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Nationalize Twitter? Hmm, not so fast

A lot of chatter recently that Twitter has become vital to our daily lives--with some suggesting it to a question of national security.

Consider me second to none in embracing Twitter for all that it's worth. But the service's publicized brown-outs naturally raise questions about backup plans in case of further outages. The Gillmor Gang, in particular, has into this question, but the most searching critique I've come across comes from Echovar. It's worth reading the entire post. Here are a couple of excerpts:

It must be an odd thing to run a company in the midst of a debate around the idea of nationalizing your core technology. In a Venezuelan moment, the Gillmor Gang considers the idea that Twitter has become so important that our national security requires nationalizing its technical infrastructure. In a two-part discussion about an open mesh / cross-service dashboard mashups and the roll of Twitter as a sort of fundamental glue, the question surfaced of breaking up the centralized Twitter monopoly."
(Thanks to Dave Winer for pointing this out.) Later on, Echovar finishes with this kicker:

The idea of building competitors to Twitter on the same platform, or redistributing Twitter to multiple players reminds me of the idea that New York City should be rebuilt in Ohio because it would be cheaper. Or perhaps we could distribute a little of New York City in every state of the Union. New York City is what it is because of the people who live and visit there. Building another New York City in Las Vegas doesn't result in the phenomenon that is New York City.

This is starting to become a really interesting topic. For the folks over at Twitter, it's time to get out ahead of the discussion.