The social web continues to mature at a rate and pace that truly makes it difficult to keep up. Take, for example, Twitter.
For those of you who aren't familiar, Twitter is the micro-blogging web site that lets you follow thousands of people and their 140-character comments - - one at a time - - from issues ranging from lines at the local bank to earthquakes in California. It also gives you a platform from which to provide your thoughts, daily updates or other information you want to share.
It doesn't sound cool, but, once you use it, Twitter quickly becomes a social, cultural and news ticker from the world's open-source news room.
Six or seven months ago, Twitter appeared to be more novelty than useful service. But, like Metcalfe's Law, Twitter has grown in value (and usefulness) by the day as more and more people sign up and start to use the service. A search function that Twitter recently bought from a third party, Summize, allows anyone to quickly look up comments and conversations on the universe of topics - - baseball to recipes, technology to carpentry, parenting to dating.
Now add to it a service like Phweet, which allows users to invite other Twitter users into voice conversations or conference calls. (Twitter users are known as "tweeters" whose comments are "tweets." Hence "Phweet.")
So how, might you ask, is this different from a chat room or chat line?
Say you're a technology company executive and you find, through Twitter search, that a number of customers are all complaining about one of your products. You invite them into an impromptu focus group "Phweet," and quickly pull out of them specifics on what they think went wrong with the product. Or you're in tech support and you encounter a problem for which there's no documentation or ready solution; quickly call together a meeting of the minds of other tech professionals via Tweet-Phweet and it might be possible to brainstorm it out - - even at 2 a.m. on a Sunday morning.
Maybe one of those impromptu brainstormers can even do a live demonstration in that solution via Qik. (The live-streaming web video service that operates via smart phone.)
It might be the better part of valor for you to tablecloth out ways you can start leveraging all of this stuff for your business before your competitor does. It sounds like the last boarding call for Web 3.0 is sounding.
(You can interact with me and read my impromptu thoughts, or catch links to Channelweb stories, via this Twitter link.)
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