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Twitter? Twittwhattttt?

March 31, 2009

Pardon me while I take a break from our normal vino and SF programming to share some thoughts and experiences with the social networking site, Twitter. While I have not and cannot possibly cover everything Twitter does, I have taken a brief look at how it impacts people like me and the growing tech environment.

You may or may not know what Twitter is – but be aware that its doing big things and changing the way people communicate, picture-1search and interact with friends and companies alike. Granted it could flop within a few years, but it will most likely stick around.

What the heck is Twitter? Wikipedia states that Twitter “Is a social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users’ updates known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.”  As Twitter puts it – users answer the question “What are you doing?”

When I first started using I asked myself “What ARE you doing?” and why the heck do hundreds of people want to know??

twitter-birdWell surely, I have answered my own question and have seen the impact it has had on my work and  personal life. Starting out, my followers consisted of friends from work, random tweeters and journalists or bloggers. Yesterday, I discovered 6 of my personal friends also tweet. It’s growing.

Additionally, big brands (and bands!) are a part of Twitter and are doing a great job of interactpicture-2ing with consumers. My favorite companies to follow include @Southwest, @Virgin America and @Starbucks. Southwest has great tweets about promotions, customer experiences, and even addresses issues passengers might have while traveling. One night my roomate Katie and I had trouble with our Comcast Cable and had an excellent service rep solve our problem, so I tweeted to @Comcastcares sharing our positive experience and quickly got a reply from Comcast rep, Frank, saying “Glad to Hear!”

Today I saw a great example of one of my favorite bands using Twitter to connect with fans. Jimmy Eat World tweeted that they had placed a signed vinyl copy of their album, “Futures” on top of a telephone booth outside of a Circle K in Arizona. They picture-3informed Twitter followers that the first person to get there was the winner. 12 minutes later, a lucky Jimmy Eat World follower was the proud owner of a signed album. 12 minutes! Within a half hour there were over 70 tweets about the contest. They’ve just guaranteed that their followers will be sure to pay close attention to all of their future tweets hoping that they will also have the chance to win.

It’s not about corporate jargon or correct spelling. It’s about connecting with PEOPLE regardless if you’ve met them before. PEOPLE. Comcast, the media mogul, didn’t reply to my tweet – Frank from Comcast did.

Regardless if you use Twitter or not – you should definitely be aware of it! Besides, it’s the media’s darling right now – they can’t get enough! While the first few weeks might be scary, you will quickly become addicted!

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