[tweetmeme] If you’re on Twitter you’ll see a lot of the get-rich-quick‘7 ways to maximise your business potential on Twitter, forever’ messages. They simply use Twitter as a mouthpiece. It should be used as a tool to augment a product – and here’s two examples that do just that.

German utility company Yello Strom is clearly into accessible tech: it manages its meters directly via households’ broadband connections, and offers access to Google’s PowerMeter. Now, it’s keeping its customers informed by enabling meters to tweet about energy use.

Each “Yello Sparzähler” smart meter (shown above, anddesigned by IDEO) is allocated its own Twitter account, which is automatically updated with energy consumption data. The Twitter account is an integral part of its design. The owner can follow the account to receive regular updates, leading to greater awareness and hopefully lower energy use.

Twitter is merely an execution of the principle behind Yello’s business, as the Executive Director Martin Vesper explains:

“Our goal is to use as many different channels as possible to inform our customers about their energy consumption.”

Another business that ‘manufactures’ frequent amounts of short alphnumeric data is a bakery. (I know, not the top of most people’s top ten list). Baker TweetEveryone knows the best time to get your baked goods is when they’re fresh out the oven. So Poke London went to the Albion bakery and proposed they use Twitter to let followers know when the goodies are ready. Apparently even No:10 has signed-up.

Who said technology is replacing local contact?

Much like “Yello Sparzähler” smart meter they needed a durable interface at the bakery – there’s no open laptops in the heat of a commercial kitchen – so they had to get a bespoke piece of hardware made: BakerTweet. Pre-programmed and re-written Tweets are chosen with a dial and sent to twitter at the press of a button. Simply follow @albionsoven on Twitter and you’ll be up to speed on the latest oven output.

It seems like the rump of traditional advertisers ‘doubt [the] effectiveness of Twitter’ by considering it a simple mouthpiece, not as a tool to augment the communication capabilities of an idea (in the form of a product).

Evidently, Yello Strom, PokeLondon, nor The Hunting Dynasty were part of the poll. Shame.


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