Thursday, August 09, 2007

Use Twitter (and/or RSS) for improving corporate and municipal communications

Seth Godin had a good post this morning about New York City's poor communication after yesterday morning's storm. His summary: "[in an emergency situation,] the first thing to rehearse is your communication strategy".

Earlier this year, I made a forecast that Twitter would mushroom as its commercial uses were adopted (see item #7). Several companies have began to use it. But it may prevail that the most useful uses for Twitter (and RSS feeds in general) will come from municipal groups (some quasi-) alerting citizens of fires, earthquakes, SF weather, Atlantic hurricanes, etc. Digging around, I found that there is a Bay Area Traffic Jam feed (though my bridge isn't covered) and a BART problem feed. Both are useful...but who knows about them?

The biggest problem isn't creating those feeds, it is educating consumers how to use them. My girlfriend's 15 year-old brother doesn't know what RSS or Twitter is. My mother doesn't know about them; nor does my brother or his kids. I would expect that 90% of America has no clue about them. So...the do we educate people about using feeds?

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