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Send your questions for the Twitter CEO

Sarah McDermott | 11:03 UK time, Wednesday, 5 August 2009

We're interviewing the CEO of Twitter, Evan Williams, tonight at 10.30pm on BBC Two and we're keen to gather any questions you'd like to put to him.

If you're a 'micro-blogging' pro, you can send us a tweet here .

If, on the other hand, you find the whole thing a bit baffling, please send us your 'Twitter-style' question (ie in 140 characters or less) by adding it below..


  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    How on earth do I manage all the deluge of tweets I get now I am, often as a courtesy, following those who follow me in addition to he just plain worthwhile? I see Yoko Ono manages. Do she have a horde of 'people', cloning tech, a time machine... or is just a very polite, awesomely multitasking lady who needs no sleep?

    At the very least how can you go through and zap all the 'Good morning's, just brushed my teeth..' to retain in archive just he nifty ones with useful info/links?

    Those latter I am finding very useful.

    And now I have been sent , am set to inflict my shares on the twitterverse and others in a neatly bunched wadge, though I do understand an aggregated midnight deluge is poor twittequette.

    What to do?

  • Comment number 3.

    Are you concerned that once all the Media hype dies off, so will your user base? Is Twitter not just the latest hamster dance or crazy frog?

  • Comment number 4.

    I've been tweeting for 18 months but have noticed a massive explosion in use since the launch of the iPhone 3G. How do you see Twitter evolving in the face of new 'always on' technology allowing people to stay permanently connected to 'The Cloud'

    (Apologies for not keeping this into a 140 character question)


  • Comment number 5.

    From your first "tweet" you are "following" a load of people, how are these people chosen?

  • Comment number 6.

    Great thinking. You've begun a revolution.

  • Comment number 7.

    What are your views on the ethical nature of such hyperreal constructions such as 'Second Life'? In addition, do you consider the potential ethical dangers of such online communities to apply to the likes of 'Twitter' and 'Facebook'?

  • Comment number 8.

    How can Twitter be applied within a corporate or 'work' environment and (other than ad revenue) do you feel it has untapped possibilities in commerical terms?

  • Comment number 9.

    Following the alleged killing of a Chinese teenager by counsellors at an internet addiction rehabilitation centre, what are your thoughts about "Internet Addiction"?

  • Comment number 10.

    How will twitter make money once the VC cash dries up?

  • Comment number 11.

    The infrastructure to support Twitter must be massive and expensive. How does it work and how has it grown?

  • Comment number 12.

    Does the BBC furnish you with money, or is it the other way round? Has modern journalism found itself relying on a service with no viable way of making money?

  • Comment number 13.

    Why does Twitter never remember me??
    When you are searching for people why does Twitter not say how many pages the search has returned, it just has a next button. There could be 2 pages or 200!!!

  • Comment number 14.

    For some reason, after ten minutes of voyeurism on Facebook I find myself becoming rather depressed. Will Twitter also lead me to despair?

  • Comment number 15.

    What will Twitter do in 10 years that it cannot do now?

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    Twitter seems to often get caught up in the rapid spread of sometimes malicious or incorrect information. At the same time it also seems to be used by journalists and others and reported as truth. Does Twitter feel is has any responsibility here?

  • Comment number 18.

    What is this twitters? It's not another one of these moronic, social networking things like mybook or facespace, for people who can't deal with the complexities, pleasures and difficulties of real relationships is it?

  • Comment number 19.

    What's the point?
    Am I a Luddite for not getting it, or a Hermit for not wanting it?

  • Comment number 20.

    How much are you paying the BBC's so-called technology journalists to plug your 'actually nothing special' product constantly via their website, blogs and even broadcast media? However much it is, you seem to be getting a fabulous deal. Well done :)

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    Doesn't trying to reduce all our thinking to '140 chars or less' party explain the decline in politeness and courteous civility, and the increase in brusque, brutal rudeness ?

    Words like 'please, excuse me, I beg your pardon, sorry and thank you' can just binned in the attempt to 'make the cut'.

  • Comment number 23.

    By asking 'what are you doing?' haven't you missed the point that most 'social networking' of the real kind is taken up with questions like 'How are you?', 'What are you feeling?' and 'What can I do to help?', rather than fatuous, simplistic systemising 'virtual networking' lacking in empathy ?

  • Comment number 24.

    What favours are you doing for Mark Thompson in exchange for free daily promotion across the BBC?

  • Comment number 25.

    Aren't you worried that someone like Gillian Tett will expose Twitter as next year's 'CDO crash' and that a book like "Fools' Gold" will expose Twitter and denude it of its hype quicker than the wholesale markets seizing up ?

  • Comment number 26.

    Newsnight - I am hoping that instead of fawning over this chap, you take the opportunity to do an expose of 'twitter' in the style of Hodgkinson's review of 'facebook' below..

