How Twitter Helps Gangs Tweet Out

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-11-30 Print this article Print

Siegler didn't feel he made his point well enough, so in a follow-up post, he says Twitter is the new Walter Kronkite.

Ladies and gentleman, TechCrunch has drunk the Kool Aid. Wait a minute... TechCrunch is the Kool Aid, so TechCrunch is using the Woods coverage as a way to say Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah to CNN. We and the tools we use are better than you. We get it. Rub it in a little more. Only half of old-media's ass is still chafed from your constant burning.

The point is, we don't lean on Twitter just for shopping deals, coupons and parking advice. We lean on Twitter because it's fast. Moreover, the more official news orgs cotton to Twitter, the more official the news will become; we won't have to worry if the crowdsourced sourcing is suspect or not.  

Gangs do it, too. Use Twitter to communicate, that is. In Manhattan, "young thugs" use Twitter to tweet out gang attacks and other juicy bait for law enforcement officials, according to the New York Daily News.  

"Investigators are monitoring the traffic in hopes of sweeping up gangbangers before the bloodshed - and searching Twitter after attacks for clues. "It is another tool ... just like old phone records," a police source said. "We can go through them [messages] to track these guys."

Of course, we much prefer the harmless and heart-warming Twitter success stories associated with Black Friday and commerce. The Times story noted that Best Buy has a Twelpforce of 2,500 employees that answer consumers' questions in real time.

The Twelpforce fielded about 25,000 questions even before gearing up for Thanksgiving weekend, including the help Best Buy employees offered to Laura S. Kern in La-La Land about her new GPS.

"Ms. Kern in Los Angeles used the service on Friday. After she could not get her new navigation system to work, she tried Best Buy's telephone support line, only to receive a warning that her wait would be an hour. So she posted on Twitter instead, and within minutes, Best Buy employees were sending her useful links and details about her gadget. "It's amazing," she said later in the day.

Amazing indeed. 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.


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