Who Should Buy Twitter? How About The New York Times?

Twitter here we come!

Twitter here we come!

The list of companies supposedly interested in buying Twitter was long: Facebook, Yahoo!, Google, MySpace, and even Microsoft.

Facebook allegedly came the closest back in November. Here’s a radical idea. The real suitor should be the New York Times. Media companies in general have made a mess of things. As Jon Fine noted recently in a Businessweek story called “Sports Teams: The End of the Affair,” media companies rushed in to buy sports teams in the 1990s and early 2000s and it ended in failure as many of them are now selling off their ownership stakes. But that was the wrong fit.

Media companies have been getting crushed by Google, Yahoo! and social media platforms. They are watching content that they create get bundled, aggregated, mashed and delivered through other channels. Movie and TV companies lose audience to YouTube. News sites see Yahoo and Google re-package their content and deliver via their own news sites or through services like Google Alert. Why do media companies blithely allow social networks like Digg.com and Reddit to eat their lunch?

Media companies should start investing in social media. The New York Times has the best news content on the web. Why not invest in technologies and platforms that would make their web site a social destination? Wouldn’t that be a natural extension of the news brand? Media companies need to start becoming “social” media companies if they want to win on the web.

UPDATE: News comes out today that Twitter raised additional venture capital.  Here’s the Mashable story.

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