  • Comment number 27.

    "If, on the other hand, you find the whole thing a bit baffling, please send us your 'Twitter-style' question (ie in 140 characters or less) by adding it below.."

    What bossy, dictatorial nonsense !! Why on earth should we be restricted to 140 characters ? Do Kirsty and Jeremy feel governed by such constraints ?

    Rubbish !!

  • Comment number 28.

    And I really can't believe that my question about Cameron and his comment about the vapidity of Twitter has been 'referred to the moderators' !!

  • Comment number 29.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 30.

    How is Twitter working to deal with spam and improve the usefulness of search? For example if you search for a popular tag, every alternate "tweet" is unrelated and contains every current popular tag.

    I'm also interested in how Twitter is making money...

  • Comment number 31.

    I may have a rather aged iMac, but I also have fairly zippy broadband, and the slowness of Twitter drives me nuts. Text appears aeons after I’ve typed it. Solution?

  • Comment number 32.


    Dear Mr Williams

    Everyone seems to be blogging, twittering, telling others what THEY think, but might the new blogging be listening? Hasn't all this become a cacophony of self absorption. Some have resorted to telling others they want to hear their views, that they are listening, so this is recognised as being something that is desirable that perhaps we should be doing more of, sadly however often it seems to be a device to get the audience to listen to what is being said. ie People switch off and have to be manipulated into switching on again.

    anyhow this is what I think !!!!!!!! LoL!

    best wishes

  • Comment number 33.

    According to the Twitter web site the whole point of Twitter is "the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?", how do you feel that most people actually misuse your service by not answering the one simple question when making updates which surely proves that there is no real use for the service and a better method of communication would be to use an RSS feed in these circumstances.

  • Comment number 34.

    Does Twitter conceive itself as having any kind of moral role? For example, Wikipedia, a user-content driven encyclopedia doesn't display information on certain topics. With this in mind does Twitter prevent offensive 'tweets', or does it have any means of tracking whether the system is being misused in any way?

  • Comment number 35.

    What function does twitter serve, other than satisfying the habit of narcissists? Why do you think so many people like to imagine that everyone else is interested in their thoughts and opinions, breakfast menus etc?

  • Comment number 36.

    What are the virtues of being 'hyper-connected'?

  • Comment number 37.

    I started Twittering in my capacity as CEO of a IT market research company. All went well until I began to get followers that rapidly got closer and closer to pornography. I deleted my account when I got a particularly offensive sounding follower inviting me to watch Britney Spears engaged in various sexual acts. I don't even want to be remotely associated with anything like that. What can't Twitter filter this stuff out?

  • Comment number 38.


    Back ghome,

    who is You #32 ?

    from one of the great unwashed Hoi Polloi,
    perhaps you could ask Mr Wlliams what Twitters view is of the 'great unwashed Hoi Polloi?', and are they our Future?

    best wishes from me

  • Comment number 39.

    my 14 year old son joined twitter and very quickly became influenced by people on the site who encouraged him to start self harming, he started cutting himself became very depressed and withdrawn and acted like a drug addict when we banned him from using twitter he became aggresive when we stopped him using the site, I tried to contact someone at twitter but no emails were returned! I needed a contact number so I could discuss this issue and the dangers to other teenagers but could not find one!!who is accountable for monotaring young easily influenced children on this site? please keep my name annonamous but contact me if you would like to discuss his case further!

  • Comment number 40.

    you is me - i.e. mimpromptu

  • Comment number 41.

    Do you think it's dangerous that journalists - particularly on the BBC - increasingly use the unmoderated and facile gossip contained in Twitter as a major source for their stories? Do you think this is indicative of the decline in standards in the media, dumbing down and an infantalisation of society in general?

  • Comment number 42.

    Do you think the next big wave will be micro networks, where people use sites like Ning and SocialGO to actually create their own controlled social network for their community or special interest?

  • Comment number 43.

    We were debating Twitter at work the other week.
    My colleague believes it is just a fad and has bet everyone in our office £10 per head, that no one will be talking about Twitter next summer. He reckons that Twitter's traffic come this time next year will be less than 74% of what it is today.
    What does Evan say to that?

  • Comment number 44.

    Explain to the viewers what use 'Twitter' is in no more than 140 characters.

  • Comment number 45.

    You might want to take a look at this blog post from today re twitter CEO interview it's about the increase of spam and hijacking trends

  • Comment number 46.

    Goodevening Evan,

    Twitter is awesome btw....but...what next?...surely you just can`t leave it as it is.

    Paul Alker
    "sharky57" Twitterer!

  • Comment number 47.

    How has twitter managed to become considered acceptable for business use but actually promoted as tool to be used within organisations whereas Facebook and myspace tend to end up on the list of blocked websites?

