Twine – A vision lost

0. Motivation

This post is written in the agony of realization. The painful realization that months and months of work may possibly have been a wasted effort on my part – as well as on the part of others.

sinking_ship

Index

  1. The Past
    1. The Promised Land
    2. The Arrival
    3. The Breakdown
  2. The Present
  3. The Future
  4. Addendum (I)
  5. Addendum (II)
  6. References

And so the story begins…

1. The Past

1.1 The Promised Land

I do not recall where the name first came up. And it wasn’t immediately clear to me what the significance of the name was. Regardless of how or why, I somehow found myself on a mysterious web page for a new startup company touting in vague terms a social web service like no other.

It was Twine.

I remember seeing a good looking front page, linking to a beta candidate signup form. Scanning the description of the service, I found several buzzwords that had been on my radar for years. Including RDF, RDFS, OWL, SPARQL and friends. All good stuff from the realm of Knowledge Representation (KR). The ethereal plane from where truth, or at least probabalistic truth, could be found. A place where all knowledge is broken down into statements, also known as triples, forming (directed acyclic) graphs of interconnected nodes in a truly compositional way.

This (KR) was the kind of stuff I had studied on my own while specializing my education. As with programming language concepts, data structure concepts were just as fascinating. KR data comes with it’s own semantics and a so-called inference engine takes the higher facts (logic) with the lower facts and uses these to form new facts. One example is transitivity; say there two facts in the knowledge base: a contains b and b contains c (well actually there are more facts, like the fact that contains is a transitive relation), then it is possible to infer that a contains c. This is a very useful fact, it can be useful in many different contexts. Having the semantics infrastructure able to make this kind of inference for programmers is a huge win and enables one to reason much more abstractly about things. Of course with great expressive power comes great computational cost and so there are downsides to this as well but as with so many other things, there is a computational gradient that one can adjust to choose the expressiveness to fit ones patience and wallet (in terms of hardware).

Needless to say, it took only seconds to sign up, I was hooked. This service was truly breaking new ground, bringing together a KR-driven web service to the masses. Such vision and audacity deserves a pad on the shoulder. Being tired of small incremental steps that infest thinking everywhere, Twine was treading new ground, giving a big “FU” to conventional and short-sighted thinking, driven by superficial gadgetry and purely social aspects and pointless time wasting games (no, I shall not name that nameless service, of which I too, for a week no less, was a member).

1.2 The Arrival

Time went and the day arrived where I got that glorious mail. I signed up to the beta service as an enthusiastic and somewhat skittish beta tester. It took me some time to find my way around. The UX is and was somewhat messy. The concepts behind the service though – not so.

Twine was (yes, I say was, because it has since then been crippled in various ways, although also extended) defined as a fusion of concepts – a new paradigm

– a social network of users
– a semantic bookmarking service

The first part is quite obvious. There is a community of users using this service, these users are able to send eachother messages. That makes up for the very basic aspects of having a social network, anything less than that and you can’t call it social. There’s more to it than that, but first I need to address the second point.

The second part is the novel aspect of Twine. It is the bookmarking service. With Twine, one does not just bookmark pages, one bookmarks types of pages. Twine has two different kinds of bookmarklets – a useless one (called the basic bookmarklet) and the useful one (called the advanced bookmarklet); alright, that is not fair, the basic one is useful, but it is meaningless to use it in the face of the advanced bookmarklet, which is really a necessity for “power” users that bookmark a lot.

So what does it mean to recognize type of a page? It means for example that if you find yourself on the page of YouTube, looking at some fine video of a nice car. Then when you press the bookmarklet on your browser links panel, and remember a bookmarklet is just a piece of code that executes in the context of the running page, this bookmarklet will recognize that it is on a YouTube page and look for patterns. Since all web pages are essentially templates where data is put into, the bookmarklet can just look for the template markup and extract the relevant pieces of data from it. This practice is also called screen scraping and I truly believe this to be a new and novel aspect of Twine. Never before had this concept been explored for the masses. Now other recognized pages include pages such as Amazon, where Twine is able to recognize different kinds of products, like books, their prices and such.

