4 impressive ways people have used Twitter to help their cause

June 24, 2009

I wrote a few days ago about how different people are using Twitter. Another growing use of Twitter is petitioning. One of Twitter's strengths is content sharing both in the form of links and retweets (RTs). As the popularity of retweeting has grown and Twitter has improved its search capabilities, many people have come up with some creative and powerful ways to take advantage of the Twitmosphere to help fight for a cause. Here are 4 particularly impressive ones:

1. Twitter Petitioning

Twitition.com is a neat service that allows you to create petitions that people people can sign by retweeting a message. While it seems like a simple concept, a Twitition for lower iPhone upgrade prices got over 10,000 RTs (the first link ever to do so) in just over 78 hours. Check out the graph below to see the steady stream of retweets:

Less than a week ago, more than 6000 people signed a Twitition asking Google Earth to update satellite images of Tehran. Within 24 hours, Google responded with up-to-date images. Mission success.

2. Using Tweets to Market A Company

Less Everything is a web firm that sells an application to help simplify the accounting process. They had trouble with Quickbooks, believed other people might feel the same way, and created weallhatequickbooks.com to aggregate every tweet about Quickbooks. They're promoting transparency by allowing people to see what people are saying about their competitor (both positive and negative) so customers can make an educated decision

3. Taking down Microsoft, one tweet at a time

When they heard Microsoft wasn't planning on supporting CSS and other design standards in Outlook 2010, the Email Standards Project and Campaign Monitor took action. They created fixoutlook.org (maybe the most beautiful of the bunch) to encourage tweeple to spread the news about Microsoft Outlook's layout issues.

The site displays a wall of the avatars of every twitter user who tweeted 'fixoutlook.org' and highlights specific tweets through conversation bubbles. The site is continually updated every 16 tweets. 18,000 tweets later (the site was launched earlier today), Microsoft released this announcement. It looks like Microsoft is sticking to their guns for now. But who knows, with enough nay-sayers, maybe they'll change their mind.

4. Going Green to Support Iran Election Protestors

Twitter has gotten a ton of press in the last few weeks because of the important role it's playing as a news source for the political chaos in Iran. So it only makes sense that Twitter users have found a way to show their support, by giving their Twitter avatar a greenish hugh. Doesn't sound like much? Well when almost 8000 people band together and iran.greenthumbnails.com displays those avatars as a united Green Wall of support, it became something truly special.

These people realized the potential of Twitter far beyond 140 simple characters. The power of Twitter is its connectivity. How else have people truly utilized Twitter's potential? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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