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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.

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