I've been getting emails saying that this message was a request to replace
Ryan. That was not my intent. I am suggesting that he be given someone to
help with developer communications. His job title implies that he does much
beside sending out these cheery notes to developers. He should have a
full-time person to do this and much else to improve developer relations
instead.

If this was seen as an attack on Ryan, I apologize. I recognize the irony of
my critique of his message as an attack on us being seen as an attack on
him. It was meant to be a suggestion for a better way to work together.


On Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 9:44 AM, Adam Green <140...@gmail.com> 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.
>
> --
> Twitter developer documentation and resources: http://dev.twitter.com/doc
> API updates via Twitter: http://twitter.com/twitterapi
> Issues/Enhancements Tracker:
> http://code.google.com/p/twitter-api/issues/list
> Change your membership to this group:
> http://groups.google.com/group/twitter-development-talk
>



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

-- 
Twitter developer documentation and resources: http://dev.twitter.com/doc
API updates via Twitter: http://twitter.com/twitterapi
Issues/Enhancements Tracker: http://code.google.com/p/twitter-api/issues/list
Change your membership to this group: 
http://groups.google.com/group/twitter-development-talk

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