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Twitter’s August ’09 in Review

Hello everyone. It’s been a while since a Frank Friday has rolled around but it looks like we are back on schedule. So how has your holiday / vacation time been? Frankly, I haven’t had any so it’s business as usual for me. As a result I have been watching the latest and greatest, the comings and the goings, and the general spin frenzy around social media and in particular everyone’s darling Twitter. Let’s look at August 2009 and get some tweet-spective on things.

Twitter bird logo icon illustration

Image by Matt Hamm via Flickr

August 1 – Twitter starts the month hot on the heels of a new homepage design
August 4 – Reports surface that the United States Marine Corps eliminated the use of social networking tools like Twitter from its networks
August 4 – Numbers show that in June of ’09 Twitter topped 44.5 million visitors. That number is widely regarded as low for overall usage since many Twitter users access the service via third party tools like TweetDeck and Seesmic.
Aug 5 – ESPN bans Twitter usage by its staff as it relates to sports events. Apparently the network still acknowledged that their employees might actually have a private life so they invoked a mercy rule of sorts.
Aug 5 – More data to say that “Teens Don’t Tweet”
Aug 6 – Twitter goes down as a result of a DDoS (distributed denial of service) and struggle to maintain its footing
Aug 8 – British soldiers are encouraged to tweet and use common sense in their social media usage
Aug 9 – Gartner’s report shows that microblogging may be on the downhill side of hype that surrounds emerging technologies.
Aug 11 – Twitter goes down again and admits there is lingering fallout to the DDoS attack
Aug 14 – Retweets are talked about as being added as a regular feature of the service. Funny thing is most people thought it was since they never actually used the Twitter page version.
Aug 17 – Report that Twitter is gunning for spammers that include companies that claim the ability to help you buy more followers
Aug 20 – Twitter’s attempt to trademark the term tweet looks like it is featherless considering three other requests are ahead of it and, well, it was just a stupid idea from the get go
Aug 21 – Twitter reports it is looking to upgrade its location ID capabilities
Aug 21 – Twitter announces a plan to create commercial accounts to possibly, gulp, make money
Aug 25 – the Center for Media Research shows that most company executives are more afraid of social media than they likely need to be
Aug 31 – TechCrunch recognizes that Twitter conferences are sprouting up all over
So there you have it. Funny thing is that this is not even an exhaustive list. There’s more that happened during August relating to Twitter. Still many of the same basic questions remain unanswered like “How is it really best used for business?” and “How do you measure success relating to Twitter efforts?” and “Will these guys make money which means that they may be around for a while?”. I think that when we have a month that answers these questions then there will really be something to review.

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