This is your bookmarks on steroids!

Anyway, I quickly started creating twines and bookmarking items. Twining can be quite addictive. Once you get past the point of no return you start to, if you’re anything like me (which in all likelihood and fairness, you’re probably not),  mass-twine and systematically organize all your bookmarks and interests.

A great aspect of this is the involvement with other users. This is where people come together over interests. Each user has his own interest feed as it’s called. This is really only just a page on Twine where you see a chronological lising of new items in all the twines you follow. And remember, a Twine is really just a group of items with properties. In the interest feed one can also see what comments have been made to certain items. And one can also create searches for twines, items, members, comments and such. This all helps facilitate engaging with the community around shared interests.

1.3 The Breakdown

At the beginning there was an essential page on Twine. This was the Explore New Twines page. A very nice looking grid of new and often very interesting twines (especially due to the number of KR interested people on the service). There is still pages for top users and top twines though. The Explore New Twines page has since been removed due to spam abuse issues and a failure to control, monitor and manage the influx of new twines being displayed on this page.

So before I continue, I should restate that

– a twine is a group of items
– an item is some arbitrary data of some arbitrary type

Now items can be injected into the system either via the bookmarklets or via manual addition from within Twine. This is fair and square and works well. There is also the third way of injection which I know many users enjoy but which I’ve never really fancied, but it deserves mentioning. This is by posting an e-mail. All twines have a post-to e-mail address that can be used. Since the inception this mechanism has been extended so as to be able to deal with possible spam issues.

Item types range from simple notes, “bookmarks”, videos, books, persons, etc. The set of item types is not open, it is defined by the Twine designers and it has also narrowed down over time. Each item type has an associated template for the bookmarklet, so that if it encounters Amazon it will be able to fill in the book data, for example.

As a side note, Twine is also said to employ natural language parsing to search for keywords and tags on the pages it bookmarks,. This is another very nice feature which has great potential.

I will note that this personal story will not be a complete account for all features of Twine now and then. That is not the point.

During the months of beta testing there were massive problems around performance and stability. A users feedback twine was created to gather user feedback on bugs and feature requests. All in the spirit of twine, the service was eating its own dogfood.

Although privately I felt that the service was not really 100% ready for prime time when it launched, it did anyway and it was still compelling and useful enough for masses to start using.

There were problems though. A pretty big feature was the item properties feature which allowed one to attach new properties to items and fill them out. It may seem like a pretty mundane feature but it is still a quite important one. This feature was stripped completely. It might not have been a big deal had it not been for its symbolic effect. But the service promised it was to return at a later point in full glory. So far this has not happened.

The symbolic value here is that, as a Semantic Web service (now being pedantic with casing), Twine showed a glimpse of a future where users could create their own templates, their own item types and put arbitrary data into twine via the bookmarklet or via APIs. These APIs were promised to arrive at some point but no date was given and that was a wise decision as these have still not arrived. It is still possible to submit data via HTTP POST as the forms on the service does but it is not really a dedicared developer API – or one would be hard pressed to define it as such.

As months passed Twine mutated. And when I say mutated I mean it changed shape, it didn’t just grow in terms of features, it also shrunk. Some features were added, then removed again. New bugs occurred. Others were fixed. One got the feeling that it was really getting nowhere. But still, the development sprints came in succession and little nuggets of usefulness were thrown out to the hungry masses.  And for an malnutritioned user, such nuggets prove quite effective.

There was also some, not to say a lot of, controversy between some users and staff. Who is to blame for what I will not comment on but in any event the situation could have been handled slightly more professionally.

2. The Present

Today the status is that I and others have added months and months worth of high-quality content to Twine – mostly in the form of well-structured and interlinked twines with technical, educational, funny, cultural, etc. bookmarks, documents, video, music, etc.

