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Tweeting for a cause!

October 18, 2009 Leave a comment

From the article, Twitter and Amateur Vintners Mash Up for Charity, Twitter is rounding up a gang of winemakers — potentially tens of millions of them, to collaborate online for the benefit of a pro-literacy nonprofit organization.

The project is a partnership with Crushpad, a company that lets lovers of the grape create their own barrels of wine.

While others have used Twitter to raise money for or attention to various issues, the project, which launches Thursday, is the first official attempt by Twitter as a company to raise money for a cause, said Twitter spokesperson Jenna Sampson.

“It’s definitely an experiment,” said Michael Brill, president and CEO of Crushpad, the winery teaming with Twitter and the pro-literacy group Room to Read.

The project began after a few Twitter employees got involved with Crushpad, a facility that allows enthusiasts to create their own barrels of wine without having to own a vineyard. Crushpad, which like Twitter and Room to Read is based in San Francisco, provides grapes, equipment, expertise, storage and bottling.

“It became apparent pretty quickly that we could probably create a wine, great wine, sell it for a relatively low price, and take some chunk of the proceeds and send it to Room to Read,” Brill said.

“It’s winemaking, which is usually for us a four or five person endeavor, mixed with Twitter, which is a tens of millions person endeavor,” said Brill. “What happens when you push those things together? I’m hoping we just average the two customer  bases,” he said with a laugh.

Grapes for the new wine already have been trucked into the Crushpad facility and are in the process of being crushed and fermented. Once the project begins, there will be a Twitter account “(at)fledgling” where followers can get updates on the grapes’ progress.

Early next year, there will be a barrel tasting — in San Francisco and at remote locations using mailed samples — with tasters tweeting their opinions. The finished wine — just how many cases is still to be determined — will sell for US$20 a bottle, with $5 of that going to Room to Read.

“We’re excited,” says Room to Read founder John Wood. “Our team and their team together making wine — it’s a way to have a lot of fun and it’s a way to create a lot of libraries at the same time.”

***

I salute Twitter for bringing up this noble endeavor! Literacy, especially reading, is one of the most important skills the youth have to be equipped with, and Twitter’s stepping up to support this cause is a huge milestone, for it fulfills its Corporate Social Responsibility to greater extents.

Teaming up with two noteworthy companies: Crushpad(the wine company), and Room to Read (the beneficiary), they have capitalized not only on the power of the micro-blogging platform, but also to the great interest of the networked market of Twitter on wine-making, to realize a worthy objective of buying books to teach reading.

That’s what I could call, “Hitting three birds in one stone!” Twweeet Twweeet!

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The Google-Microsoft rivalry on a Twitter acquisition battle.

October 11, 2009 Leave a comment

In a recent article, “Google, Microsoft and Twitter’s Golden Egg”, Google and Microsoft are reportedly in separate talks with Twitter with the goal of licensing the microblogging site’s rich store of data.

The potential deal structures could be anything from up-front payments to revenue-sharing schemes, according to All Things Digital.

For their part, Google and Microsoft could receive access to a treasure trove of data. For Microsoft in particular, with its recently launched Bing, it could mean an important leg-up in the search engine wars.

“These sites are most interested in what people are talking about,” said Dan Rayburn, principal analyst in Frost & Sullivan’s digital media practice. “What are the hot topics of the moment?”

It’s possible Google wants to launch a similar service as part of its ever-growing portfolio of free apps, Ken Saunders, president of Search Engine Experts speculated.  It’s also questionable how seriously Microsoft is considering a deal with Twitter.

“Google has a lot of applications that it does not charge for,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

“I would guess Microsoft is involved either because it has gone into reactionary mode, or because it wants to drive up the price for Google,” Saunders said.

Being able to better target advertising is another reason Google and Microsoft might be intent on licensing the technology, suggested Jeffrey Johnson, a partner with Pryor Cashman.

Whatever form a licensing deal might take — and for whatever purpose — the transaction would sit nicely on top of several bubbling Web 2.0 trends, starting with the microblogging frenzy led by the seemingly unpierceable Twitter.

***

Haha! As expected, not long will be the time where Twitter will be under this kinds of negotiation, due to the reason that it has no profit model! Since it isn’t monetizable,  it is a perfect target for the two software giants now aiming for the dominance on the internet. It’s real-time collection of pertinent data is a great propeller for their respective search engines: Google Search and Bing.

For me, it’s also another ploy for Microsoft to disrupt Google’s strong momentum. It’s all about market share – the theme of the two giant’s exciting rivalry. We’ll see what happens next. 🙂

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