Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

There Must Be 77 Ways for Twitter to Make Some Money (But BoomTown Is Backing the Aniston Solution!)


Yesterday, the revenue-unencumbered microblogging service, Twitter, came up with ExecTweets, sponsored by Microsoft (MSFT), as a way to bring in the simoleons.

Without diving into the deep specifics, suffice it to say, BoomTown is not exactly doing somersaults at the idea of following, say, what the fine execs at AIG are up to on a regular basis (Typical tweet: Taxing stolen taxpayer-funded bonuses?!? Where’s the outrage?).

Still, good for Twitter for at least pretending it actually cares about profits.

Because I truly do, and recently initiated a “Twitter Business Plan Count-Up,” dedicated to helping the Silicon Valley start-up come up with money-generating ideas.

That included charging the overhyping media a fee every time they mentioned Twitter and a wearable Twitter-branded device and fleece blanket outfit that vibrates every time you get tweeted.

Now, the Board of Innovation has come up with a “random list of ideas” about how Twitter could make money too (see deck embedded below and fiddle with the zoom or click here).

Some of the 77 ideas–many clearly jokes, but a lot not–include: virtual gifts, reputation-building, premium services, group buying, companies paying to remove negative tweets (also known as the Yelp plan), some sort of sex business and even Twit-shirts.

My favorite and most likely scenario: Just sell the company.

Or–given that coming up with Twitter business plans is akin to eating potato chips and you can’t think of just one–I am now thinking that the service could make bank by taking advantage of the “news” that actress Jennifer Aniston broke up with her louche boyfriend and exceptionally whiny singer, John Mayer, because of his incessant tweeting.


According to Star magazine (which is bizarrely accurate at times), a source told it about the couple (pictured here at the Vanity Fair party at the Oscars this year):

“John suddenly stopped calling her or returning her emails and when she would finally catch up with him, he’d say: ‘I’ve been so busy with work. I’m sorry I haven’t had time to call you back.’ …Jen was fuming. There he was, telling her he didn’t have time for her and yet his page was filled with Twitter updates…Every few hours, sometimes minutes, he’d update with some stupid line. And in her mind, she was like ‘He has time for all this Twittering, but he can’t send me a text, an email, make a call?'”

The nerve! None of us has ever done anything like that!

That aside and also the fact that I am firmly on Team Jolie, let’s try to find an innovative way to get the star-crossed Aniston some of the happiness she so deserves.

(Although, let’s leave aside the fact that one of the people who made so much money on a television show called “Friends” apparently hates social networking.)

Thus, I think there is a real business for those so addicted and wanting to take measures to go into Twitter rehab to save their relationships.

The start-up could open exclusive centers just for celebs and be called something like Twittvarna, and charge an arm and a leg to help them stop writing inane things at all hours of the day and night.

Like, say, this.

But it is a cry for help, as was Mayer’s tweet after the break-up: “This heart didn’t come with instructions.”

Get that man to Twittvarna stat.

In any case, here’s the Board of Innovation deck:

Shared @ Fachak