This has truly been, now speaking just for myself, a monumental undertaking.

The current status of Twine though, is that it is stagnating. Features keep getting removed. Few features are added. If something is broken it remains broken for months and months on end. If something is added, it is likely that it will be removed again later due to some issue or simply the designers wanting to rethink the feature. Such was the fate of ratings.

Maybe if Twine added advertisements on the site it would get the adequate funding to make the necessary investments. It is quite clear by now that the development team is understaffed and inadequate to make the significant progress that is needed to grow.

At this point, sadly, I have finally, and believe me this, I have been stretched beyond anyone’s definition of reasonable, reached the limits of my patience. The elasticity of my patience has been the vision of the future, inspired by the enthusiastic CEO, Nova Spivack. A very passionate and used-to-be engaging user (and owner).

It is not that Twine owes anything to anyone (except perhaps investors) but as user who’s heavily invested in the success of the service, one expects a certain dividend in terms of an equal investment on the other end; after all, if not Twine were to fight for success (or survival as it were), then whom?

Radar Networks, the company that builds Twine appears to have lost its way. Unable to fullfil the dream laid out by its founder. But it is not so hard to dream of the future (your mileage may vary), it is far harder to put those dreams into practice.

3. The Future

Dreams of a giant global graph and the global brain sound nice but ideas have to be exercised and put into practice. It sadens me that Twine no longer appears to be that place.

The options are

– Stay, watch it all fall further apart with morbid fascination
– Leave, look for other, greener pastures

This is a hard choice. The captain does not appear to be in control. The ship is headed straight for an iceberg. Unless a dramatic change happens it is a lost cause. Some would say it has already collided with the iceberg and it’s now only a matter of time. A last ditch desperate effort may be able to salvage the pieces, patch up the ship and sail to a port where it can be redone and brought back on track towards that vision.

The sad thing is that there is really nothing in Twine today that really requires KR technology. It can all easily be built with plain old relational data and yet the scalability problems (in terms of speed) are so great that it appears overwhelming and maybe even impossible to use the features that KR enables in the first place.

I wonder what would have happened if Twine would have started out as a more regular web service with the intent to migrate to a KR backend in time. That might have been the safer strategy. In any event it’s all irrelevant at this point and one of the reasons for joining it in the first place was the KR backend and the possibilities inherent in that choice.

I have looked into building a data migration tool for Twine. So far this looks more or less viable but will, ironically enough, require some screen scraping techniques to complete, simply because the data exposed by Twine is incomplete. One can use the news feeds to get a list of a users twines and from these harvest the Twine and Item data but the item data is incomplete so screen scraping will be required to finish that task. Also, it is necessary to look into the TOS of the service in case one wants to migrate to some other service.

I’d like to migrate my “investment” to some other service. Right now Thumbtack looks promising but it’s really in it’s infancy – although on the UX front they have done a lot of things right (iff still far from a great UX),

I also look to Google to bring this vision closer to reality. In particular because Google is in a unique (well, not quite unique) position to make a scalable solution. In particular one where an open-source community can submit new entity templates to the service. Even if closed, with the resources Google has, I’m sure they could build a lot of templates fast! I really do not understand how this compelling idea has not been more aggressively pursued by Microsoft and Google. Let’s see how Thumbtack fares and if Google comes out with something similar.

The killer feature here would be browser integration. And both Google and Microsoft are in the unique (well, almost unique) position to actually build in support for such services.

I secretly pray that someone will snatch up Twine, if not for the technology, then for the content, some of which is quite good. Of course most of the content can be found on the Web elsewhere, but it has been organized and assembled by human hand. Somebody ought to throw these guys and gals a lifeline.

Time will tell.

