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Twitter is continuing its wildfire like spread–now showing up in courts around the world.  Journalists are  seeking and gaining permission to Twitter about cases they’re covering so that those interested can follow the proceedings live.   While the debate about this continues, more and more judges are permitting Twitter in the courtroom.  Check out the discussion about the Pirate Bay case in Sweden.

apirate1

Follow Pirate Bay twitters here

Twitter continues to grow with an estimated 7 million who now consider themselves Twitterers.  What started as a simple idea–that of asking “what are you doing” to fellow twitterers,  has turned into a serious social phenomena .  President Obama used Twitter to promote fund-raising for his campaign and had a staff member producing Twitters for him at an astounding pace.  Mr. Obama has apparently ceased twittering since the inauguration and there are some who would like to know why.   A recent post by Paul Bouton in the New York Times is one who wants this question answered.

Barack Obama’s online presence drove his campaign’s early fund-raising and his primary victory over Hillary Rodham Clinton. His campaign’s use of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube proved that he was part of the Web 2.0 generation. In the run-up to November’s election, Senator Obama – or one of his staff members – typed more than 250 updates to his Twitter account at twitter.com/barackobama.

Some think Obama supporters have been “pumped and dumped” now that the election is over. Others believe that as president, Mr. Obama has been restricted from thumb-typing tweets on his BlackBerry because of federal restrictions on presidential communications. But that shouldn’t stop an eager intern from taking over.

What is most interesting about Twitter is its ability to yeild an extensive amount of marketing data directly from the consumer.  Twitter allows businesses to know when consumers are talking about them and what they’re saying.  It allows companies like Zappos.com to respond quickly to customer concerns and to encourage an interactive relationship.

Interviewed by  USA Today, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh says that he uses Twitter to maintain contact with the public.

For people who follow us on Twitter, it gives them more depth into what we’re like, and my own personality,” he says.

Zappos  tested a new site, zeta.zappos.com, recently on Twitter, “and we were able to make some improvements based on the comments,” says Hsieh.

Jefferson Graham from USA Today quotes CEO Mike Hudak of Blip.tv as follows:

“In the past, companies would hire a market research firm to understand their audience,” says Mike Hudack, CEO of Blip.tv, a New York-based video website.

“Now we use Twitter to get the fastest, most honest research any company ever heard – the good, bad and ugly – and it doesn’t cost a cent,” he says.
What could be more important to those in marketing than honest, fast, up to date research coming  directly from the consumer?  And Twitter is free!

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