Acknowledging that people are primed to pop off on politics, Twitter has created a special Election 2008 group, here.
Twitterers old and new can sign in and comment about presidential and vice presidential candidates Barack Obama, John McCain, Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.
And they are. I've had the site open on my laptop for 5 minutes and there is literally a new post every 5 seconds. Considering Twitter's grand tradition of collapsing when users are tweeting most, if this sort of activity doesn't bring Twitter down, I don't know what will.
Twitter's explanation for the unusual step of creating a group?
"We're filtering hundreds of Twitter updates per minute to create a new source for gathering public opinion about the presidential election and a new way for you to share your thoughts."
The stroke is genius, a marvelous embrace of political chatter in the Web 2.0 age. But will Twitter sponsor more of these impromptu tweet sessions going forward?
TechCrunch's Don Reisinger says Twitter should, keenly drawing comparisons to the group functionality offered by enterprise microblog startup Present.ly from Intridea. However, Reisinger rightly asks:
"But what if you could create a group of like-minded individuals with interests much like your own on Twitter, regardless of whether or not they're your friends? It would not only appeal to the majority of users who are trying to meet new people who are "in" to the same things, but it will help Twitter finally address some of its users' desires."
I do agree that Twitter-based groups where users can debate more narrow topics are more valuable than, say, me logging on only to read about someone celebrating the return of seasonal coffee flavors at Starbucks.
And if Twitter did enable the creation of groups, it would make it a lot easier for enterprises to embrace Twitter instead of Yammer, Present.ly or other one-off applications.
Don't get me wrong, Twitter is totally one of these one-off apps; but it's a one-off app that a few million people are using daily to communicate.
Lots of work groups, including eWEEK.com reporters and editors, use Facebook to communicate. We can't really say the same for members of groups who want to engage in private tweet sessions on Twitter.
Will this change? If so, when?