4. Addendum (I)

The reader might ask, so what else did you do, besides just posting content on Twine, content which Twine does not benefit from yet, since it hasn’t got advertisements? Well, let me list a few things I did

  1. Joined the beta feedback twine and engaged heavily with it
  2. Posted countless ideas to my Ideas twine
  3. Created a last.fm group for Twine users
  4. Created a linkedin group for Twine users
  5. Created the Users Empire twine
  6. Created the Users Auditorium twine
  7. Created the Users Etiquette twine
  8. Created Twinia twine, a twine about possible ways to integrate Twine with other servives
  9. Joined (by invitation) the private Power Users twine, then exited again due to fights
  10. Joined (by invitation) the private The Twine Lounge twine, for core power users, then exited again due to lack of engagement
  11. Created videos showcasing problems and possible fixes for Twine

I did get some Twine bumper stickers by mail, so no complaints here.

The twine lounge is, to me, a nursery. It is not about listening to and talking to users. It is about giving a false sense of listening. After all, the team is more or less unable to fulfill the vision and so they are not interested in having the feedback made public and also not in hearing it. This also explains why there is only one nurse – the creator of the twine. No CEO, no developers, only frustrated users.

A bleak assessment – but the truth of the matter.

5. Addendum (II)

Screen scraping is a concept that dates far back. Far earlier than current efforts by Microsoft or Radar Networks. I learned about the technique in the early RDF/XML days, where the community were exploring techniques to translate data into knowledge bases. Now Microsoft Live Labs actually has an ongoing project in this space called Entity Extraction, it is probably not tied to KR but it is about finding data on the Web. Microsoft also has another project called Thumbtack which is remarkably similar to Twine, right down to the visual theming (for shame!) But it does not at this time have the same social aspects and feel.

As for search engines employing domain-specific and targeted screen scraping we really don’t know a whole lot about what they are doing, but we do know they are going to have to become smarter to compete for the worlds advertisement money. Google’s future relies on it and I think it’s fair to say that Microsoft wants to crush Google and so they have to beat them at their own game.

6. References

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About xosfaere

Software Developer
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21 Responses to Twine – A vision lost

  1. Kurt Laitner says:

    big sigh

    keep the faith, brother, technology advances in fits and starts – someone had to be first – and it generally takes a few tries to get it right. Google and M$ are not first movers, they cannot be, but you can count on them copying anything of worth from twine.

    We’ll see you again, in semantic web heaven.. but not yet.

  2. xosfaere says:

    Let’s see Kurt. I am in a state of disbelief and disillusionment.

  3. Kurt Laitner says:

    Ah disillusionment, it eventually hardens into cynicism, or pushes you to realize impermanence.

    Really sorry for your (hopefully not) lost effort, good luck with the backup tool, I’ll pay for a copy when it’s done!

    I guess this is why the desktop’s not going away any time soon eh? The ultimate solution will definitely require data redundancy somewhere in the user’s control. It would be a lot easier with an API – perhaps that is the lesson learned, don’t put your data anywhere without a functioning API that permits backup to another service.

  4. fishead says:

    Excellent assessment, and alas, sadly true. Twine has failed in it’s early promise, and now the focus seems to be on hitching a ride with Twitter’s tailfeathers. Much easier to appease users with only 140 characters to say anything, and much easier to extract semantic data about which coffee shop I’m sitting in right now, than it is to try and divine knowledge from links and comments that actually have meaning.

  5. Great post, Bent! And it’s nice to see some familiar names again, too.

    My biggest complaint: The process of adding items is simply too slow. Maybe it’s because I’m in China and go through a VPN based in the States, but regardless of the reason, it’s too slow for me. I seem to get the fastest “adds” by using Google Bookmarks, although Foxmarks/Xmarks is pretty good, too. Other options like del.icio.us and Furl are OK, but still not fast enough. (I want to bookmark an item, not sit around thinking about what I’m bookmarking while the process is happening.)

    Also, I didn’t discover very much from Twine. I was hoping to see semweb magic, but never did. For the thousands (yes, thousands) of items that I added, I may have come across a couple/few dozen that I didn’t know about that I truly enjoyed. But I don’t believe that I ever discovered a truly useful item (link, report) via Twine. No semweb magic that I could see.

