I’ll never forget the advertisement:
Several years ago, there was an advertisement for a pager that “talked”. I believe a few months later the company selling the technology went out of business. Why?
People want two-way radios to talk. They want pagers – back then – to be sent a message. But a talking pager – it had no place in the market. Of course, Nextel’s “push to talk” technology is quite popular, but that’s simply an evolution of walkie-talkies. Sure, phone’s now email and email devices now IM. But a talking pager – nah.
Twitter – which lets you use IM, SMS, email or via it’s web site, send updates to people is a great technology with a dumb initial use.
Twitter’s tag line is “A global community of friends and strangers answering one simple question: What are you doing? Answer on your phone, IM, or right here on the web!”
Eventually the aspect of people “twittering” about their lives and what they’re doing will die off. People will get fed up with posting and receiving posts. HOWEVER, companies will use Twitter, to easily and quickly update customers about all kinds of things.
RSS, email and web sits are used right now to push information to people. Many companies, especially airlines, already notify customers via SMS to their cell phones. Twitter, clearly makes this MUCH easier to do – for anyone to send updates to anyone else.
The awesome use of Twitter, for companies, will be to enable people to subscribe to a feed. Companies (non-profits / organizations included) can then suggest that customers add the company’s “corporate feed” to their Twitter friends list.
Is this revolutionary – of course not. Companies can already do this, but it’s more complex and costly to set up. 4info enables you to, for free, send SMS updates to customers. But they have to first SMS to receive an update. Twitter works the opposite way – companies send updates to Twitter subscribers.
Feedblitz emails an RSS feed to an email address. This is a bit like what Twitter is doing.
When you hear about some hot new technology. It could be a lot of dumb buzz. But think about it a bit more – maybe your company can use it in a smart way.
Or maybe, it’s just 100% dumb.