While there are still some non-believers who continue to insist that there is nothing useful about Twitter, plenty of folks who have jumped in headfirst are finding new ways to make the service more useful every day. Here's a recent example, from E-Media Tidbits, which reports that in the recent "state of the state" speech by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, the governor's staff first announced a hashtag to be used in Twitter (MiSOTS
), and then had the Govenor's staff adding the high points of the speech to Twitter as they came. But the more interesting part is that this created a real-time public participation and commentary
on the speech as it was happening. Plenty of others used the official hashtag to respond to points and discuss what was going on in the speech in real-time, providing a fascinating play-by-play commentary of the address that would have been hard to do in any widespread manner previously (perhaps in a specialized chat room -- but that would have a much smaller number of users). While it doesn't appear that the governor or her staff responded in real-time, it also gave them a very useful look at how people were perceiving the address, and also gave them people they could quickly follow up with in the future. While I'm sure some Twitter doubters will still brush this off as nothing special, the ability to better communicate shouldn't be ignored or underestimated.