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R U a twit-ter?

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Tuesday June 5, 2007 )

Twitter isn’t the sort of service that would usually really grab me – but it’s hugely popular. Something I’ve learned over the years is that just because I don’t “get” something, it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t keep tabs on it.

The way Twitter works is that you can write or sms a blog post – a short snippet, 140 characters maximum. Twitter then transmits that to your friends’ cell phones or Instant Messaging ID’s as well as it being posted to your Twitter blog.

People post up very trivial messages; but I’m told it’s highly addictive – so much so that Twitter recommends “upgrading to an unlimited texting plan with your mobile provider”.

Personally, I find SMS’ing a major PITA. My family will SMS me long messages and just to respond with “OK” is a major effort for me; I’ll even abbreviate that to “k” or or “j” if I get the keypress wrong – but that’s no problem as they know what I mean :). I really like a full keyboard :).

But there’s seemingly millions of people who are hooked on Twitter (which is a free service by the way – their end of things anyway). Regardless of whether it makes much sense to me at this stage from a commercial aspect, i.e. as a marketing platform; it’s a service in it’s early stages – the Twitter of 2008 may look and behave very differently than now. Twitter has only been in operation since March 2006; and who knows what other services may be launched with Twitter as the inspiration in the time ahead?

These services are a bit like MySpace in the early days in that they appear totally ugly, but totally engage the user, rely heavily on social networking and gain popularity very, very quickly – so I like to keep an eye on them in case a feature is added or the service evolves that does suddenly turn them into a viable marketing tool.

I’m thinking that perhaps Twitter may have some commercial benefits already. I noticed that some of the members have quite a few “friends”, so it’s obvious that your circle of Twitter pals can quite easily go beyond your real friends. Maybe at this point in time it could just be a good way to alert subscribers/visitors/clients of company news and new products, articles, posts etc? I’ve now decided I must investigate further – I’ve just become a Twit-ter myself so I can sniff around a little more; but I’ll stick to posting my snippets via a real keyboard :).

Do you use Twitter to market your business? I’d love to hear more about your experience with it!


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