Friday, October 17, 2008

Twitter Story No. 1: Time well wasted!

It has been argued that Twitter is no more than a fun way to waste some time during the day - entertaining for sure, but with no real-life applications, and no business value.

The Ad Contrarian, in Twitters Never Win. Winners Never Twit stated in no uncertain terms that Twitter was a monumental waste of time (I won’t repeat the exact terms here because my nieces and nephews occasionally reads my posts and I don’t want them picking up this sort of language, at least not from me). He also states that his critique is based on the fact that he “tried” Twitter (for a total of 6 days).

I understand that Mr. Contrarian (if that is your real name!) generates most of his traffic by being overly obnoxious and in-your-face so as to goad people into linking to his blog, so I have purposely avoided doing so (you can easily find his blog if you really want to).

Thus was born Twitter Stories, a series of posts based on micro case studies of the use of Twitter in real-life and business situations. This post is the first in a series that I hope will show practical applications of Twitter by the folk who really and honestly use it.

Micro case study number 1: Mitch Joel vs the Airline

October 14, 2008,
Mitch Joel is waiting for a flight to Winnipeg where he is set to speak Personal Branding at a Power Within event.

At 6:53, he posts the following tweet:

need help: anyone know anyone who talks on the subject of Web 2.0 and Social Media and is based n Winnipeg? DM me details please :)

He does not get the tweetback he is looking for, so at 7:23 he posts a follow-up tweet:

really need your help. my flight is delayed. do you know anyone who can talk about online marketing in Winnipeg? Please DM me. It's urgent.

October 15, Mitch posts the following on Twitter:

Twitter & Facebook win! Was able to find Joel Parent who kept the crowd engaged while my flight was delayed. Managed to squeak in 40 mins.

Outcome: Twitter is a business contact and emergency services tool

This is the new business reality that Twitter and other Social Media offers to those who are willing to invest in it. And by invest, I mean take the time to develop ties to a broader community. It goes far beyond networking in the traditional sense. It not just a matter of collecting business cards and doing the occasional follow-up phone call. Here, two professionals who didn’t know each other beyond their social networks were able to come together and collaborate on a specific project. Mitch was able to reach out to someone, and to verify his qualifications to get the job done, primarily through Twitter and by extension, through Facebook.

Twitter, like other social media, is a tool and is only as good as the ties you have made and nourished and to the brand and the reputation you have built up. But for those who can use them properly, these new tool offer incredible new opportunities never seen before, many of which have yet to be discovered.

To know more about the story, read Mitch’s post Twitter For Business Works

If you have any such experiences you would like to share, please comment on this blog or email me at

Of course, you can also contact me via Twitter under: Alain_Lemay69

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