A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell as Tweet…

By Margaret Pryor
Lately I’ve been wondering why would I use Twitter, the seemingly ubiquitous microblogging service founded in 2006.

Margaret Pryor

Margaret Pryor

Twitter users reply to the question “What are you doing?” by sending short text messages up to 140 characters in length, called “tweets” to their friends or followers.

Do I really want to know the latest thought that popped in to a friend’s head, or what an acquaintance had for breakfast? I’m still not convinced.

But as I continue my research, I find that Twitter can also be used in business to generate traffic, get leads, and put you in touch with high profile people. Now I’m getting interested.

But what has really captured my attention is that out there in the Twitterverse is a small set of extremely creative Twitter users who have used the application to build innovative devices.

One such device is Botanicalls, described on its Web site as “a new channel of communication between plants and humans.”botanical

Have you ever wondered how your plants were doing on any given day? Probably not, but now they can tell you anyway!  Developed in 2006, the original version of Botanicalls used a sensor that enabled plants to call people on the phone to let their needs be known.  Today Botanicalls has evolved to allow plants to contact their owners via tweets on Twitter.  The plant will send polite messages; such as “Water me please,” and when watered will send a thank you message.  If ignored, the plant’s messages become more urgent.

The Web site says:

“1. Keep the plants alive by translating the communication protocols of the plants (leaf habit, color of foliage, droop, etc) to more common human communication protocols (email, voice phone calls, digital visualizations, etc).

2. Enhance people’s connection to plants, and explore the ways plants help humans, how caring for a shared resource can create sense of community, and how natural life is a valuable counterpoint to our technical environment.

3. Maintain a sense of humor at all times.”

I must have one!  Botanicalls are sold for $99 and come in assemble-it-yourself kits.

Now that is a great use of Twitter!