The adventures of an analog engineer and digital storyteller who studies emerging networks and their impact on the great game of business.
Feb 8, 2011

So your boss strolls into your office with a new task for you.

“I need 500 people to answer a poll question. Have the results tabulated and on my desk in one-half hour.”

Impossible, right? Maybe not.

On February 3, 2011 at 11:05 a.m., Leo Laporte gave companies a glimpse at such a future when he sent the following tweet to his 263,836 followers:

His poll referred to Rupert Murdoch’s new iPad application that can be rented for either $39.99 (annual subscription) or or $0.99 (weekly).

I watched in amazement as answers flooded my Twitter stream. And although I loved the instant data, I also wondered how Leo was going to tabulate it all. That’s when he sent a followup tweet:

Exactly one-half hour later, 520 votes had not only arrived, but they’d already been tallied.


No 69.81% 363 votes
We’ll see 23.46% 122 votes
Yes 6.73% 35 votes

Think about this for a minute. 520 answers posted to an impromptu survey and the data neatly packaged in 30 minutes. Traditionally, how much time, effort and money would it take for a company to gather such data?

While most companies only see their newly found “social media” channels as yet another way to deliver their boring marketing messages, Leo Laporte has given them a glimpse at their potential future. Loyal audiences have value that can be measured on multiple levels.

Filed under: Audience is an Asset


What a great story Ron. Thanks for sharing. I continue to find people that think twitter is just a platform for mundane personal status updates. This is another great use for practical communication and business process.

Bob Williams
February 12, 2011

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