We have been thinking a lot about user-generated content over the last few weeks and months as we reflect on how developers are using the Gnip platform to build solutions we never imagined when the company was started.
One of the great things about getting out and talking to lots of people is that we are always learning more about how we fit, or how other people think we fit, into the ecosystems that make up the Internet. Recently we realized that we really only exist because of the entire phenomena of user-generated content. This is not the core idea with which we started the company. The core idea was really techy (see our FAQ) In addition to that original techy idea now it obvious to us that the primary Gnip mission has to also focus on making user-generated content universally accessible and useful as it was intended by the original author who shared the content.
We still see Gnip providing innovative and bleeding edge technology solutions for social and business data integration, but by realizing that out mission also must include thinking about the people sharing the content in the first place impacts how we prioritize everything we do.
Do not worry, we are not going to start building web apps and become another social media aggregation solution (those our some of our partners and customers, and we love them all). Instead we are that much more excited to focus on the underlying platform for anyone who wants to integrate user-generated content.
What this most does for our team is help us understand that in addition to providing a great platform for developers to do data integration we also have to help developers using the Gnip platform to access and integrate data in a way that will uphold the original intent of the user who shared the content in the first place. Where something was originally shared and how it was shared does matter, and this is why our new schema goes so far with the inclusion of original destination URLs, author profile information, regarding URLs and other pertinent information that can be lost when people are just passing links, comments or re-tweets around or hacking together social data.
So, now when we say Gnip is focused on Delivering the Web’s Data we will be thinking about developers and the people everywhere who are using the Internet to just tell the world something in their own way.