Twitter is the last social media tool that I thought I would be talking about (There are others that should be discussed first). It is really not the kind of tool I would introduce to someone first. Mainly because it is the simplest, and yet the most difficult social media tool to understand, but I simply can’t ignore the use cases for it. And I have a good story to share to prove it.
My wife and I decided to get the kids vaccinated for the H1N1 virus. The London health unit has setup huge clinics with huge turnouts. We went twice but turned around at the size of the line and potential two to three hour wait (and with two young kids that is a really long time).
Enter Twitter. The health unit was posting wait times on Twitter and giving updates every half hour or so. Two hour wait at STA and no wait at Ross (local schools). Ross was across town (in London, Ontario that only means ten minutes more!). What happened next is another story but once we got there we walked right in. Twitter saved me a two hour wait in line with screaming kids. (Waiting for anything is my biggest pet peeve) All those people waiting at STA are obviously not on twitter, otherwise they would not be standing in line, they would be heading over to Ross. Sure the health unit could have posted times on their website, or created a email sign up list, but with twitter, there is no signing up or checking back on the website, and next to no administration for them! All I have to do is click on the follow me link and now they are on the list of people I follow.
There are other social tools I want to discuss on this blog: RSS, Blogs, Wikis, Social Networking, etc. and I will write on these soon (for those that are not familiar with them).
By the way, I am writing this blog on my new iPhone 3GS (sorry Luis) and also following Twitter on it to get my health unit updates. I am not a huge tweeter yet but I will get there. Blogging in 140 characters or less (Twitter restricts posts to 140 chars, but unfortunately does not restrict the number of tweets someone can make!).
Don’t you wish you could get some people you know to restrict all of their correspondence to 140 characters or less?