Warning - This may be the most trivial thing I've ever blogged. Stop reading now if you're looking for insights into customer experience, business strategy or anything of value really.
A few months back I started to use Twitter in earnest. (Before that, I only ever tweeted that I was updating Twitter, but some serious people started to follow my tweets and the joke wore thin).
I have to confess, I still don't know why I should Tweet. I do it because I feel a need to be involved with new media and it's there and it doesn't take up much time. However, I don't derive great pleasure from it and it hasn't altered the way I behave... at least, nothing like as much as Digg, Facebook, Delicious, iGoogle and other social media did. Things got easier when I started to use Tweetdeck instead of Twitter's web interface. Pretty soon I intend to download a solution to my mobile device, so that I can take snaps, post them to Twitpic or Flickr and I guess it would be easier still if I used some software to automate Tweets like Guy Kawasaki and other ueber-Twitterers seem to, but that doesn't feel right to me.
More experienced Twitterers, like my colleague Jeremiah, have spent time to work out how firms can use the medium to engage with customers and promote their brands.
I can't resist commenting on another piece of news related to maps ...
Google launched it's StreetView tool for London today. I remember when this happened in Tokyo. Perhaps Google's following me...
So what's new?
I noticed that Google has already blurred the faces of the people that are in view on this tool. The fact that Google showed people's faces when StreetView launched in Japan sparked a backlash and demands for greater respect for the privacy of individuals.
Last week I received a briefing from the mobile technology vendor Service2Media. They were pretty excited to tell me about the mobile solutions they're creating for CNN, De Telegraaf and other media companies. They've also been working on travel solutions and launched a new service with the Dutch National railways today -- Reisplanner Xtra:
If you've lived in Japan and used Navitime, this kind of location aware, intelligent travel solution will be pretty familiar. However, it seems that ReisPlanner Xtra is the first mobile widget able to display context-aware travel information in Europe. Pretty soon, I predict that European consumers will start to expect this kind of intelligent, context-aware support on the device in their pockets from their banks, travel companies, news sources, social networks etc.
I want a version of this application for the UK - but it will need to incorporate some extra information to be useful:
(1) How to get the cheapest ticket - notoriously complicated here