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Do you tweet?

There’s a whole other world out there.

A world where people log on to Twitter to tweet, and retweet and chat with other tweeples. But what is it all about? Is it just another time waster? A little sister to Facebook that’s easier to log onto and see what people’s status updates are? Or is it, potentially the next big thing in online marketing?

Jason Calacanis, from a US company called Mahalo Answers (“Share Knowledge, Learn and Get Questions Answered” — with the secret being that you get “paid” a nominal fee for the best answer) recently offered Twitter CEO Evan Williams, founder Jack Dorsey and investors Fred Wilson and Bijan Sabet a $250 000 lump sum to be featured as one of the suggested users on Twitter. When you log on to Twitter certain users are suggested for you to follow. Calacanis’s logic is that if they accepted his quarter of a million dollars (which they didn’t), he would have gained two to ten million Twitter followers and would have been able to drive one to two million visits to Mahalo Answers every month.

Interesting stuff. Especially, for me, because up until about a week ago I had no knowledge of Twitter whatsoever, and certainly no idea that it could be used for such extensive marketing. Does it work on an individual level? I’m not sure. So far, it’s been a pleasant enough experience. I’m not hooked (as I was told I would be) and it’s not wasting time (as I was told it would). In fact, I simply scoot over to the Twitter site once or twice a day and write a one-liner. Maybe this is why it won’t end up being a major marketing tool for me, but it’s pretty annoying when people update every hour throughout the day, so I’m okay with that.

I’m curious to hear what others think about Twitter. Do you think it will catch on in South Africa in anything like the way it’s caught on in the States? Obviously internet is not nearly as readily accessible here but for those who are online all the time will Twitter become an indispensable tool?

I’m waiting, and watching, and twittering, and tweeting and I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

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