Discounting Twitter

A little while ago I was at a meeting with reps from an advertising agency that specializes in creating web presence for organizations. They’re pretty well known and have won a webby for one of their campaigns. My organization has never advertised by itself, though it has benefited marginally from ads by parent organizations (and there have been a few . . . organizations, that is).

I was impressed with the web savvy and the general tenor of the presentation these guys gave. Equally, I was happy with the direction our executives went in when discussing this stuff and their overall approach to moving in this direction. There was, however, one item that came up which disturbed me somewhat, and that was a discussion of Twitter in which they were summarily dismissive . . . which I think is a big mistake.

Now I’ll grant this – a business such as ours is not interested in tweets like “Just finished my croissant with black currant jelly. Starbucks is so yesterday”, or “Just finished walking the dog. Back with large bag of poop. Weather looks to be quite comfortable today”. Neither do we care about monetizing Twitter or some similar product. It’s not what we do. However, and this is true whether Twitter finds a way to monetize themselves of whether they just flat out go out of business, the concept of micro-blogging is NOT going to go away. It has too damn many use cases to be ignored.

One example I can think of off the top of my head (and I believe NASA is using this very model to prepare orbiters for missions) is for a geographically dispersed team to stay in contact with each other with respect to the completion of critical items that impact downstream activities. I have experienced numerous situations where the lack of communication regarding the completion of a step in a complicated series has resulted in the loss of a day or half day in the completion of the project. This is not trivial.

At any rate, I really think there are lots of use cases for Twitter within the enterprise. Dismissing it out-of-hand is foolish and short-sighted in my opinion.

About Rick Ladd

I retired nearly 13 years ago, though I've continued to work during most of the time since then. I'm hoping to return to work on the RS-25 rocket engine program (formerly the SSME) which will power our return to the moon. Mostly I'm just cruising, making the most of what time I have remaining. Although my time is nearly up, I still care deeply about the kind of world I'll be leaving to those who follow me and, to that end, I am devoted to seeing the forces of repression and authoritarianism are at least held at bay, if not crushed out of existence. I write about things that interest me and, as an eclectic soul, my interests run the gamut from science to spirituality, governance to economics, art and engineering. I'm hopeful one day my children will read what I've left behind. View all posts by Rick Ladd

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