Twitter may be dying, but not for the reason you might think. It's not a matter of it not being monetized, or the servers crashing under popularity, or people losing interest. The reason is its name.
Last night, Leo Laporte, Chief TWiT, announced he was leaving Twitter to avoid confusion between it and the TWiT (This Week In Tech) network, especially in light of mashups like Twit Box, Twit This, etc. The now deleted Tweet said: "I've asked Ev to delete my Twitter account. I'm concerned about confusion with TWiT. I'm moving to Jaiku: account is ChiefTWiT. CU there!"
Robert Scoble thinks Leo is setting up for a trademark suit, since Leo does own the TWiT trademark. He's not doing it to be evil, but to simply protect his trademark. Trademark law states that if you don't protect a trademark, it enters the public domain.
Leo moved to Jaiku and I noticed right away it was down, no doubt due to Leo's switch. Leo is the most popular Twitter user according to Twitterholic, and his move also prompted Scoble (#3) and Paul Terry Walhus (#10) to jump onto Jaiku. That's three of the top 10 Twitter users that have moved to a competing service. And it's not just in the short head: there's been a lot of buzz on Jaiku, as a Twittersearch reported 210 tweets in the past 9 hours mentioned the competing service.
I don't see Twitter disappearing tomorrow, but Evan Williams (founder of Obvious, the company behind Twitter) needs to change the name of the service yesterday if he wants to keep Twitter's 1999-like growth going. The sooner Twitter becomes something else, the less time people have to rally behind Leo on Jaiku. For the sake of TWiT/Twitter fans, this needs to get resolved right away.