Is There Anything Twitter Can't Do? - InformationWeek

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IoT
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Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
12/18/2008
04:04 PM
Allen Stern
Allen Stern
Commentary
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Is There Anything Twitter Can't Do?

As Twitter has grown in popularity, the number of ways this communication tool can be used are endless. No more is it just about telling your friends what you had for lunch or that your makeup won't stay in place for your video blog. No sir! Twitter has so many uses that I'm wondering, is there anything that it can't be used for?

As Twitter has grown in popularity, the number of ways this communication tool can be used are endless. No more is it just about telling your friends what you had for lunch or that your makeup won't stay in place for your video blog. No sir! Twitter has so many uses that I'm wondering, is there anything that it can't be used for?We've witnessed multiple Twitter births, although some believe a birth might be taking Twitter too far. I wonder if the parents select the Twitter option on the birth certificate under the "method of delivery" category.

Robert Scoble has reported on so many earthquakes using Twitter that the U.S. Geological Survey is considering hiring him as "Head Twit." The joke always is that Twitter users know about earthquakes before the seismologists do. I'm waiting for the day when Twitter can provide details of a quake in advance.

Computer manufacturer Dell has apparently used Twitter to capture a whopping $1 million in revenue. We don't know if this is incremental revenue, but Twitter can make big bucks for your business! We even have blog publishers turning into book authors to chronicle how awesome Twitter is for business!

On the subway, the couple next to me were talking about how amazing it was to find each other on Twitter. I didn't know this but there's a whole personals section on Twitter where you can find your true soul mate.

Heck, Barack Obama won the presidency via spreading his message on Twitter!

If all that wasn't enough, we now have big-time celebrities using Twitter. Sure, the celebs aren't A-list, but who cares, they're celebs! MC Hammer is trying to win over the Web geeks, Shaq is trying to bring you closer than ever to Kobe, and then there's Britney. You see, Brit is so cool, she tells her assistant what she wants to Twitter and the assistant enters it into the system. Of course, the absolute best part about Twitter is that everyone is a celebrity!

Did you know that it was Twitter that put an end to the attacks in Mumbai? Alexander Wolfe has a good look at Twitter's role in spreading the news during the Mumbai attacks. While some may believe Twitter isn't journalism, it's clear that Twitter is the real way we will achieve full peace in the world. Why spend billions on a tank or aircraft? Just put Twitter installations in countries that won't comply.

We don't even need to talk about the all the great Q&A that's addressed via Twitter. It's so great for this immediate feedback that one startup copied the idea and stuck on a point system that you can redeem for stuffed animals and other trinkets (I'm holding out for the 15,000-point Tesla remote-control car!).

Lastly, this week we learned that Twitter also can be used to get the best stock picks. Drop that high-paid investment manager and certainly forget the bloggers who will tell you what stocks are a buy. All you need is StockTwits. The company grabbed nearly $1 million venture funding from some top Twitter users. Its sales pitch is, "Real-time discussions from the Web's savviest investors." Frankly, I'd be a bit scared to trust someone on Twitter about which stocks I should buy or sell considering that StockTwits has completed no background checks on any of the people apparently providing advice.

So what have we learned from this exercise? Twitter can make babies, make you rich, make the world safe, increase company sales, and so much more. I'm looking forward to the day Twitter cures the diseases that have plagued our planet for decades. It's just too bad that with all of this greatness, the company still can't figure out how to generate revenue.

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