How Twitter Can Benefit Your Business

The customer service benefits to using Twitter have become apparent to companies large and small. Michele Obama and Rupert Murdoch are the latest individuals to fire off tweets.

What's the Latest Development?

For Michele Obama and Rupert Murdoch, the twittersphere's latest headliners, tweeting is a way of engaging their public beyond their well-established brands. In Obama's case, Twitter gives a healthy dose of transparency. For Murdoch, perhaps there is a humanizing effect. But a personal touch is not always necessary. Large companies have taken to Twitter to improve their customer service initiatives and in many cases, it is working. Best Buy has been the most forceful, having 3,000 of its employees respond to incoming tweets.

What's the Big Idea?

A company's Twitter followers expect replies in less than a day, says communications consultant Richard Levick. That effort can often be stymied by lawyers concerned over possible litigation. But at Comcast, one of America's less image-savvy companies, Twitter has changed their customer service culture for the better. Even negative interactions on Twitter can be good since "the world can watch and listen as your company engages, fixes problems, soothes complainers, and shares insight."

3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

Northwell Health
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
  • Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
  • Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
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Lama Rod Owens – the price of the ticket to freedom

An ordained Lama in a Tibetan Buddhist lineage, Lama Rod grew up a queer, black male within the black Christian church in the American south. Navigating all of these intersecting, evolving identities has led him to a life's work based on compassion for self and others.

Think Again Podcasts
  • "What I'm interested in is deep, systematic change. What I understand now is that real change doesn't happen until change on the inside begins to happen."
  • "Masculinity is not inherently toxic. Patriarchy is toxic. We have to let that energy go so we can stop forcing other people to do emotional labor for us."
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For most of history, humans got smarter. That's now reversing.

We were gaining three IQ points per decade for many, many years. Now, that's going backward. Could this explain some of our choices lately?

The Flynn effect appears to be in retrograde. (Credit: Shutterstock/Big Think)

There's a new study out of Norway that indicates our—well, technically, their—IQs are shrinking, to the tune of about seven IQ points per generation.

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Lateral thinking: The reason you’ve heard of Nintendo and Marvel

Here's why generalists triumph over specialists in the new era of innovation.

  • Since the explosion of the knowledge economy in the 1990s, generalist inventors have been making larger and more important contributions than specialists.
  • One theory is that the rise of rapid communication technologies allowed the information created by specialists to be rapidly disseminated, meaning generalists can combine information across disciplines to invent something new.
  • Here, David Epstein explains how Nintendo's Game Boy was a case of "lateral thinking with withered technology." He also relays the findings of a fascinating study that found the common factor of success among comic book authors.
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