While commenting on Paul Kedrosky’s post about Twitter, it occurred to me that my opinion of Twitter was changing right then – at that moment.
Prior to today, my perception of Twitter was that it was a ridiculous waste of time; it enabled one narcissist to broadcast his/her existence to anyone foolish, bored or voyeuristic enough to pay attention. Twitter seems to be a cross between the type of hyper-chat typically practiced by tween girls (where somehow, no matter how inconsequential something seems [or really is], there is a need to talk about it) and a marketer’s dream of Instant Demographics.
And then it hit me: if Twitter can broadcast the silly stuff, can’t it equally well broadcast the interesting stuff? If people are really into this, here are some obvious (and no so obvious) uses of the Twitter API:
– Tied to your credit card usage (“Now purchasing 17.2 gallons unleaded, $2.65/gallon, Highlands Ranch Conoco”)
– Tied to your car’s GPS/OnStar transceiver (“Now crossing into Douglas County from Denver County, northbound County Line Road”)
– Tied to a simple wireless switch-activated webcam attached to the gate into your backyard (“That rat bastard neighbor is sneaking in to steal spearmint leaves from your garden… again”)
So, if Twitter were *automatically* enabled on your cell phone & certain of these types of “transactions” were published, then it may be inevitable that marketers will totally underwrite both cell phones and the service.
In exchange for the always-on, instant demographics, the consumer gets 100% subsidized service & handset. Surely this is what Twitter is really all about, right?