Twitter is an amazing system. It’s a messaging platform that can reach almost anyone — if that person or company knows how to drown out the noise and listen. It’s also an amazing way to get across key concepts or ideas, but it doesn’t really work to continue an in-depth conversation. Get Satisfaction‘s new tool, Overheard, helps you find people talking about your company or products and then engage them in conversation. (Disclosure: OATV has an investment in GetSatisfaction.)
Overheard works quite simply once you’ve got a Get Satisfaction account. Just add your search terms to Overheard (in our case we need add “-bill” and “-factor” to get good results). GetSatisfaction uses the Summize public API (an excellent Twitter search engine) to get relevant tweets. The results are shown on the company’s GetSatisfaction pages and each tweet can be replied inline and made a conversation topic. When a company replies to a Tweet it uses Twitter’s @ command to let the original author know that the conversation can be moved to GetSatisfaction (as Thomas Knoll of Seesmic did in the image above). If you are curious which companies are Twitter-savvy just watch the account that GetSatisfaction uses to send all of the messages.
Like everything I see from the Satisfactory this feature is very well-designed. It does what it says it does very well and simply, but like all users I am hoping that they add some complexity (um, more features). support for additional platforms, an RSS feed for the page, and the ability to have multiple sets of Overheard terms.
I appreciate any tool that helps me increase the signal of Twitter. Overheard does for online what Twitter visualizers do for events — contain and constrain the conversation to what’s relevant now.