    Nova is a pain-in-the-butt, but that didn’t detract me from using Twine. In fact, I was his chief cheerleader at last year’s Semantic Technology Conference. Who gave the main tent Twine demo? Not Nova, but yours truly. But as my own responsibilities morphed, I found Twine less and less useful.

    Examples: Most of my time these days is in the solar and wind power sectors, with a fair amount of time devoted to ITsec/infosec/hacking (whatever you want to call it). I found that Twine didn’t help me filter sources in these areas; the content added to Twine in these areas was mostly useless, maybe OK for someone with a passing interest in one of these subjects, but woefully inadequate for someone in the field.

    So my key reason for dropping out of Twine: It’s simply not useful!! If you’re in the semweb sector, it has utility; for others, it’s mostly another way to waste one’s time.

  6. xosfaere says:

    I have no quarrels with Nova. I don’t know him personally. I only have an issue with a ship lost at sea – sinking slowly – and ever faster. And to me the captain has to take control of things to secure it.

    I have used Twine for both discovery, friendship and for organizing information. It has worked well for it.

    I’m done with feature suggestions and reports. I can only imagine how annoyed the team must be with all this bickering and negative comments. But still, it just needs to be said. This is how we (as a community) feels (well the people I’ve spoken to at least; initially it was just my own feelings on the matter).

  7. François Dongier says:

    I do share some of this frustration… I feel less enthusiastic about Twine’s future than I was a year ago and it looks like many of us feel that way. In many ways, Twine has not delivered (yet?) what we hoped it would deliver. Now of course our hopes/expectations were very high: just a year ago, we all thought that Twine was going to lead a knowledge-sharing revolution. Now we see that Twine essentially allows a “community of interest” to share bookmarks, and that’s about it… Where’s the fuss? Progress is very slow and, as you say, features are being removed faster than new ones are created. Nothing exists yet to really organize the content of a particular twine. Obvious improvements could come from better visualisation of the content of the bookmarked articles, better structured conversations, better reading recommendations within a twine, and of course 🙂 better use of the twiners’ collective intelligence towards improvements and new features.
    So yes, in many ways, Twine isn’t half as good as what it could easily be… I’m looking for alternatives on the market but haven’t found anything better yet. And I haven’t totally lost the initial dream… Still confident that Twine could soon come up with good surprises.

  8. Nova Spivack says:

    Actually folks we HAVE been listening and are working on most of the things you are asking for. It’s just that these things take time, and I think expectations may be a bit higher than is realistic as well sometimes.

    I’m sorry you don’t feel listened to. In fact, we really do listen to the feedback we get through many different channels — The Lounge, as well as all the emails and other feedback we get to support and directly as well.

    This year we are working on many improvements which I think will speak to some of the requests echoed above. I’ll outline some of them below.

    First of all, we release a new build every 3 weeks. That limits how much can be released per build because it is only 3 weeks after all. Some features take months to build and this is simply normal.

    You will see several big changes in the release that is going out this week actually.

    1. The new Advanced Bookmarklet will become the default for all users. It will failover gracefully to the Basic Bookmarklet for those pages that it does not work on (which are few, we believe). So this should be a big improvement.

    2. We are soft-launching a new version of the Interest Feed that is going to be awesome. We’ll test it out in this release and then hard-launch it for all users in the next release (3 weeks from now) assuming there are no major issues that need to be addressed first. You will be able to try out this new version via a URL that we’ll be sharing with members of the Lounge.

    3. In addition, we are starting to roll out more powerful moderation capabilities (a whole bunch of them).

    There are also many other UI fixes going out that are less major.

