Virality

Turntable.fm: Yep, It’s Totally Viral. But Is This ‘Alive Web’ Burning Users Out?

turntablefm tweets Turntable.fm: Yep, Its Totally Viral. But Is This Alive Web Burning Users Out?

“The graph plotting the @mentions of turntable.fm over time just has a classic hockey stick shape to it,” Doug Williams, biz dev at Twitter, tweeted at TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsias regarding the site. Turntable.fm is a browser-based and soon-to-be mobile app that’s basically a radio station where a few users “DJ” while other listeners vote on song choices and talk in a chat room sidebar.

“Screenshots or it didn’t happen,” Ms. Tsotsias responded.

Mr. Williams declined to give out the stats, of course. But we ran a semantic tweet analysis using the social media analytics tool ViralHeat and found some fun stuff from the past week:

-Mr. Williams is the most “influential” tweeter who’s talked about Turntable.fm.

-Twitter users are mentioning the phrase “turntable.fm” an average of 71 times a day; 72.69 percent of tweets had links in them.

-64.26 percent of tweets had positive associations; 26.10 percent had neutral associations, and 9.64 percent were negative.

-Chris Young, Chicagoan start-up enthusiast, is Turntable.fm’s most tweet-happy fan. (“Really?” he tweeted when we told him. “I didn’t realize I was so vocal about it.”

Turntable.fm’s founders remain secretive about the start-up and won’t grant Betabeat an interview. It’s a three-person company: co-founder Seth Goldstein in the Bay Area, Billy Chasen and iPhone developer Yang Yang in the Union Square Area (plus Mr. Goldstein’s dad, who we hear is lending a hand) but Turntable.fm is about to double in size, hiring for two developers and a designer.

We bet that means the entrepreneurs have raised some money on top of the $1.9 million they got for their original idea, StickyBits. But the Turntable.fm backlash may have begun. “It’s like a sugar high,” one developer who has worked for music start-ups in the city told Betabeat, saying he was addicted to the service for a few days but then dropped it because the experience described by Om Malik as the “alive web” was too demanding of his attention. That’s the same thing venture capitalist Adam D’Augelli described in a blog post: “I was burned out.  I couldn’t keep up with the pace of engaging in the product and living my actual life.  The real-time nature of the product required constant attention, which I couldn’t provide and I needed to go back to normalcy.”

At the same time, Turntable.fm is obviously on fire–most high-profile tech companies have rooms on the site and there are tweets about it in multiple languages. Better hope it doesn’t burn too hot.

Follow Adrianne Jeffries on Twitter or via RSS. ajeffries@observer.com