The Social Networker

by Chris Miller at 09:44:29 AM on Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
Upon seeing what happened with TwitterCut over the past 24 hours, I am tending to believe that Twitter has now reached enough critical mass that it could effectively kill a company in the online and marketing world.  

Image:Can Twitter kill a company? Do we have checks and balances?

Damage that would be hard to undo and for smaller ones could be end game when they rely heavily on social media to grow.  Mashable and InfoWorld (among many others) picked this up quick and issued articles of warning yesterday.  Twitterers soon began spreading the word and my real-time searching was moving pretty darn quick and it was being retweeted over and over. Twittercut responded on the site itself:

FYI: According to several social network blog sites TwitterCut has been the bud of several rumours! Our website and its programmers can assure you that these rumours are not true and that TwitterCut is simply a Twitter train that was a work in progress! We were not phishing twitter accounts what so ever. That login script was a script I bought for 50 dollors. I see allot of sites on twitter doing the same thing as us. Were shutting down this site. -

So let's assume a fast food chain really has no issue and someone drives enough interest in a possible food recall/poisoning for that chain.  Would the drive of Twitter be enough to hurt them for the next couple days?  How would they fight against it?  Spend lots of cash in marketing, TV and social promotion letting everyone know they are totally safe.  Which in turn costs them even more money on top of what was lost.

Where is the balance and checks? Who verifies the reality of the data being presented?  Are we a bunch of lemmings that as soon as a big name says no go or that there is a problem we all follow along happily?  I am not saying that TwitterCut was legitimate, just that I couldn't find much else other than it send out a tweet.  The domain was registered May 21, 2009 by someone that listed his name, address, phone number and email.  Who called Jordan or emailed him? (heck he even spelled "rumor" wrong a couple times and "dollars" on the notice he put up)

So what is a company to do in this world of social media frenzy?  Remember when Oprah made a comment about beef and there was a significant, measurable drop for a while?  Start imagining the bigger leap when CNNBRK gets hacked and someone sends a fake news alert out.  While Twitter can remove it, all of the clients that get used (not the web interface) keep it and it gets passed on.  Oprah now not only says something on her show but sends a tweet out saying ther same thing.  What kind of impact do we have on that small enterprise that makes her favorite coffee cake?  They get some overloaded it essentially stops business.  Leo Laporte does this each week highlighting a website, they call it the TWiT effect where they take the site down as thousands rush to the URL.

 I think we need a check and balance here.

  • 1) Can Twitter kill a company? Do we have checks and balances?
    Created by Maria Helm at 05/27/2009 1:34:56 PM email |

    I think will fade with time and greater usage. Right now, Twitter is new and everything that comes across, even the most banal of personal announcements, seems so urgent. But as the bandwagon starts to fill up, tweets will be just as ignorable as emails and newspapers. Oprah's coffee cake announcement will be drowned out by Bob's announcement that his car has broken down, and Coke's announcement of a new flavor, and Jan's announcement that she got a promotion, and your local tire service's announcement of a one-day sale, etc. etc.

  • 2) Can Twitter kill a company? Do we have checks and balances?
    Created by Mitch Cohen at 05/27/2009 7:03:28 PM email | website

    I believe the phrase that works here is Caveat Emptor { Link }

    Twitter might spread information a little faster, but you do have to evaluate information based on it's source.

    Last year when Bloomberg inadvertently published Steve Jobs obituary what did that do to Apples stock price temporarily. Is Bloomberg a trusted source for news? I did not find any story about that incident which included Twitter as a source of spreading that news.

    Not a new problem... an old problem taking in a slightly new shape.

  • 3) twitter
    Created by srdha at 05/28/2009 5:58:15 AM email | website

    i gust want to say some thing "great job"

    Update your Twitter randomly according to your intrest Or, from Rss Feed Or, from your own tweet message list Or, Any combination of the above three { Link }

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