One of the things I remember most about my grandmother is how she always had a phone on her ear. Always. She was an early adoptor of the cordless phone. She would be talking to a friend, one of her kids, an in-law, or a grand-child; coordinating donations for a charity that collects and distributes cribs; or frequently, trying to get into contact with a customer service department.
If only Twitter had existed when she was around. Yes, Twitter, the microblogging platform. Think Facebook status updates, except without the rest of Facebook. (For further explanation, watch Twitter in Plain English.) When my grandma Mil was awake at 2 AM, she could have scanned her grandkids' tweets, or written an angry tweet to DelMonte foods about the declining quality of their green beans.
There are numerous jokes about Twitter. (Here, here, and here are my faves.) It's vain, it's egocentric, it's boring, it's dull. I've heard it all. Yet I keep going back to it.
But really, for us consumers, it can be great. See, many companies and non-profits have accounts on there, posting updates and responding to our tweets that are relevant to them. Gone is the time where you would have to wait hours and hours and hours on the phone just to speak to a Comcast representative. You can tweet them if your cable is out!
If you have a flight on Southwest, you can monitor its tweets to see if you're going to be on a WiFi enabled flight. If you're a huge NPR fan, follow the tweets of your local station and you might get to go to a special event!! Heck, even Idealist.org is on Twitter, talking about new jobs and trends in the non-profit world.
These companies and non-profits have realized that Twitter is a platform that allows them to engage with their audiences. They can talk - and people will listen!! And vice versa. Brands are actually able to create a relationship with their consumers. And you know what? It benefits us. At least for now - while they're still listening.
What are your thoughts on Twitter-land?
Follow Casey on Twitter: http://twitter.com/smazzle
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