Friday, April 25, 2008

Get out of jail free tweet

Don’t get what the big deal is with Twitter?

Actually, let’s back up.

Ever heard of Twitter? If not, I’m kinda surprised you’re here reading this blog (or any blogs, for that matter). Do you have a Facebook account? That little status item that you update (“Jimmy is working for the weekend”) is essentially all Twitter is. Watch this awesome instructional video, Twitter in Plain English, created by Seattle-based Common Craft for more.

Like many folks, I have a Twitter account, but I rarely update my activities. I’m not alone. But plenty of folks are really into it, and Darryl Ohrt at Plaid is a big proponent of how to do it right.

But in case you missed this story, here’s one big benefit: Twitter could possibly save your life. Or at least get you out of jail.

Short version: UC-Berkeley grad student James Karl Burk was in Egypt covering an anti-government protest when he was arrested. On his way to the police station, Buck took out his cell phone and updated his Twitter status to "Arrested." Within seconds, colleagues in the United States and his blogger-friends in Egypt were alerted he was being held.

Great PR for Twitter.

I love when technology that was created for one simple thing gets re-purposed for something else.

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