The Twitter Times is perhaps one of the best formatted mashups of Twitter posts I’ve seen. This jewel is the brainchild of Russian genius Maxim Griniv and combines the power of information provided in the Twitter community with the aesthetic comfort of a newspaper style format. In my opinion, this might be one of the best Twitter resources since TweetDeck (and I love TweetDeck!!) I immediately jumped on this little product and created my own personal Twitter Times.

The idea behind The Twitter Times [TwtTimes] is to take your first and second level Twitter friends and compile the information that the people you are following are “tweeting,” by pulling it all together in a format that helps you quickly see “What’s Hot” and the “Top News History.” The result is a wonderful display of text and pictures that look very much like a newspaper website. In a couple of minutes, you can quickly scan the information and catch up on the major discussions your Twitter friends (and their friends) are discussing.
I shot Maxim an email a few days ago suggesting that he should expand TwtTimes to include “Twitter Lists” as well as generic twitter user profiles. The idea I had behind the “Twitter Lists” option was that it would allow the end users to narrow the topics displayed on TwtTimes based on the lists. In other words, if I have a list of people who are focused on “law libraries” or “competitive intelligence” then the topics of TwtTimes would (hopefully) fit those more narrow topics. In its current form, The Twitter Times tends to pick up the Twitter “biggies” (e.g., ReadWriteWeb, Guy Kawasaki, WSJBlog, etc.) This isn’t saying that the current form is bad (because it isn’t), I was just hoping to guide the iteration of TwtTimes to take advantage of the Twitter Lists and be a much more flexible resource.
Maxim responded that the idea of handling Twitter Lists would mean TwtTimes would “have to support more newspapers for a single user and, consequently, [would] need more computers to handle them.” In other words, it would cost more money and equipment than TwtTimes is able to handle at this time. To off-set the costs, Maxim asked if he thought people would pay for the service. If there is one thing I know about my social media friends… they will not pay for anything “social media” related. So, that idea is definitely DOA. Combine that with a comment that (3 Geek member) Lisa gave me when I asked her to take a look at TwtTimes…

Mashup of Twitter Trends and TweetDeck notifications and Google Reader? Hmm. Not sure I have room on my social media platter …

…you’ll see that not only are my social media friends cheap… they are also burning out on all the available social media resources. If TwtTimes can support this with ads, then I think people will be fine. But, no one that I know would want to pay for a social media resource… no matter how useful it might be.
So here’s the situation. We have a great product, with a lot to offer, but in a market that is completely being overwhelmed by one social media resource after another. For all of you that are reaching your saturation point on social media tools, my suggestion is to take a look at TwtTimes and try it for a week or two. If need be, click the “mark all as read” button on your Google Reader from time to time to make room on your “social media platter.” I think you’ll find this product will be pretty tasty. Who knows… something like this could end up in the Google stable someday (hint, hint Google!!)