approach it may be to file a
>>> trademark
>>> > > > > dispute. This is what I'm going to be forced to do since it
>>> doesn't
>>> > > appear
>>> > > > > possible to talk to a human being at Twitter about this issue.
>>> > > > > All the best,
>>> > > > > Aral
>>> > > > > On Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 6:04 PM, anilchawla <ani...@gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>> >
>>> > > > >> I develop and maintain a free Twitter application (http://
>>> > > > >> tweetymail.com) and I am desperately trying to reclaim the
>>> inactive
>>> > > > >> 'tweetymail' username because it is causing confusion among my
>>> users.
>>> > > > >> I was not able to get anywhere with Twitter support, but I came
>>> across
>>> > > > >> this entry in the API FAQ:
>>> >
>>> > > > >>
>>> http://apiwiki.twitter.com/FAQ#HowcanIreclaimaninactiveTwitteraccount.
>>> > > ..
>>> >
>>> > > > >> I followed the instructions and emailed usern...@twitter.com.
>>> Five
>>> > > > >> minutes later, I received two simultaneous emails: 1) An
>>> automatic
>>> > > > >> notice indicating that support received my request, 2) An
>>> automatic
>>> > > > >> rejection indicating that Twitter is not releasing inactive
>>> usernames
>>> > > > >> at this time.
>>> >
>>> > > > >> Have any other app developers had success with this process? Is
>>> the
>>> > > > >> information on the FAQ still valid? Can someone from Twitter
>>> provide
>>> > > > >> an alternate avenue for app developers to have a request such as
>>> this
>>> > > > >> heard?
>>> >
>>> > > > >> The account I am seeking (http://twitter.com/tweetymail) has
>>> never
>>> > > > >> tweeted and has been inactive for at least 6 months.
>>> >
>>> > > > >> Thank  you.
>>> >
>>> > --
>>> > Raffi Krikorian
>>> > Twitter Platform Teamhttp://twitter.com/raffi
>>>
>>
>>
>

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