In the tech blogs this weekend, there have been several confident statements and posts surrounding the comments of a supposed Twitter board member.
Todd Chaffee, actually a board member of a company that has invested in Twitter, was quoted on the New York Times Bits site and Silicon Alley Insider as having said that Twitter would be offering advice on purchase decisions as part of its monetization strategy. However, Twitter CEO Evan Williams roundly countered these remarks yesterday in blog comments.
Chaffee told the Times, "Commerce-based search businesses monetize extremely well, and if someone says, 'What treadmill should I buy?' you as the treadmill company want to be there... As people use Twitter to get trusted recommendations from friends and followers on what to buy, e-commerce navigation and payments will certainly play a role in Twitter monetization."
Williams wrote, "To be clear: Todd is a Twitter investor and a very smart and helpful guy.
"However, he is not actually on Twitter's board and, in this article, he's brainstorming on his own. These are not in the least bit concrete plans of the company."
Back to the drawing boards, you Twitter-monetization speculators. There will be no commercial recommendations for you.
Chaffee is also quoted as predicting stream-parsing by user-defined groups and general categories as upcoming Twitter features. You know, kind of like third-party services such as TweetDeck are doing already.
In Chaffee's defense, he's been in the VC biz for 25 years and was on Forbes Magazine's 2009 Midas List.