UPDATE: I just learned about Plodt from Tikva Morowaty — another great example.
UPDATE #3: Add newly-unearthed Ginx to the list.
Today I was chatting with my colleague Brittany Todd and wanted to relay the gist of our conversation.
This is a trend that is about the leave the station – Web apps that use Twitter at their core, but are ultimately destination sites that provide domain-specific value on top of Twitter. I’m not talking about cool Twitter apps like FriendorFollow or Mr. Tweet (cool indeed) – what I mean is a new species of thing, that again, has Twitter as the core engine, but for which this functionality is only the beginning.
Creating a destination site of this caliber is the new way in which many companies and brands will take advantage of Twitter – the overarching strategy for these organizations will no longer be entail merely creating an account, accruing followers, and engaging in conversation – it will also be about things like channeling those conversations intro concrete social actions, or using a Twitter community of practice to reliably source vertically-oriented knowledge, or bringing about a greater degree of transparency in government – and these are just a few examples.
Importantly, both sites answer the question: “what now?” and “what next?” If Twitter allows us (among other things) to build social capital, then, what are we going to spend it on?
The answers to that question are varied and many. But the companies that are ahead of this trend are going to be well-positioned to funnel the mass+velocity of our favorite social media tool into actionable next steps, ranging from simple buying decisions (as we’ve seen with Dell) to more altruistic ends.