End User social networking

twitter in action in Lincolnshire with possible prison riot

Last night I felt I was part of a real life drama.  I live over the fields from Lincoln prison.  In Lincoln they put the prison in the best part of town to make it quicker to lock up the burglars when they catch them 🙂

As I was hitting the hay I could hear a lot of loud noises coming from the direction of the prison together with dogs barking.  I sent out a tweet to this effect and was immediately contacted by a couple of BBC journalists asking for more info.  There have been other prison riots in the UK this week so the tweet was topical.

Independent verifiaction suggested that there was no activity outside the gaol.  After about 10 – 15 minutes I checked again and it grown quiet again.  Presumably the noisy prisoners had been locked back up again.

I guess the point of this post is the observation that twitter is really a newsfeed rather than a social networking tool. You also have to be watching it all the time to catch randomly generated news, as my two BBC contacts must have been. 

It is also usable as a marketing tool and interestingly as such it offers a highly targeted approach.  Twitter users have to be searching for specific news items.  I follow too many people to be able to sensibly catch all their tweets so I would have to be looking for, say, “Lincoln prison riot” to read any news about this. 

The same the applies for product marketing.  If I wanted to push Timico’s MPLS capability on twitter the chances are that people reading that tweet would be specifically looking for information on MPLS.