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Communication and Collaboration

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Wisdom Learning From Others

> IMPACT IS JUST A TWEET AWAY

“My Siamese cat Skimbleshanks is up a tree … At Wilco concert—Jeff Tweedy is so cool … Home alone … Flying to Ireland, wish me luck driving … Just saw Todd with Stephanie!”

So who cares? Lots of people do, just as Evan Williams and Biz Stone, co-founders of Twitter, had anticipated. They took micro-blogging into the upper limits. And it isn't just for friends and family. Twitter is now the “voice” of the people. It carries their messages around the world in situations of oppression and civil unrest.

More than 250 million tweets fly through cyberspace each day. Twitter's “digital handshake” connects people instantaneously, and companies have taken notice. Whole Foods has 2.1 million followers for tweets that deliver recipes and answer customer questions. Southwest Airlines has 1.2 million followers who get special promotions and help when they encounter flight problems.

Twitter's growth and popularity have been challenging for the firm and its founders. The business model is still a work in process. Lots of people wonder how Twitter will make money from all those tweets. But CEO Dick Costolo has no doubt about the firm, the technology, or the social impact it creates. “We're trying to build a lasting company,” he says, “a company that will change the world in interesting and beneficial ways.” ...

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