    In coming months we will be improving a number of sections of the site, one by one. Each one takes time and we do a lot of testing so they won’t happen all at once. But they include:

    – Revamping the “Item Detail” page design
    – Redesigning the “My Items” functionality
    – Adding in ads and beginning to test how to best do that
    – Adding in new algorithms that show what is “Most Popular” in Twine as a whole as well as within individual twines.
    – Improvements to recommendations (based on the above)
    – Better integration with Twitter (enabling you to tweet out what you add to Twine to your Twitter account, for example)
    – We are also working on improved design for the Global Navigation
    – We are midway through development of new Visualization features to visualize what is going on in Twine in some new ways. That will launch in a few months.
    – We have an Alpha of our API in early testing, enabling access to the semantic data within Twine so folks can write their own clients. We hope to release a more powerful version later this year.
    – Search is also an area that could benefit from further improvements and redesign and we’re working on that.
    – We are doing a major architecture upgrade to speed up the site and enable more efficient handling of data. This is already in process but will take many months to complete as it is a big backend project and will happen in stages.
    – Social network integration is underway to enable sharing of data (both in and out) from other social networks (Twitter is first, others will follow…).

    As you can see, there is a lot going on, and it’s a small team. We’re doing the work of a much larger company actually, and the price we pay is that we can’t work on every feature at the same time — we focus on different areas for each release.

    There is more than the list above that we are working on as well. Particularly in the areas of enriching the semantics of the service. Although all the data is actually stored semantically, we fully realize we have not exposed much of the semantics (or the full potential value of the semantics) in the site yet. Some of this will be solved when we open up an API. But I personally think it will probably be a while before we fully live up to my own (and other people’s) vision for the site. What I would like to see happen eventually is for Twine to do more machine learning, automatic organization of data, auto-population of twines by learning about their content from users, and in particular more use of RDF both in terms of the data we put out and the data we might mine in. I would like for example to see us make the bookmarklet extensible so that it can recognize RDFa from other sites and pull it in appropriately. I also think that we could do a lot more in our search feature to search on specific properties of things in Twine. And we could add more types to our ontology (like reviews, recipes, etc.) — although we don’t yet have much evidence that users want more types (let us know if you do, and which ones you would want!).

    Finally, in answer to the question of why I have not been as directly engaged with the “power users” as I used to be — it’s mainly because I have been busy running the company actually and that is taking more of my time than before.

    As for why we closed the public Feedback Twine and opted for a private Lounge twine instead for that kind of feedback — it was because we wanted to work more closely with the early beta testers. The Feedback Twine was starting to get a lot of comments from new users who really were looking for support — we wanted them to use the Support system we set up instead since that goes into a system we can actually manage to make sure issues get resolved in an organized fashion.

    Finally — why did we remove the New Twines page? It was because people were using it to spam Twine with twines that were basically just ads. Now we have much more powerful automated spam detection and removal scripts running which have resolved much of that issue. But we really think that the New Twines page needs to be moderated. We’ve given that some thought and will be bringing something in to help people discover new twines, and the long tail of twines, in the future. Possibly a moderated New Twines page as well. Although I wonder if there is really any value in seeing brand new but empty twines? I think it is better actually to only show New Twines that have a certain amount of usage first as a minimum threshold. Feel free to give suggestions in the Lounge or directly to support — those DO go to the product team!

    I also have been advocating for a Digg-style voting system in Twine. As some of you recall we launched an early attempt but users were confused by it, so we took it out and decided it needed more thought. We plan to bring it back in later this year. However we have also found that with some simple algorithms we can also derive what people like best automatically. So what is better: Asking people to vote manually or just learning automatically? Or both?

    Hope this helps to provide more visibility to those of you who are wondering where Twine is actually headed.

    We are working hard to improve the service and I think you will be impressed with progress this year.

    Very sorry it hasn’t been fast enough for some of you. With a service like this, with so many moving parts, the reality is that as it gets larger (and as we get more users), things do take longer to change (and we get a lot more feedback too). In the past the rate of change was faster because it was a very new service. Now we are trying to be a lot more thoughtful about every new feature and change. That’s (probably?) a good thing.

