Twitter gives you 140 words to instant-message the world. Is it enough? "Plenty," says Paul Levy (right), president and chief executive of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, who sends out two or three tweets a day, from links to his blog postings to everyday thoughts such as: "Chinese banquet tonight at Chinatown Cafe in Boston. Still full." He estimates he has more than 1,000 people following his micro-blogs, and even once twittered, "I'm trying to figure out why I got a huge influx of followers within an hour overnight. Can someone explain?"
The power of Twitter, the ubiquitous online networking site offering real-time communication, is being explored by everyone from rock stars to Her Majesty the Queen. A recent Pew poll showed that one in five adults have used Twitter or similar services. And now, jumping onto what Google CEO Eric Schmidt called "a poor man's e-mail system" are corporate hotshots like Levy.
George Colony, CEO of Forrester Research in Cambridge, said in a recent tweet: "At the Apple store in NYC. Think about Steve Jobs's job. He has to fill this place full of cool new tech every 18 months. Sustainable?"
But what's the point of all this executive twittering? Diane Hessan, CEO of CommuniSpace in Watertown, says, "I am on Twitter because it's the ideal cocktail party. And I don't have to wear heels."