The debate du jour is whether or not Twitter will last. I've had the discussion with everyone from my neighbors to a local radio talk show host. Detractors contend that it's all just nothing but mindless chatter. They ask "WHO cares what you had for breakfast?"
My answer usually stops the argument dead in its tracks.
Who cares about what you had for breakfast? Kellogg's, Starbucks, Quaker Oats, Krupp's, Jimmy Dean, Denny's, Folger's, and your local grocery store ALL do. And the growing number of businesses who see Twitter as a way to gather business intelligence, and build relationships are saying "scoff all you want... we're building brand awareness and loyalty...and making money."
While Fortune 1000 brands fill the blogosphere and the press radar screen with their success stories, there are a lot of other businesses who are using Twitter to make an impact. I know, because I've experienced them first hand.
In the middle of a Twitter discussion with a friend, the topic of domain name registration came up. There's nothing more irritating than being bombarded with other sales pitches when all you want to do is register a domain name. The conversation singled out GoDaddy and Network Solutions as partcularly aggravating. Within moments a Network Solutions' Twitter presence joined that discussion. And while he couldn't promise they would change, he did guarantee that the issue would be relayed to higher-ups.
Fast forward a few days later. One of our clients reported getting an e-commerce error on their site relating to their SSL certificate. Upon our review, it turned out that the outage was caused by a link to a site seal at a subdomian at NetworkSolutions that was down. When an email and a voicemail didn't result in a successful contact, we Tweeted our contact. Literally within seconds, he was there, asking for details. Their tech support worked with us to idneifity the issue and a problem that effected literally thousands of Web sites was solved qucikly, not by phone or email, but via Twitter.