Concept: using Twitter as a flow regulator

On: April 3, 2009
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This scenario will illustrate the possibilities of social media like twitter to have a positive and substantial influence on ordinary life. In this case, the “flow regulator tweet” will very efficiently regulate the flow of people waiting in line and therefor Twitter could make waiting obsolete.

Imagine this: You have an appointment at the local district for the application of a social benefit, because your boss hasn’t extended your contract. As a result, you haven’t got an income. At the counter, an employee reads you the following instructions: Go to Twitter and search for: ‘adamlocalaffairs’. ‘follow’ this account and send this message: “dontbsquare: @adamlocalaffairs #form16”. Next, you’ll open your favorite twitter application on your mobile phone and setup the instructions. The first message you receive is “adamlocalaffairs: @dontbsquare you’ve got 18 people before you in line. This will take approximately 30min.” Now, instead of waiting in line, you take a walk to the nearest coffee shop. Because, you haven’t got the resources to buy a cup, you have to put up with watching people drinking coffee… Meanwhile, the following tweet is popping up: “adamlocalaffairs: @dikkidik please, show up at counter 6”. You are wondering how many people are still before you waiting in line. So, you tweet: “dontbsquare: @adamlocalaffairs ?number”. Immediately, you are receiving “adamlocalaffairs: @dontbsquare still 8 people before you in line. this will take another 15min.”
next, you are done looking at the people drinking coffee and you’ve decided to gently return towards the local district. Within a minute, you receive this message: “adamlocalaffairs: @dontbsquare please, show up at counter 4”. At this counter, the employee of the local district helps you with the appropriate administration and within a couple of weeks, you will be able to buy yourself a cup of coffee again.

I think that twitter or similar social media could make the ordinary life a lot easier and definitely more efficient. It is not being said that we should be totally depending on these technology, but a minor increase of new media adaptation is welcome.

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3 Responses to “Concept: using Twitter as a flow regulator”
  • April 8, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Systems like this already exist using SMS. I would prefer the SMS implementation as it’s less public – I might not want people to know I’m unemployed, or any other personal scenarios that a govt dept could ‘broadcast’ on Twitter by using this system.

  • April 8, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    I agree unemployment or broadcasting personal information is ‘taboo’, but this is an issue which could be overcome by further developing the (still beta) twitter functionality. Twitter could influence the public domain as is shown in this clip: http://vimeo.com/3972081

  • April 12, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    If Twitter would be used for more systems like this it’s useful for the person using it but for their followers it’s spam.

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