I love to watch the show “Deadliest Catch.” Those guys are literally spilling their guts to blaze that final frontier. Unfortunately, more than a few of them require some sort of rescue by the Coast Guard. The “Coasties” are as brave as they get. If you pay close attention to them and to what they say during a rescue, you will learn that they have the whole rescue process down to a fool-proof routine. Listen as they bark memorized commands during a rescue:
“Swimmer is in the basket”
“Basket is being raised”
“Basket is nearing the cabin”
Basket is at cabin level”
“Basket is in the cabin”
“Swimmer is out of the basket”
Swimmer is safe in the cabin…” and so it goes.
The helicopter pilot listens to all that is happening and he immediately becomes fully aware of what’s going on behind him without having to turn around and watch. This is “Twitter!” Think about it, the pilot is the subscriber, and he’s listening as the chopper’s observation coordinator “Tweets” his/her way through the rescue. That would be a cool thing to subscribe to.
So, how far away are we from subscribing to, and getting Tweets from the airlines about delays, mechanical problems, etc? We’re a lot closer than you think! All of the big airlines have hired people specifically to subscribe to, monitor, status, and yes, “Tweet” amongst the social networking world. They are asked by the airline to monitor the “perception of their corporate brand” as travel warriors update their status and tweet and twitter amongst themselves.
Don’t be surprised at all if the next time you’re late for a flight and it’s the airline’s fault, you receive a Tweet about it from the airline… Particularly if you wrote your own Tweet about how aggravated you were about it! They’re not stalking you; they’re just trying to turn a negative into a positive. I think it would be nice if someone from the airline were to chime into a social network conversation to say, “It’s not us that’s causing the delay, it’s the airport’s tarmac union who’s causing the problem, there’s a shift change at La Guardia right now and we all have to wait for them.”
Here’s an interesting article I found at CNN if you want to read a bit more about it. The times? They are ‘a changing!
EXTRA: If you have questions for Ken regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc, please send an email! Your questions will be recorded and Ken will answer the best ones in his Ask the Expert podcast show.