Twitter releases “10 Most Powerful Tweets of 2010″

Yesterday, Twitter released its list of the ten most powerful tweets of 2010.  The chosen tweets, according to the Twitter Blog, “represent the dynamic ways that people use Twitter in the political world, for disaster relief, and to add commentary to news events, sports and entertainment.”

Some might wonder how Ann Curry, an NBC reporter tweeting a plea to the US Air Force to allow Doctors Without Borders to land their plane in Haiti after the earthquake, instigated any real action.  According to the Smart Blog on Social Media, the story began when Curry saw a tweet from Doctors Without Borders about their frustrating inability to land in Haiti.  This caught her attention, and not only did she tweet about the problem herself, she was able to contact Pentagon officials and solve the problem.

Interestingly, Doctors Without Borders also issued a press release about the problem.  But it was a humble little tweet, less than 140 characters in length, that got the attention of those who actually took action.

Many local governments and agencies, the City of Seattle included, are increasing their use of online social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook.   For example, Mayor McGinn tweets frequently, and King County Metro has an amazingly thorough Twitter feed.  Cities and counties are finding new ways to communicate with citizens — beyond  carefully crafted and vetted press releases — and Twitter remains on the forefront.

Many City of Seattle departments and elected officials have Facebook and Twitter accounts.  Check them out!

New WordPress “Tweet Button” Available!

WordPress has added an “Official Tweet Button” for all WordPress.com blogs!  It’s a really exciting feature that allows your readers to easily tweet a link to your blog post.

To add the button to your blog, go to Appearance > Extras menu and select the Show a Twitter Tweet Button on my posts option.

Read more about the “Tweet Button” on WordPress.com’s blog.

How is your neighborhood/community group integrating tools like Twitter and Facebook with blogs?  Comment below!

Accessibility tool for Twitter

As we work with communities to expand their social networks, we’re often asked the question about resources for people living with disabilities.  One tool I’ve found is Qwitter – what is Qwitter??  Qwitter is an accessible Twitter client designed for access by the blind, providing an innovative integration between Twitter and a user’s screen reader.  For a comprehensive look at Qwitter, and all its features, capabilities and quirks, visit them at http://qwitter-client.net/.

Twitter to use “Promotional Tweets” as paid advertising.

According to this New York Times article by Claire Cain Miller, Twitter has a plan for “Promoted Tweets,” which will pop up when a user does a keyword search:

The ads will let businesses insert themselves into the stream of real-time conversation on Twitter to ensure their posts do not get buried in the flow.

Starbucks, for instance, often publishes Twitter posts about its promotions, like free pastries. But the messages quickly get lost in the thousands of posts from users who happen to mention meeting at Starbucks.

What does this mean for you, as a Twitter user?  The “Promoted Tweets” seem very similar to Google’s “Sponsored Results,” in that the advertiser-sponsored tweets will appear within the search results.  Eventually, it could mean that you see tweets from companies that you aren’t even following, without searching for keywords.  Twitter seems committed to making sure that the new advertising system doesn’t turn users away:

It is still figuring out how to determine which promoted posts should appear. It could be based on topics they are writing about, geographic location or shared interests of people they follow.

Interested in learning more? Check out Twitter’s video tutorial.  It’s aimed at potential advertisers, but still informative for the average Twitter user.

Sources: NY Times, Twitter Support