Matt and Taylor do a great job of answering technical questions and being a
liason with engineers on developers behalf. That is a technical task. They
do it well.

A developer relations manager's job is to create and manage programs that
reach out to developers, make sure real docs are produced, provide business
support (ads, trips, rev share, etc.), and run small and large events that
help build a community of passionate developers around a product. It is a
completely different job from what Matt and Taylor do. I hate to use the P
word with this group, but it is really public relations aimed at developers.
it is not just business relations, because many developers aren't
businesses, but they contribute greatly to Twitter's growth. A developer
relations manager would talk to devs constantly and bring back this feedback
to be applied against future communications.

Objectively, based on the results here and in the tech press, nobody  could
claim this last communication was a success. Right? Whatever was meant and
said, it was a disaster. A developer relations manager who was given a real
budget and some say in communications would have avoided this.

On Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 10:13 AM, Tom van der Woerdt <i...@tvdw.eu> wrote:

> Isn't what you are describing the task of a developer advocate, Taylor
> Singletary and Matt Harris (and others?)?
>
> Tom
>
>
>
> On 3/14/11 2:44 PM, Adam Green wrote:
>
>> First of all, I honestly believe that Twitter HQ values developers and
>> appreciates their contribution. That is why I decided to devote myself
>> to this area a couple of years ago. I was amazed that when a dev
>> reported a problem the engineer responsible replied here and tried to
>> solve it. That is better than any big product I know of today. That is
>> why you have so many developers putting in all this work.
>>
>> I also believe that the last few announcements from Ryan and others
>> have been the worst examples of third party developer management I
>> have seen in 30 years in this business. I can see what Ryan wanted to
>> accomplish in his latest message. He wanted to provide guidance. He
>> ended up telling us that Twitter no longer wanted anyone to build
>> clients, didn't explain clearly what a "client" meant to him, and
>> pointed out that hundreds of apps that fail to meet his undefined
>> "high bar" were cut off every week. Not good. Sorry, Ryan. You are
>> right. You are not good at communicating with third party developers.
>> At least not in written form. You look like a very cool guy with a lot
>> of personal charm. Maybe it works better in person. You should spend
>> some time talking directly to developers in small groups. It might
>> help you develop some canned responses that work.
>>
>> Here is a simple way this could have been prevented. If you had a
>> developer relations person with experience and skills in dealing with
>> third party developers, who have completely different motivations from
>> in-house coders, he or she could have quietly passed around a draft of
>> what you wanted to say. This would have gotten very strong negative
>> reactions. You would have been able to reformulate it to strip out the
>> implied threats and turn it into a positive roadmap. It could have
>> been framed as "Here are some areas we promise to leave open for
>> developers. If you work here, we will give you all kinds of extra
>> support and promotion."
>>
>> Here is another simple way this could have been prevented. Create an
>> advisory board of developers. Rotate people through it every 6-12
>> months. Let them vet announcements in advance. Let them respond to the
>> questions. It works in every other company I have worked with.
>>
>> Here is what could be done instead of these repeated bombs you keep
>> dropping on the community. Give people a present. Announce that you
>> will use some of your precious ad space to promote third party apps,
>> and not just the ones with millions of dollars of VC who happen to
>> work in your building. Find new ways to rev share with developers.
>> Offer all expense paid trips to select developers to visit your office
>> for a day to hang out. HOLD A DEVELOPERS CONFERENCE.
>>
>> There are many other things a good developer relations person could
>> do. Talk to Guy. That is how he started for Apple.
>>
>> One last thing. Give this developer relations person a seat at the
>> table when big decisions are made. I can read lots of signals, like
>> this "high bar" nonsense, that there are negative attitudes inside
>> Twitter towards developers. They are a pain in the ass. Yes. But they
>> do hundreds of millions of dollars in development and promotion for
>> you for free. Hire someone good for $100K+. Give them a million dollar
>> budget to really take care of developers and run conferences and get
>> togethers around the world. It will pay off many times over.
>>
>>
> --
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> API updates via Twitter: http://twitter.com/twitterapi
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>



-- 
Adam Green
Twitter API Consultant and Trainer
http://140dev.com
@140dev

-- 
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