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Twibbon Co-Founders Talk Twibbons, Twibutes and Twitter

Posted on 10 August 2009 by Tim

About Twibbon

Twibbon.com launched on July 17, 2009 (just 4 days after Talk with Tim!) and has captured the attention of tens of thousands of people around the world. The most supported cause, IndonesiaUnite, has over 14,000 followers! This earns them a Twibute and a place in Twibbon history – the first cause to have over 10,000 followers. Amazingly, they achieved this in only 2 days.

From Twibbon.com:

Twibbon is the easiest and most powerful way to promote awareness of your cause on Twitter.


What is a Twibbon?

A Twibbon is a small icon or phrase that is layered on top of your Twitter profile picture. This way, everyone can see what causes you support. Whether you want to champion cancer research, a political party or something less serious (say, The Sims 3 or the TV show Trueblood) you can either find it or create it.

I’m a curious kind of guy, so I decided to find out a bit more about the company. Lucky for me, I was able to get in touch with Jonathan Joyce and Bob Thomson, the co-founders of the site!

Like a map, this interview comes equipped with a legend.

  • My questions appear in bold, as usual.
  • JJ is Jonathan Joyce
  • BT is Bob Thomson.

The rapid success of Twibbon has been pretty amazing. Did you anticipate such a large response?

JJ: Hi Tim. We were convinced that the concept behind Twibbon had universal appeal, but it’s a testament to the extraordinary spontaneous power of Twitter that such a rapid viral response has been possible. It’s brilliant that our community uses the fastest-growing social networking site on the internet.

As of July 31st, almost 3,800 Twibbons have been created. How fast are new Twibbons being added?

BT: It’s hard to keep track! One of the new features that you’re going to see in an upcoming release of Twibbon will be detailed statistical analysis that deals with exactly these kinds of questions. We’re experiencing a steady stream of causes being created, but it really varies. When Kevin Rose, founder of Digg.com, referenced the application in a tweet, we had our record rate of Twibbon creations – it was off the charts.

Now that the service is up and running, what are you focused on?

BT: Our main priority right now is to establish Twibbon as part of the essential fabric of the Twitter and wider web experience. We’re spending the majority of our time maintaining the site, responding to the needs and suggestions of our userbase and developing innovative new features that we hope our growing community will enjoy.

What features can we look forward to in the future?

Jonathan-Joyce-and-Bob-Thomson-thumb JJ: In the coming days and weeks, Twitterers can look forward to an exciting range of developments, including as a ‘Versus’ feature, and a huge injection of new content, both user-generated and fed from the web. As Twibbon develops, we hope that ‘Cause’ pages will become unique social micro-hubs – destinations that Twitterers will recurrently visit for real-time news updates, to discuss relevant issues and to enjoy each other’s company.

BT: Another feature we are expanding is our creation of ‘Twibutes’ to causes who have generated an impressive number of followers. A great example of this can be seen at http://twibbon.com/twibute/Indonesiaunite, which we created when that campaign exceeded 10,000 followers. ‘Twibutes’ are massive mosaics that comprise all the Twitter users who lent their avatars to their chosen cause. These can be downloaded for posterity, but to get the fullest experience, you can DeepZoom the image – from a distance, the mosaic takes on the appearance of the Twibbon design, but when you zoom in really close, you can see the minute detail of each individual avatar. It’s breathtaking.

Thanks for the info guys!

twitter Follow Twibbon on Twitter here.

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