Twitter has been one of the hottest topics in the past several years, being linked to everything from potential terrorists attacks to celebrity slugfests, and even an upcoming Twitter-based reality show. Turns out it's also pretty effective marketing tool capable of boosting sales by millions of dollars.
Try $3 million, to be exact, which is how much Dell said Twitter helped the OEM rake in from followers who clicked through its posts. Of those sales, Dell made $1 million in the past 6 months alone.
"We're going to watch it over time to make sure it's tracking at the right level," said Lionel Menchaca, Dell's chief blogger. "It is trending upward and that's what we're going to be looking at overall."
Compared to Dell's $12.3 billion revenue for Q1 of this year, $3 million in sales doesn't seem like much. But no matter how much the world's second largest PC maker brings in, it's tough to scoff at millions of dollars, especially for those from the outside looking in and wondering what Twitter can do for them.
Since before Ashton Kutcher championed the service, Twitter has been a cacophony of meaningless vapid personal updates, narcissistic celebrity feeds (not including Levar Burton, of course), and bored Facebook users looking for a new way to stalk that girl next door. There’s no denying that the microblogging social network has managed to grow at epic proportions - easily becoming one of the most popular Internet fads of the year - but it's not easy filtering the signal from the noise.
Here’s a novel idea: what if we could get more from Twitter than simply monotonous, (intentionally?) typo-plagued status updates? Newly created Twitter-spinoff sites suggest that the tweets of millions can be manipulated for the forces of good, and we're absolutely keen to the idea. Some tech-savvy companies have used the service to improve customer communications, and news organizations have used it as a way to reach audiences not possible with television and print. For those of us who’ve managed to remain optimistic about why we signed up for the service in the first place, we’ve discovered several ways to make the most out of Twitter, even if you don't have an account!
Just last week Twitter announced that they would be introducing “verified accounts,” so as to protect the identity of celebrities.
The manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, Tony La Russa, is currently suing Twitter, claiming that someone is impersonating him on their site. In response, Twitter has claimed that the lawsuit is an “unnecessary waste of judicial resources bordering on frivolous.” And, to follow this up, they suspended the account.
But, to help prevent this from happening in the future, Twitter will soon open up the beta of their verified accounts feature for a small set of public officials, public agencies, famous artists, athletes and other celebrities that could potentially be impersonated.
Starting Tuesday, the Chinese government shut down access to virtually all search engines and social networking sites, including Twitter, Flickr, Bing (Microsoft's new search engine), Live.com, Hotmail.com, Blogger, and others. All YouTube videos are also being blocked, as are BBC World News reports on the anniversary.
Are these actions unexpected? How can you bypass these types of blocks? Join us after the jump for more.
According to a new study by the Harvard School of Business’ Bill Heil and Mikolaj Piskorski, men on Twitter are far more likely to follow other men over women.
According to the study, they “found that an average man is almost twice more likely to follow another man than a woman. Similarly, an average woman is 25% more likely to follow a man than a woman. Finally, an average man is 40% more likely to be followed by another man than by a woman. These results cannot be explained by different tweeting activity - both men and women tweet at the same rate.”
What’s more interesting is that there are more women on Twitter than men. “Females hold a slight majority on Twitter: we found that men comprise 45% of Twitter users, while women represent 55%.”
Though, I’d like to take this chance to say that I’m an equal opportunity follower. It doesn’t matter if you’re Will Smith or Veronica Belmont, I’ve got no problems following Twitterers of either gender. (Oh, and don’t let your gender deter you from following me!)
Twitter’s ability to bring the world instant information will be put to a new use in the coming weeks, by testing people’s psychic abilities.
People in the UK will be asked to tweet their impressions of a randomly chosen spot by a Twitter researcher. They will then be able to vote on which of five photographs on a website shows said spot. The test will be conducted four times across different locations, and if three of the five are successfully identified, they believe that the study will give credibility to the psychic ability of remote viewing.
The head of the study, Professor Richard Wiseman from the University of Hertfordshire states, “Personally, I'm sceptical, but three hits would be against odds of one in 125, which would be quite impressive.”
With all the media coverage and celebrity reception, you'd think the whole world was Twittering by now (we certainly are!). But surprisingly, a new survey suggests the social networking phenomenon has yet to catch on among the 18- to 24-year-old crowd who also have profiles on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.
"Twitter dominates the news, but clearly we're only touching the surface of its potential as a marketing vehicle," Participatory Media Network co-founder and chairman Michael Della Penna said in a release. "This is a classic 'glass half full' scenario for Twitter because it's clear that Gen Y has an appetite for social networking, but still hasn't fully embraced micro-blogging. There is a tremendous opportunity now for marketers to develop strategies to get this important group active on Twitter too."
Conducted by Pace University and the Participatory Media Network, the survey pinged the young age group and found that all but 1 percent had a profile on a social networking site. However, only 22 percent said they use Twitter. Of those who said they do use Twitter, the survey showed that 85 percent of them follow friends, a little over half keep tabs on celebrities, and 29 percent follow family members and companies.
This one raises more questions than it answers, but apparently Twitter has partnered with Reveille and Brillstein Entertainment with plans to make an unscripted reality show. According to Variety, the show will seek to "put ordinary people on the trail of celebrities in a revolutionary competitive format."
Yeah, we don't know what the ____ that means either. In fact, there's not much anyone knows about the upcoming show, other than the concept was created by novelist and screenwriter Amy Ephron, who will serve as one of many executive producers putting this thing together.
"We've found a compelling way to bring the immediacy of Twitter to life on TV," Brillstein's Jon Liebman said.
According to Google’s co-founder Larry Page, Twitter has them beat in the race to meet web user’s demands for real-time information – by a long shot.
Instead of gearing up for some heavy competition in this market, Google’s Search Engine Chairman and Chief Executive, Eric Schmidt, has hinted towards them becoming a partner of Twitter. “People really want to do stuff real time and I think they [Twitter] have done a great job about it,” said Eric Page. “I think we have done a relatively poor job of creating things that work on a per-second basis.”
No official word yet on what the partnership could be, but it’ll surely be an interesting situation to watch.
If you're a fan of open source, you're a fan of licensing. Okay, maybe not a fan. But you still have to respect the legal power of the documents attached to open-source software and projects, which describe for you the exact ways you can and cannot use, modify, and pass-along the licensed material. While a newcomer to the open source might see these licenses as restrictive entities prohibiting commercial exploitation of a body of work, they're the lifeblood of those who spend untold hours poring over the bits and bytes of a dream. Not as a means of financial extortion for companies that want to use the software, rather, these licensing documents ensure that the spirit of open source carries on regardless of a project's potential iterations.
I sometimes wish I could apply a license to everything I do on the Internet. And perhaps you will too, once you realize that you're a content creator -- just like me, anyone who writes for this site, and any of the estimated 17 million (and counting) microbloggers on the popular Twitter service. As of yesterday, Twitter has joined forces with Threadless. The t-shirt retailer and community hub is now the centerpiece in a massive effort to transform your witty public Tweets into cash-generating, hipster t-shirts. But this partnership respects the spirit of licensing, even though the actual legal rights you hold as a Twitter user are still open for debate.
Fire up your best 140-word comment and click the jump to learn about this fashionable new deal!