    What does he think of the Archbishop of Westminster's recent comments about social networking sites leading youngsters to treat friends as if they are a commodity?

    And in a similar vein
    What did he think of the Morgan Stanley intern research note that said youngsters aren't interested in twitter?

    Was it anticpated the site would become a place where celebrities release their own gossip?

  • Comment number 48.

    How would you fill the 140 characters of the last ever tweet?

  • Comment number 49.

    Why not categorise Trending Topics rather than showing the most popular?

  • Comment number 50.

    What do you think of the BBC's inviting people to rob their Bosses (of expensive time) by 'tweeting' at work?

  • Comment number 51.

    what is a viable business model for twitter?

    given the spoofing of tweets in the iran election where those 'iranians calling for democracy' turned out to be neither iranian nor even muslim which the media then hyped up as 'proof' of iranian democratic forces being oppressed' how will twitter avoid being used as a propaganda tool again?

  • Comment number 52.

    So many ways to communicate - but no-one has anything to say...

  • Comment number 53.

    Cameron was right.

    Twitter is sustained by deluded media twits and egocentric sportsmen, who think they have a "public" who care about them.
    I'm "followed" on discussion boards by a thousand or so people. They don't care about me - they just want free help and to make some money.
    Twitter is an utterly pointless fad.

  • Comment number 54.

    Hi Evan, I'm interested to know your thoughts on how museums and heritage sites are using Twitter to connect with their audiences. Thanks!

  • Comment number 55.

    Do you think the natural inclination of the extraverted people involved in the media to indulge in self promotion has contributed to the over exposure through the various media channels and resulting growth in the site. If so is further growth or sustaining the current levels of interest sustainable?

  • Comment number 56.

    I think twitter is the most useful networking tool I have ever used. Kudos to Evan. Like most tools it can be used well. or not.

  • Comment number 57.

    Is the fact that the Twitter site is only available in English and Japanese a reflection of corporate policy or of lack of interest from users?

  • Comment number 58.

    I heard of this twitter thing so much it is very fashionable so much so it seems very boring. Perhaps it is a twatter to be a twitter.

  • Comment number 59.

    Thank you Mimpromtu re 40,

    are the powers that be also known as the twitterati? is the blogosphere a way of wasting activists time? Is less more? if people turn against all this twitering will those who promote this way of living suggest a bit like the banking fiasco, that they knew all along it would end,

    finally how long before these particular fads just fade out and people do something less boring with their lives, chuck out their TVs, PCs.......and start changing their Worlds and the World around them with all the free time they now have?

    Lets take over the World ! down Ruprecht !! remember the classic Michael Caine film?

    PS2 loved the shot with Gordon Corera in the photo with the Korean leader and Bill,very creative, well done,

    best wishes,
    PS2 why did Mr Milliams sorry Williams call the site Twitter?

  • Comment number 60.

    Twitter is going to be destroyed if something's not done quickly about the accumulation of spam. I know several people who have protected their updates as a direct result - which minimizes the social networking value of Twitter - and I would expect many others to simply leave Twitter altogether if the spam gets too unmanageable.
    Can we be assured that you're taking action to counter people who are quite obviously setting up accounts purely for the purposes of spamming?
    If you don't I strongly expect your multi-million dollar investment will turn into a little more than another fly-by-night internet phenomenon of the past.

  • Comment number 61.

    By being next to it I noticed the first post.

    It may have been flippant; it may have been challenging. It may even have been one neither Twitter nor the BBC would have been comfortable with, and embarrassing indeed when hosting a guest about whom you are reporting. Possibly even less than polite.

    But, whether I, or others, agree with it, it still seemed one that was on topic.

    Not sure deleting it, especially when it passed muster for a fair old while (and hence smacks of subsequent instruction from on high) is doing the cause of free speech many favours. Or the BBC's reputation.

  • Comment number 62.

    you know what happened to tweetie pie...well then kindly tweet off

  • Comment number 63.

    Twitter is like a breath of fresh air on the Social Media scene. I have been on it for just a few weeks now and I have met several interesting people. It is a platform to network with people you would like to meet in real life.

    Email Marketing

  • Comment number 64.


    Thanks for your support of my question! It was meant slightly tongue in cheek, and I can understand why it's been taken off! I was bringing an issue the tech blog readers have been irked by for a while up- the coverage of twitter to the exclusion of more interesting, and relevant stories.

    While I oppose this, I can understand Auntie needs to get people reading it's site, and twitter is this years facebook, myspace, friends reunited etc..., and a mention is good for traffic!

  • Comment number 65.

    64. At 5:27pm on 06 Aug 2009, tengearbatbike wrote:

    Welcome. Though I was more in support of your right to pose it. And as I could not fathom any good reason why not, remain unsure as to why it was taken off, though you seem quite conciliatory. All's well..


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