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6/25/2009
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Enterprise 2.0: Twitter Up, Facebook, MySpace Down

Twitter is this year's social networking phenom. Last year it was Facebook. Next year's is anyone's guess.

Whither Facebook?

Maybe it's withering away. At least that's what a show of hands at Enterprise 2.0 may suggest.

Jessica Lipnack, the moderator of a session entitled "How Twitter Changes Everything" asked for a show of hands at the session to illustrate the first application audience participants turned to in the morning.

The largest percentage -- roughly fifty of the few hundred at the meeting -- raised hands when asked who turned to e-mail first; almost as many raised their hands when Lipnack asked who went to Twitter first.

But Facebook got just a few hands and the meager response drew a collective "oh" from the startled crowd.

"Last year it was Facebook," said Lipnack who is co-founder of consultancy NetAge. "This year it's Twitter. Who knows what it will be next year?"

Indeed, the show of hands demonstrated just how fickle consumers can be about the recent social networking phenomenon. Earlier this month, MySpace said it would cut 30% of its work force.

At the Enterprise 2.0 meeting, panel participants and audience members seemed to be groping to find a direction for Twitter with some saying it is already a boon for their business while others hesitated.

Isaac Garcia of Central Desktop said he believes Twitter is good for business and its business use will likely improve. However, he said: "I still believe a lot of it is spam."

One audience member, who said his company has 55,000 users, said his company is still hesitating on using Twitter.

Clara Shih of salesforce.com and author of "The Facebook Era," cited some successful uses of Twitter by businesses. She noted that Dell used Twitter in a successful marketing campaign. She said: "Twitter is really growing up."

Salesforce, or course, has been a successful user of Twitter. In January, the cloud computing pioneer unveiled a Twitter application to assist customers with product problems -- now they can tweet for help rather than call customer service.


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