Have you ever asked yourself the question “What if Twitter was conceived as another animal instead of a bird…what then?” What would we call it or what expressions would we use in our daily use of this tremendously successful invention?
I decided to do some research to see what I could come up with. I wanted to see if there were any other animals that could have taken our lovely blue bird’s place when the final decision was made. I got myself a fresh cup of tea and attempted to reach the inner makings of Twitter itself. I tried to clearly visualize the very fabric that makes it up. I used my humble designer experiences and skills to try and capture the essence of this new breed of social networking service. And right there, in that remote place, in the back of my head, I found it! It wasn’t that much of a thought, but I held onto it with my dear life and started to doodle on the piece of paper in front of me. After a few minutes, I had something to work with. I loaded up my Photoshop and started to design. The new name for this social networking service, and the one to replace Twitter, was of course…
It would surely be the second best thing don’t you think? Don’t get me wrong, it’s easy to come up with an alternative idea and approach for Twitter but that is because it’s such a universal and versatile social networking platform. It’s the actual implementation that is hard to conceive. Another thing I kept wondering about was what kind of words we would use on “Nibble” if Twitter had chosen the name “Nibble” instead of “Twitter”. Of course, I took some time to ponder this question as well, and before long, I thought the natural translations were these:
As you can see, the vocabulary and our ways of networking would be entirely different. Whether it sounds professional or not is another question. But then again, when Twitter began, I don’t think that many company executives felt the undying urge to tweet like a bird either. Right?
Now my thoughts were wandering off to what the default avatar would look like. And it’s quite an easy equation to solve if you just look at what the word means. I mean, we have the “Nibble” name, we have the animal type, which of course, is a “Rabbit” (if you hadn’t figured that out yet), so it would only be fitting to use avatars portraying this. Don’t you think?
I would totally think this new and “improved” way of Nibbling would be the way to go. It sure would be a fun hangout place to connect and share awesomeness. However, we need a mascot, just like Twitter has its Ollie. And what would it be called? Well, it’s a no brainer really. Everything is pointing to a rabbit or a bunny of course. But what to call it? How about…Bob? I think that could work as the bunny’s tale is called a “bob“, right? I messed around in Photoshop a little and designed what I think is a fitting mascot. I am sure this could be done in several thousands of different ways, so if you guys have any other ideas, please feel free to link to your own mascot, but this is my take on it:
When I was designing it, I was hoping it would look as cute as the Ollie bird that we are all so familiar with. I think Bob would be quite the replacement we are looking for. Now, to take things further… what would the official NibbleDeck look like? Of course, our deck doesn’t need all those fancy buttons and features. Nibble is all about simplicity and forwardness so we’ll make ours work with just one click. How’s that for learning curve?
But we need a little extra touch on ours cause there is no point in only going halfway when we’re re-thinking Twitter with a different approach. So, I took my humble Photoshop skills once again and decided to design our own little Nibble app. What I came up with was this simple and straight forward user interface:
Alright, so our Nibble app is done and there is little left to do than just launch this puppy bunny for the masses to mess around with, right? Well, when I think about it, it might not have been that much of a great idea after all. I mean, who would want to use an app built up of words that are all referring to rabbit and bunny behaviors. I mean, there’s no professional business owner that would use this in a million years…
If you think about it yourself and really get into that mindset, you realize that Jack Dorsey (@jack), Evan Williams (@ev) and Biz Stone (@biz) must have had some serious doubts in the beginning thinking about this, but they went through with it anyway and created something that has given so many of us so much that I don’t ever think we could repay them.
I would like to dedicate this post to these three guys, and I would also like to extend my utmost admiration for what they have created and achieved. Their continued creativity and leadership is ultimately inspiring.
I think we should claim this very day (13th of April, 2010) to be the official “JackEvBiz Day” to acknowledge the enormous impact they have had on so many of us. For one thing, Bit Rebels would never have been created if it weren’t for Twitter.
Isn’t that nuts? (Not intended as a joke… alright, maybe then!)
All graphics created by Richard Darell.