Breaking the Twitter Habit? or, Is Jaiku betamax?
Both Scott & I are big fans of twitter, so this isn't a question of allegiances. But with respect to the micro-blogging platforms available and their value to users, I have to wonder ... If there was an open micro-blogging standard, where the front end didn't matter, would twitter still be the tool of choice?
If the people at twitter are smart, they will protect this network at all costs. Don't blame them. Best thing they could do is pretend they own a brand new DNS (analogy) for resolving short-web messaging -- right in the middle of the web's latest layer of infrastructure. Building stability at all costs.
Or in the alternative, someone should create an OpenID equivalent for trusted 'friends' and networking contacts. With the number of email alerts required to seed each new system, portability is becoming increasingly important.
There are plausible alternatives either way, with reliability & user satisfaction still being the deciding factors - IMO. I suspect Scott may yet get to choose his micro-blogging platform. It may just take some time, and Twitter's short term execution will either satisfy or drive others to innovate.