Thursday, August 13

Microspam = Macroprofits

I still hold true to my theory that Twitter’s future is as a content repository, not a communication tool. Let’s face it, the majority of Twitter users are pumping out personal content with minimal knowledge if anyone actually reads it. It’s always a surprise when someone retweets or direct replies to my posts. After awhile you forget there are actually Twitter people following you.

But match exponentially-growing content with the idea of live search, and suddenly something interesting is happening in Twitterville: contextually-targeted 1 to 1 real time communication. In 140 characters or less that teeters on the border of Microspam.

Earlier this summer I posted a tweet that mentioned "Tetris" [made it to the 8th level of Luggage Tetris]. Immediately I received notice that I was retweeted by @a_Tetris. Which, under closer inspection, is a Twitter account automatically reposting any tweet with Tetris in it. With 376 followers, not sure the overall benefit of that, but interesting use of technology nonetheless.

Similar thing happened when I used "moon" [gave permission for the kids to moon the Applebee's next to our hotel]. Oh Obi Wan imposter, your retro one liner was delightfully unexpected, even if you have repeated it 35,000 times.

A month later we were on a roadtrip and I tweeted about a roadside church sign [Alabama church sign of the day = Stop, drop & roll won't work in Hell]. Again, immediately retweeted by @Church_Sign, who reposts any church sign tweet to a limited group of devout Americana Christians.

I doubt these people are hitting Twitter Search every 5 minutes with their keywords of choice. Already there is a software business model evolving to support your every Twitter need -- similar to all the new service companies that eBay spawned as it grew in popularity [1, 2, 34567].

These are interesting uses of real-time responses to real-time content, under the guise of real-time communication. But what about all the dotcom entrepreneurs, up late trying to figure out How do I make money off this damn thing?

Oh, hello @JoniSloan, you may be a genius.

So today I posted a little Kindle-related wit [lady on flight carried a Kindle and a paperback, which kinda defeats the purpose]. Immediately I was reposted by @JoniSloan, who noted that she was reading a book on her Kindle and loved it. Included in her post was this short URL = I noticed she include six other @people in her reply, who probably also mentioned Kindle around the same time I did. A click of the URL sent me to Amazon’s Kindle purchase page.

A quick view of her recent tweets shows she reposts specifically about purchasable products. All accompanied by links to e-commerce sites, all tagged with affiliate marketing codes. So Joni is earning a few pennies for any purchases made by users who clicked her tweet links. All of the sudden you’ve got a Twitter business model! Microfiliate Marketing!

I’m not quite sure if this ranks as contextually-relevant Spam. Maybe when it reaches the point where every one of my tweets receives a slew of retweets, directly related to the number of nouns that I used in it. But for now it’s one of the smartest manipulations of Twitter since the fake celebrity account.

So here’s your test of the day. Tweet this and see what happens:

Just passed a church sign that said:
"Hell is playing Kindle Tetris on the moon.”

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