Rogue Twitter developer gathering canceled

@CNNMoneyTech July 7, 2011: 11:28 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- An unofficial Twitter developer's conference slated to take place in late July has been canceled.

Trade show organizer Engage Digital's "TDev Summit" was intended to fill the gap left when Twitter decided to put its annual Chirp developer conference on hiatus. Sponsored by a half-dozen outside companies that develop around Twitter's platform, Engage's new event drew support from developers looking for a forum to network and swap tips.

Just weeks after announcing its event, Engage scrapped it.

"After encountering some unexpected scheduling conflicts, we have concluded that it would be difficult to provide the Twitter development community with the caliber of event they deserve," Tim Williams, the company's vice president of marketing wrote in a message sent to potential attendees and posted on Engage's website. "We are actively exploring alternative dates for later this year, as well as options to co-locate with another event."

Twitter skipped Chirp this year to focus instead on a series of town hall style events, which aim to connect Twitter developers with each other and with key executives at the company.

But even that has been drama-tinged: Twitter essentially appropriated an existing community networking group, Devnest, as a framework for its own events, in a move one participant likened to a "hostile takeover."

Devnest began two years ago as an ongoing, unofficial series of London meetups for the Twitter development community. The gatherings attracted sponsorship from companies including PayPal, Sun Microsystems and The Guardian.

When Twitter decided to host its own gatherings, it approached Devnet organizer Angus Fox about using the Devnet brand for its own events. Fox says he gave his blessing -- but the relationship quickly devolved. Fox wanted a written agreement about the terms of the deal; Twitter didn't want to provide one, he explained in a blog post.

Fox tells CNNMoney that things with Twitter have been patched up.

"They have confirmed to me they have no plans to use the branding for their own future developer outreach events and no wish to take away the events from our community control," he said. "The developer advocacy team at Twitter plan to actively support Devnest going forward."

Twitter relays the same message. "Twitter has actively supported a variety of independent groups that organize Twitter-related events for years, including Devnest, and will continue to do so in the future," a company spokeswoman said.

Twitter has yet to announce its next developer meetup, but company reps say events are in the works in both San Francisco and elsewhere.

The TDev conference, which was backed by several key application developers in the Twitter ecosystem, was aimed at bringing together discussions about the Twitter ecosystem.

Some who planned to attend the event say they think it will be resurrected at a later date.

"They need more time to get sponsors and just get organized," said Nova Spivack, CEO of Twitter personalization developer Bottlenose. "It's a severely big undertaking. Mainly they were a little over ambitious in choosing a date." To top of page

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