Some say Twitter is gradually evolving as a valuable source of information crediting Twitterers with breaking the news of the Mumbai terrorist attacks and pix of the Hudson River landing of the US Air flight. Iranians (in between beatings, of course) are turning to Twitter to get the word out about their activities and the government's response in the current election dustup.
Some companies like Dell claim to be making sales based on promotional Twitters, and both Land Rover and Volvo have executed promotional campaigns. Among the many companies that now monitor Tweets for mentions of their products and services, Starbucks and Amazon apparently have quickly responded to tweets and fixed problems that could have become viral. Under the different business models Twitter is beta testing, businesses should soon be able to advertise directly to the Twitter community. Oh, joy.
Just this week, Dan Zarrella -- who describes himself as "a social, search, and viral marketing scientist with a background in web development who combines his programming capabilities with a passion for social marketing" -- launched a beta test of a service to build psychological profiles of people based on the content of their Tweets.
I just hope he doesn't track the folks whose Tweets I follow -- he might proclaim them all brain dead. One guy tells me every time he runs, bikes or swims. Compelling stuff -- if I were his mom or his coach. But I am neither. Another complains about his air travel experience. Join the crowd, my friend. Lots of them point me to stuff that they have written elsewhere that I guess they think I either can't find on my own or they are doing a little extra traffic-building. Often I see only half of a conversation, and I have to deduce what in the hell my guy was talking about with the other guy. And gosh, I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I am when someone reports in that he is off to somewhere restful for the weekend. Or that they found a cool new place for burgers.
Gotta be honest with you, I see the day coming when everyone gets over it and Twitter is abandoned faster than those millions upon million of personal blogs and Facebook pages that lay perpetually dormant. There are just too many other more important uses of my time in a day than to keep up with Tweets, the majority of which are unworthy of the attention they require to keep up with.
If you make the mistake of turning on the updates to your cell phone and don't have an unlimited text plan, you will be in for one UGLY surprise on your next phone bill.
Finally, the ultimate proof that Twitter doesn't work: the day that my little league team played in the first round of the season-ending tournament, I sent out a note to my Twitter followers to think positive thoughts for victory, and don't you know we lost to a lower-ranked team and our season ended. Clearly Karma doesn't travel over Tweets.