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Twitter Goes Corporate

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Your phone buzzes, and you learn your pal Suzie is out at lunch. It buzzes again, and you find out your web calendar is going through an outage. The wonders of invasive-by-choice technology!

What are we talking about? The observation that an increasing number of companies are experimenting with the free status broadcast tool Twitter. Twitter started as a casual SMS social updater from Obvious (nee Odeo), but for some, it’s getting a bit more serious. Today, the folks at calendaring startup 30 Boxes joined Technorati, Ma.gnolia, and other companies using the service to send out development and downtime updates to subscribers over SMS and IM.

30 Boxes co-founder Narendra Rocherolle previously noted in these pages his love for Twitter, calling it a tool for “capturing moods and moments during the day and sharing them with a circle of friends — a bloggy chat to go!” Today, Rocherolle cites three justifications for using Twitter as a corporate tool:

1) for some users there is no such thing as TMI,

2) Twitter is offsite, so it won’t go down when his servers do, and

3) users can message him and his team directly.

To me, only number 2 holds water, but hey…the social and the corporate are often one and the same for the startup crowd, so why should the tools be any different? The question is, would they use it if it weren’t free?

14 Responses to “Twitter Goes Corporate”

  1. Om, been since my 4INFO days since we spoke, but I wanted to comment on your article about how twitter can be used for corporate gain.

    In my current twitter-tirade against DirecTV, @comcastcares took advantage of my frustration and sent me a tweet about how I should drop them an email immediately. Good timing.

    I’ve blogged all about my DirecTV debacle and how Comcast responded in my blog:

    I’ll continue to keep it up to date. I hope that you are well!

  2. except that this mythical office where people need or want to broadcast their minute-by-minute doings does not exist, nor does anyone wish it to exist beyond the netaddict bloggers of web2 whose existance and significance is only measured by the number of disk drives they can deposit their click-turds.

  3. Bull — it’s not really a backend management or monitoring tool — it’s kind of like radio or TV… just another broadcast medium. In this case, it’s more like HAM Radio though, since your messages have to be 160 characters or less!

  4. Oh great – just what I need…even more emails/sms’s/etc etc. I don’t have a “river of data” problem, I have a “torrent of spurious information” problem – anyone looking to solve that issue?

    Or is it just me that feels the issue is there is too much, rather than not enough, communication?

  5. Interesting timing. We just began testing Twitter (via the fabulous Twitterific) this weekend for our geographically distributed IT dept. The simple fact that we can update our status from anywhere with either a laptop or a phone looks to be a great tool for our particular environment. Using it as a status monitor for our customers (in our case, our employees) is a great idea that I’ll have to look into further.

  6. SMS marketing–or whatever you want to call transmitting your message to your audience–is definitely a great, relatively unexplored tool for small businesses, communities or any group for that matter. I’m curious as to how the adoption numbers will move as SMS becomes a more accepted medium of brand/message/information communicator (not that it isn’t big already). The “insurmountable problems” are everywhere. The phone’s one’s last bastion of personal privacy from non-personal communication (except for your carrier plastering itself all over it). Everyone fears the NASCAR car looking background/dialer screen/browser/faceplate. Don’t forget about personal privacy, as well, with relevant ads being a powerful possibility given carrier’s eventual desperation for a b-model in providing your info to ad platforms, and not to mention LBS capabilities adding a final punch. So will users reject this medium and refuse it its room to grow? Hardly. Email groups are huge. Newsletters are, too. Remember Gmail and it’s horrible anti-don’t-be-evil relevant advertising? Now everyone’s got an account, and more so in the precise community in which users know what’s going on. Soon, I think, the adoption curve will kick up a notch, and we’ll see the rise of more SMS businesses, uses and most importantly acceptance. Why not? After all, if it doesn’t work out, I still have my Tamagotchi…

  7. How is Twitter different from dodgeball? I subscribed to the latter but I have to confess not even the friend to whom I sent the link bothered to connect with me! So much for the pull factor. I do like Narendra Rocherolle’s description of how they use it at 30Boxes. Also, I did not know till my recent research that Google acquired dodgeball. Of course, GigaOM had already posted that info a long time back.