Sometimes when I tweet, I feel like I’m shouting into the void. Unlike Facebook, where my friends seem to care about the minutae that I talk about or at least comment, responses and retweets come relatively thin. This isn’t really a problem for me, but sometimes I have something important I want to say or promote and it gets lost in the Twitterverse.
Well if you’ve got something important to say and other people think it’s important too, there’s a new website that may be able to help you: Thunderclap. @Thundrclap
It reminds me of Kickstarter: you write out a tweet, set a goal of the number of other users you want to support you and a time frame of when they will need to support you by, and then get at least your goal number of users to support the cause. Once you reach the end of the time period, if you’ve met your goal, all of the Twitter users who supported it will simultaneously retweet your original tweet.
Obviously this doesn’t work for tweets that need to go out as soon as possible, but if you’re looking for support for an ongoing cause or something you know will be happening in a week’s time, it could be incredibly useful.
Unsurprisingly, Matt Taibbi @mtaibbi, writer for Rolling Stone, active Tweeter, and supporter of Occupy, is one of the first big names using the site. The site functions very similarly to the way the Occupy groups amplified their message — they weren’t allowed megaphones, so the audience would repeat what the original speaker said all together so anyone who didn’t hear it the first time would hear it the second. Likewise, Thunderclap makes sure enough people retweet your message that it is heard by a large audience — crowdtweeting.
As Wired mentions in their article on the subject, there seems to be a high probability of abuse of the system or of it simply becoming annoying. It seems like it’s possibly a great way of getting grassroots support and interest in causes, but it also could be used by companies trying to sell products or by so many people that it becomes muddied.
As an aside, it also makes me want to sing the ThunderCats theme.