A lot of people in Twitter circles characterize that twittering feels like the days of early majority blogging, for me circa 2004ish with an even less mature toolset (I am being generous). With respect to business use, it seems like everyone needed more help back then, as not everyone came out of the gate running. Here Dave Sify summarized the state of the corporate blogosphere in 2004. How few the companies were. Later at the beginning of 2006 and indicative of a forthcoming early majority, Robert Scoble and Shel Israel were motivated to publish their book, "Naked Conversations: How Blogs Are Changing The Way Businesses Talk With Customers. Well, it's 2009 now, and we're in a large recession. But it seems like businesses are smarter this time around in the use of social media like Twitter. I recently ran across an article on Corporate Twitter Accounts worth following. Seems like we skipped the whole convincing phase this time around. Much less of the skeptical talk time this time around.
Kudos to those companies that are able to build brand, improve customer service, and potentially lower costs (latter less widely known) using Twitter. How often is it that companies are able to get marketing and customer service to sync up, let alone talk? It seems that we are making progress, even if it means we'll all have to learn the best practices of communicating in 140 characters or less.
Update (3/20/09): Not business-centric, but here's an article that indicate social networks more popular than email (see CNET article regarding Nielsen Online study)? Not sure how this was measured, but I don't think it is intuitively true for me, even though I consider myself a moderate blogger.
Update (3/23/09): Steve Rubel has a good post entitled, "Customer Service is the New PR". I like his post because it ties together some of the concrete stuff going on in the social media space (along with references to some of the more esoteric, forward-looking items).