  9. Nova Spivack says:

    I tried posting a reply here but it didn’t go through. Please see my (long) reply here: http://www.twine.com/item/12263m184-1lr/a-vision-lost

  10. osi says:

    regarding saving your content .. RDF is actually available for all items in twine. for instance, aasemon’s post in twine regarding this post can have its data retrieved via this link. appending ?rdf to most url’s will (used to, at least) emit RDF (including search results).

    if you start with a search that lists all twine’s you created, you can then spider the graph and extract your data.

  11. sasi reddy says:

    Hi. I work for twine as a PM but please don’t let that stop the conversation. Twine hasn’t lost its vision at all, IMO. We know what our users want, and we care lots. We are a small company fighting on many fronts: usability, scalability, outbound marketing, while in parallel developing a 2nd generation architecture that remedies the shortcomings of the first. We are also building out a BI platform, a messaging platform, integrating with social networks, and more.

    We have visual representation of the data, full context of conversations (across all twines), and many other features in the works. Through it all, we are less than 2 dozen people at our SF headquarters. Admittedly, we spend lots of time maintaining the current infrastructure and that has slowed down our ability to innovate. It’s growing pains. No one is immune to it. If we don’t succeed, it will be lack of resources, not a lack of passion for the semantic web. Just my 2 cents. I hope you’ll stick around as one of the cornerstone users or Twine. Best.

  12. fishead says:

    Well at least you’ve drawn some attention (For a change!) I am happy to see Nova’s detailed response addressing your issues, and I hope that assuages some of your fears.

    @François–HI, and thanks for the belly laugh about slinkeys! 😉

  13. Sasi Reddy says:

    Hi, I’m a PM at Twine, and I would like to comment. Admittedly, I’m new (5 months or so), but I can assure you that we are very much a Web 3.0 operation. No one works here for any other reason. What we are seeing is a lot of growing pains– a dream deferred– but not forgotten. Semantic authoring, visualization, and end-user APIs that leverage the insights provided by a semantic data store are why we show up to work in the morning. It’s is not however, what we always end up working on.

    Even on a good day we are less than 20 people at the SF office. Taking on many users (not just early adopters) has resulted in a lot of capacity issues. Spam issues. Usability issues (thus a reduction in core features). We are currently fighting on all of these fronts, while also trying to innovate: we are building a second generation architecture based on our learning of the limitations of the first. We are building hooks to existing networks. Our BI platform and messaging platforms are also being addressed. And, operationally and tactically we are doing our best to maintain the first generation data store that brought us out of beta. It hasn’t been easy, but we are making progress.

    I understand the frustration, but as we have tried to grow from a core userbase to something more we are experiencing growing pains. Our position hasn’t changed, and we do need you patience. In the end, it will be our power users that drive the core product, that advocate on our behalf, and ultimately decide whether Twine succeeds or not. I just want to say that we value our users highly and we too want to see Twine do more than it does now. With your support, we’ll get there.

  14. xosfaere says:

    WordPress decided to mark Nova’s and Sasi’s comments as spam and I never gave it a thought to look there because I got no moderation e-mail (or maybe that also landed in my mail spam folder)

  15. xosfaere says:

    osi This has not always worked and I believe it still does not work; queries are not exposed as RDF. Individual twines and items, yes – partially at least. Full queries – not so.

  16. osi says:

    @xosfaere, global search still appears to return RDF, sample. seems broken on the ‘my twines’ listing though.

  17. xosfaere says:

    And in fairness, here’s the new sprint release, which several nasty issues, bringing Twine back to an operational status

    Sprint 34

  18. gabriel says:

    “Twine showed a glimpse of a future where users could create their own templates, their own item types and put arbitrary data into twine”
    Have you tried machine tagging with delicious? Machine tags are just tags with a format to allow triples. You don’t get templates but you do get your own item types and any arbitrary data you want to define. I wrote about this more here.

  19. xosfaere says:

    Twine is now officially dead and all content inaccessible. I guess it was a good thing creating that download tool before Evri took over.

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