Tuesday 10 November 2009

Still Sceptical about Twitter?

So you're still sceptical of the value of Twitter? Well, these are three little anecdotes from my life on Twitter. They're all very fresh and recent.

1. The Apples

Cover of Cover of Buzzin' About
Here I am, sitting at my laptop, my fingers tapping in rhythm to an album I've just downloaded from iTunes. The album is Buzzin' About by The Apples. Do you know them? The Israeli band that dub themselves "a mixing pot of funk, hip hop, big band jazz, rock and turntablism – all delivered in their energetic and off-kilter style". Whatever you call it, I love this kind of acid-jazz-funk trip.

I've been using music streaming service Spotify for a few weeks now. Occasionally, I bash a search into its engine to find something 'new' to listen to. I've run searches looking for tracks with the words 'coffee' and 'chocolate' in the titles. This evening I wondered if there was a band called The Apples and what it would be like. One word. Nice.

Too bad for you if you like the sound of Spotify and aren't a registered user. You need to buy premium membership (and so avoid the ads) or somehow get an invite. The service loses money. With each additional user it loses more money. The cost of streaming is greater than the revenue it gets from ads. I got my invite from Milo Yiannopoulos. As a tech writer (formerly of TechCrunch Europe), he had some invites to spare and was touting them on Twitter...

2. FreshCase

I had a delivery on Friday afternoon from FreshCase. In the cardboard package were two FreshCase wine boxes of Hardy's Nottage Hill, one white, one red.

I heard about FreshCase from Christian Payne (aka Documentally), who referes to himself as "a freelance mobile media maker who also specialises in Social Media & photography" on his website He wrote about FreshCase on his blog. He said they were offering free wine to bloggers, who'd try them out and write about them. I'll be doing that shortly.

To receive the delivery, it was necessary to follow FreshCase on Twitter and take up the offer on Twitter. Within a few minutes, I was being followed by Sarah Belizaire-Butler, who sent me a direct message to arrange delivery.

Incidentally, Documentally, was one of the first people I came across on Twitter. About a year ago, he'd made a comment about Zattoo on Twitter and I was tracking all mentions of Zattoo at the time. I'd seen the link to his blog on Friday morning on Twitter. A few hours later I had four and a half litres of wine delivered to my door. Free.

3. All play and no work?

Well, no, that's not the case. I mentioned already how I was keeping an eye on what people were saying about Zattoo. However, Twitter isn't just about what's said on the service.

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the OSCR project, the initiative from Orange with NESTA, to pull in ideas from small businesses. They're looking to create services that heighten the experience of being an Orange customer. Orange have Orange Wednesdays and O2 have their concert tickets. They're competing on experience now, not minutes and pricing, as they did in the 1990s and early 2000s.

I went along to the OSCR presentation and met some people from Orange, also the co-founder of Worldeka and the founder of, amongst others. Then I came back home and after mulling it over for a few days, sent in my application. We'll see what comes of that.

OSCR might, or might not, radically alter how TV Pixie progresses in 2010. I found out about it on Twitter.

So, what are you up to? any plans for dinner? what are you going to have for breakfast in the morning?

And if a journalist - or anybody else, for that matter - doesn't get it, please just send them this way.

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