Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Michael Bissell's Blog

Twollow and other gold rush scripts

2009-10-14 07:44:22
Shortcut URL:

[Appologies in advance -- this is just a poorly structured rant after spending time playing with code. One of the reasons I hate programming is that it just makes me cranky.]

I wanted to test a theory about autofollowing on Twitter, so I went to Google to find a script or a service that would follow people for my account automatically based on keywords and I was amazed at not only the fact most of the charged for the service, but how much they charged.

Twollow charges $15 a month to follow people based on 5 keywords. Five. You want 10? It'll cost you 20 bucks a month.

I find this shocking because the Twitter API is free and I wrote an auto follow script of my own in about an hour. Granted, I bill my time at well over 20 bucks a month, but it wouldn't take long for me to get ten customers to pay me 20 bucks each to cover my time.

I call it a gold rush because it's still new and clients don't know that there are easy ways to incorporate this kind of stuff into their own web tools -- I'm not saying that dropping 40 bucks for a couple months isn't worth it; it's certainly cheaper than home rolling your own script, but this is the kind of stuff that the geeks are usually giving away for free, which maybe I'll do...

But at the end of the day, it always bugs me when I see short sighted business models (Twollow has an annual plan, but who's to say Twitter won't change their API in the next 12 months?) taking advantage of businesses who aren't planning ahead, have no strategy and are just rushing into the hills hoping to strike some gold.

Flash: Shiny objects blinding your audience
Arthur Miller's All My Sons

Mike D.: Re: Twollow and other gold rush scripts
2009-10-14 15:27:47

Where would capitalism be if everyone just rolled their own?

Sure, building any business on the back of someone else's is dangerous. But, in the land-of-the-quick-buck, well, I suspect Twollow and similar are just hoping to make some money this year but aren't introducing 401K plans or buying 2nd homes at the beach.

Short sighted business models are the "new success" model for the current generation entering business. "Youtube," never had a business model other than "get acquired."

Your opinion is probably right and very sound. But, it's no longer the world around us.

Russ: Re: Twollow and other gold rush scripts
2009-10-14 16:33:36

Yeah we're working on a twitter thingie for one of our clients too. I think facebook is more of a gold rush, but seriously? 15 bucks a month for an hour's worth of work? Sign me up!

Comment on this blog
Your name:

Your email (will not be displayed):



Enter the text above to help us filter spam:

This article also appears on
Web Development