Originally published here
I like Twitter, I think it, and other micro-blogging services have a lot to offer to the Local Government sector and could form a foundational plank of the whole LocGov2.0 sector.
However, Twitter in Australia has a problem. It’s not about the lack of Social Media policies in Local Government, it’s not even about Name Squatters, it’s about lack of access.
Until late last year, the people behind Twitter had an Australian sms service. This meant that you could recieve and send tweets from your mobile phone over the standard network. This was hugely popular and gave Twitter an edge over other Social Media in terms of reaching people. However it turned out to be too popular. Twitter had to shutdown the service in most countries or face bankruptcy. This meant that those who primarily used twitter via mobile were now cut off from the stream.
From a Local Government perspective this meant that Twitter has gone from a cheap and effective way to reach a maximum number of people to a cut down channel that only reaches those with internet access on their phones or at their computers.
There are workarounds in place (most seem to consist of sending SMS’s to a UK gateway) however in order for Twitter to fully reach its potential as a LocGov2.0 tool, there is going to have to be an Australian SMS gateway.
Interesting…I had no idea about that problem in Australia. Good to hear your perspective.
Yeah, the joys of living in a secondary market. But I see the underlying problem as something that needs to be addressed soon for twitter, and that is what’s the business model? Where’s the money coming from?
That’s too bad. I’m sure we will be seeing that happen everywhere. Twitter is going to have to make money sooner or later.
I can’t understand why Twitter has ignored this in Australia for so long now, what a great way to keep ahead of certain trends and what people are saying, getting it directly on your phone without having to be in an app or looking at it.
It’s frustrating especially with the uptake being experienced particularly in Brisbane.