Twitter – the light bulb moment !

by Jeff Wiener on September 10, 2009

twitter_birdI did this post as a guest post for Twitterrati and am cross posting this on

Do you ever have that light bulb moment ?

Sometimes it finally hits you. So often people talk about an event, product, restaurant, food, or in this case, technology and you wonder to yourself what all the hype is about. And it just doesn’t seem to make sense until – the light bulb moment.

I finally had that light bulb moment with Twitter.

I’ve been posting to Twitter for the last 2 months, and now I’m up to over 80 tweets and over 1,700 followers. I still didn’t get the Twitter concept until last Friday.

I have been reading in the papers for the last while about the hype of Twitter. How it could one day replace (or at least diminish Google’s dominance) in the Web sphere, speaking to people, and still, no light bulb. I wasn’t getting it. Reading this makes me sound like a neophyte. I’m not. I just wasn’t getting Twitter. Friends would ask what I see in Twitter, and, quite frankly, I didn’t know what to tell them. But, I diligently posted.

So, what happened. Why the light bulb ?

As you know, last Friday some fairly important business news was expected to be announced to the market. Nortel’s Enterprise business is being sold by the courts, and all interested parties needed to have their bids submitted by 12PM. At around 11AM I went to Google, which until now has been my search engine of preference, typed in: “Nortel Enterprise News”, and up popped an article posted 2 hours prior, written the day before, talking about the next days 12PM deadline. I clicked refresh at 11:30AM, 12PM, 1PM, and nothing. No news.

Then, at 1:30PM decided to check out Twitter. Typed in “Nortel”, and a beautiful stream of chatter, live discussion, thoughts, and real time events popped up. I went back to Google, and there, 4 hours later, was the same OLD post.

I realize that if I am looking for a “Fish and Chips” store near my house, or a movie write-up, Google / Yahoo is still the best option. Funny how I am considering Google search to be OLD search. And I now, finally, understand the importance of real time search and the power of Twitter.

And then it got me thinking about all the articles I had read about Twitter and how it could potentially threaten Google’s search dominance. And yes, it is possible. Twitter has so much potential.

Now, how does this relate to Telecom ?

Just as Google has stretched their dominance into so many different elements of the web, Twitter has the same potential to be a technology game changer. The chatter that happens on Twitter is text driven, but, it could be voice, video, or any other form of multi-media driven.

And then, from a customer service perspective, there are so many touch points that hit a service based organization. Phone, email, fax, and new media (like Twitter). Integrating Twitter and other forms of social media into an organizations operations. For example, someone needing live help could activate a real time command and voice or text into a service organizations help desk.

I need some time to explore and think about all of these options, and will expand on them in another blog posting. In the mean time, I have to go pick up some Fish and Chips for dinner !

Written by: Jeff Wiener. Follow by: RSS, Twitter,, or Friendfeed

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