Depending on who you talk to, Twitter is either a revolutionary new communication utility, a waste of time, or both. Personally, Like many bloggers, corporate CEOs, journalists, and organizations from the Red Cross to Dell, Zappos, Southwest Airlines, and H&R Block, I love Twitter, and use it daily as a source of news, resources, advice, events, fun, and trends.
Nonetheless, Twitter’s almost daily outages and frustrating burps lead to much grumbling among the digerati. In fact, it’s reminiscent of the days when we sat in front of our computers for protracted periods of time waiting for our dial-up connections to open a website or our email. It’s annoying, to say the least, but what new platform isn’t?
Why stick around? Many of us have a great deal of time invested in Twitter’s revolutionary new platform. And, after all, it’s free, so we put up with Twitter’s ups and frequent downs: so far.
Yesterday, that came close to changing.
Twitter, which has been mysterious and unresponsive about its frequent technical issues, finally realized that a tipping point had been reached. The choice: respond, or risk mutiny.
Better late than never, Twitter employees responded in a way that demonstrates how much the relationship between companies and consumers has changed.
An error message on Twitter.com directed members to another social network,GetSatisfaction.com, where they explained the database problems they’re experiencing while trying to scale up the platform. Get Satisfaction’s is “a neutral space to support customers, exchange ideas, and get feedback about their products and services.”
As social media has demonstrated, companies that listen to customers, and who respond by making changes, or, at the very least, explaining their side, have much to gain and little to lose and much to gain.
The benefit is that when your company becomes a trusted member of an online community, you can easily respond to the concerns of customers, media, analysts and other stakeholders because as an active participant in social media, you can listen and be heard. Otherwise, you’re toast.
The Beauty, Secret and Utilities of Twitter for Business
Steve Baker, BusinessWeek “Why Twitter Matters”
Mack Collier: Twitter Goes Down, No One Tells Is Why...
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