Obama’s use of the phrase ‘the red phone’ is the ultimate metaphor to illustrate what I mean when I say, ‘Twitter is too big to fail.’

Recently, I wrote that it is time to consider the notion that Twitter (the service, not the company) has become “too big to fail.”

Here’s a quote from that post:

“Twitter has become the electricity powering entirely new forms of engines of communication, conversation, transaction and collaboration. All of that is great. What I’m beginning to fear, however, is that Twitter, too, has also become the electricity grid through which all of this power must pass. In other words, I believe Twitter (the service, not  the company) is quickly assuming a role in our lives and work that is making it “too big to fail.” I am also moving to a belief that too many people, organizations and transactions depend on “the service” Twitter for this new form of communication — and that makes the network through which this communication must pass too important to be controlled by one company. Or, to put it another way, one company should not bear the responsibility for all that is being done via Twitter.”

In that post, I noted that emergency response and “mission-critical” networks of communications have been built with Twitter infrastructure that continues to be undependable when the service is most in demand.

Yesterday, President Obama said something that is both an incredible endorsement of the service Twitter provides, but underscores my contention that the service has too much responsibility for one company to bear. His choice of metaphor, for anyone with even a slight knowledge of history, conjures the most extreme scenario when a service like Twitter would be most in demand.

Quote from the lede of the CNN story, “Obama to Medvedev: Throw away red phones for Twitter”:

“President Barack Obama joked Thursday that the popular microblogging service Twitter could replace “the red phone,” a longstanding icon of the Cold War that established a direct line of communication between the United States and the Soviet Union.”

Bottomline: Obama’s use of the phrase ‘the red phone’ is the ultimate metaphor to illustrate what I mean when I say, ‘Twitter is too big to fail.’