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How do you Twitter: Eoghan McCabe?

This is the latest in a series of interviews with a variety of marketers, advertisers, bloggers, SEO consultants, businesses, artists and Internet gurus on the latest micro blogging sensation to hit the interwebs, Twitter.

Eoghan McCabe, web designer and ‘head dude’ over at (the guys behind Qwitter) spared a few minutes out of his busy schedule to give us his thoughts on using Twitter to create apps.  Thanks Eoghan!

Will we still be tweeting in 5 years?

Yes. No. Actually, I haven’t a clue. :-) But I’ll be surprised if Twitter just disappears in that time; it’s growth and momentum is bigger and more substantial than most trends or fads or movements we’ve seen on the web so far.

How can you trust a company on Twitter?

By knowing the people behind the company. Twitter works well as a medium for personal communication but not so well as a broadcast system for “company line” messages. Brands on Twitter will benefit by exposing the names and faces and personalities of the people behind them.

You guys created Qwitter, one of the best Twitter apps yet in my opinion.  Do you see a big opportunity for developers using the Twitter API in 2009 as it grows?

Yes and no. The opportunities we chased with Qwitter were: fun and promotion of our app development services. We found both of these in abundance. Other developers interested in the same will find many opportunities this year. But just like Twitter have yet to find their path to wealth, neither have most Twitter app developers. I don’t expect many to profit financially from their efforts any time soon. In fact, if your Twitter app is successful, it will most likely cost you a lot; hosting for Qwitter costs €1,200 per month, which Hosting365 have been amazingly generous to cover for us.

Is there any advice you would give to other developers who are thinking of creating an app?

There are two types of Twitter app opportunities available:

1. add a new, valuable feature or function to Twitter (for example, let people know when someone unfollows them) or
2. improve a function that already exists (for example, let people read their Tweets in a cleaner interface).

If you choose the first, make sure it’s actually valuable. Qwitter was a massive success because a massive amount of people are interested in its function. You’ll know it’ll be valuable if you see people asking for it; a simple Twitter search will help you here.

If you choose the later, make sure you really can improve on what’s already there. For example, I believe there’s a market for a really clean, simple, minimalist Twitter interface; but I know only a very talented, able interface designer could do this right.  Just like Helvetireader done by anybody other than Jon Hicks would not work.

Have you guys got any more top secret Twitter apps up your sleeves? ;)

Yes. No. Maybe.

Are we losing our ‘real life’ social skills because of the increase in social media tools?

I hope not, but I know that those stuck in web culture and familiar with little else don’t do well in “real life”. I studied Computer Science when I went to college, so I knew a lot of these people!

What are your thoughts on the power of the ‘Retweet’?

I have no specific thoughts about it, but I’ve never Retweeted myself. I’ve always preferred to create rather than comment on and link random stuff. But that’s just me.

How has Twitter helped Contrast in 2008?

The messages we post through Twitter are a fundamental part of the Contrast brand. Contrast is Eoghan McCabe, Paul Campbell, Des Traynor and David Rice and vice-versa. And there’s no more personal way of communicating on a large scale on the web right now than with Twitter. Through Twitter people find out who we are, what we’re like, what we like, what we do. We link our posts, promote our apps, keep in touch with clients and friends. If we were somehow blocked from Twitter, we’d be at a major loss.

How do you feel our interactions will change if Twitter goes completely mainstream like Facebook or Myspace?

Interestingly, through Twitter, my “real life” interactions with other Twitter users has changed quite noticeably. When I meet-up with a friend, the small talk is done. I don’t say “what did you do last week?”, I say “did you enjoy the match last week?” A deeper knowledge about the lives of those on Twitter means you can interact with people on a more meaningful level, in my opinion. It will also help us know who we’d rather not interact with, just as it will help us find those we would. If it becomes mainstream, we’ll be able to depend on this with everyone and not the few early adopters.

If you could only follow one person on Twitter, who would it be?

@eoghanmccabe ;-)


Fantastic Eoghan!  Cheers for doing that.  Great to get advice from someone who has achieved a lot with Twitter.  Congratulations on Qwitter and I hope there’s many more exciting things to come from in 2009.  I know there will be!

Tomorrow – David Lanham

I’m really excited about tomorrow’s interview.  I’ve been a huge fan of David Lanham’s work for years now.  David has an fascinating and unique illustrating style and many times over the years his wallpapers have decorated my desktop.  A great inspiration and worth checking out!

Comments (2)

  1. €1,200 per month? Holy sh*t! Don’t think I’ll bother making a Twitter app now ;)

  2. Paddy

    8 Jan

    Yeah tell me about it, I had no idea! :s