Twitter is a social medium that wears its tweets on its sleeve, publicly for all to see. This weekend, a perfect storm of events bubbled up to underscore what these are such heady times for our favorite microblogging service.
Twitter took center stage for Black Friday shopping deals, helped break the news that Tiger Woods slammed his SUV into a fire hydrant and tree, and apparently serves as a nice communications vector for gangs in New York City. This real-time power is the reason Google and Facebook were so interested in Twitter and why Twitter's founders would be foolish to sell. There's a business model in all of this info. They just need to flesh it out and they'll be golden.
News Analysis: Of the dozen or so friends and family
members in my social circle that have planted digital digs on Facebook, not one
of them either gets or cares for Twitter. Those that grok it think it's stupid. This
is astounding to me. As I write this, Twitter fanatics are questioning my
choice of company.
While Facebook is largely a world of communications and
content sharing between people who have granted access to their social graphs
(add 5 cents to the Mark Zuckerberg phrase coinage fund on my behalf), Twitter
is a social medium that wears its tweets on its sleeve, publicly for all to
see. This weekend, a perfect storm of events bubbled up to underscore what
these are such heady times for our favorite microblogging service.
Twitter took center
stage for Black Friday shopping deals, and we have the New York Times to thank
for its expose on the deal busting madness. The Times piece sums up the value Twitter holds for
commerce, both brick and mortar and click and mortar:
"A Twitter post can in theory be seen by millions, and
thus packs more punch than an e-mail message or a phone call to a store. The
big retailers are all scrambling this Christmas to come up with Twitter plans.
They are designating tech-savvy employees to respond to the posts, sometimes by
providing up-to-minute inventory information from a sales floor, for example,
or by offering help with some balky gadget."
For example, after buying a new navigation system at 6 a.m. on Black
Friday, Laura S. Kern of Los Angeles could not figure out why it was not giving
her traffic updates. The Times said she sent a message to Best Buy's Twitter
account and within five minutes not one, but two Best Buy employees responded
with fix-it advice.
Twitter help is not limited to just advice on consumer
electronics. In Bloomington, Minn., Mall of America used its Twitter page to
tell consumers two of its parking areas were at capacity and that their best bet
was to park near Ikea. That is useful info, folks, delivered in real-time to
your computer or mobile phone.
Meanwhile, in Orlando Tiger Woods Friday night trashed
his Cadillac Escalade under unknown circumstances that look increasingly suspicious,
and TechCrunch swooped in to wield Twitter as yet another weapon in the crusade
versus old media.
The story basically says old media bad, Internet media good.
Sure, the tenor of the piece is suspect (is there anything so trite, tired and
pointless as new media denigrating old media for being a little slower?), but
the point is well met. TechCrunch's MG Siegler wrote:
"Thanks to Twitter, thousands of people had access to this
information about 45 minutes before it appeared on CNN or ESPN, the 'worldwide
leaders' in news in their respective fields."