'Will the Queen tweet?' and more on Twitter

Johnny Green/AP
Think she'll tweet this? Queen Elizabeth II knights Sir Donald McKinnon at Buckingham Palace on Thursday.

Oprah does it. So does Martha. Now, Queen Elizabeth II can have her say on microblogging site Twitter.

Will followers of @BritishMonarchy get 140-character glimpses into what the British monarch's having for lunch? Or rants on delays for the royal plane? Not likely.

Unsurprisingly, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson has said that the account won't be used to air personal opinions. As the Guardian put it, "Those whose interests extend to links to galleries of the Queen meeting people, knighting people and so on will find it agreeable. Next."

The account has just over 2,000 followers as of this writing, but follows just three other users. One of them: Scottish tennis star Andy Murray.

Birth of the 'Twintern'

The Big Money has an interesting profile of 22 year-old Alexa Robinson, the first Twitter intern for Pizza Hut. The UNC-Chapel Hill grad spends most of her days sending out tweets about the restaurant chain's products and responding to customers on the microbblogging site. How's that for a sweet savory summer gig?

We've written before in this space about the impact a strong presence on Twitter can make for a company. But the Big Money article cautions companies who would follow Pizza Hut's lead, unleashing an inexperienced worker on Twitter without oversight.

How much trouble can 140 characters really stir up? A lot, it turns out. In London, a twittering intern for home-furnishings retailer Habitat got in big trouble last month after he sent out misleading tweets that included commonly searched words related to the protests in Iran. He added keywords—called "hashtags" in Twitterspeak—such as Iran and Mousavi to messages so that people who searched for information about the protests would see his employer's ads instead.

Oops. A better approach, Robinson writes, is leaving the tweeting to higher-ups, as Jetblue, Zappos.com, and McDonald's do.

Murdoch not interested

At the Sun Valley media and technology conference in Idaho this week, News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch cautioned those thinking of investing in Twitter, Reuters reported. The annual conference is described as offering hot Internet start-ups that older media conglomerates seek to buy to enhance their businesses.

Mr. Murdoch's company bought now-struggling social networking site MySpace in 2005. The site recently laid off 400 workers, or 30 percent of its staff. Asked whether he'd now consider selling it, Murdoch reportedly replied "Hell no."

La Russa strikes out with balked-at lawsuit

Those puns were just too easy. Apologies.

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa made headlines last month when he sued Twitter because someone had registered an account in his name and was pretending to be him on the site. This week the suit was officially dropped [link opens PDF].

Impersonation is a violation of Twitter's terms of service, so the site disabled the account, but as TechCrunch reports, there is some disparity in how the suit came to be dropped. La Russa claimed he and Twitter reached a settlement out of court where the site agreed to donate money to his charity. Twitter, in a blog post detailing its "verified accounts" initiative, says that no money changed hands.


We're not the Queen and we don't sell pizza, but we're on Twitter too. Follow us @csmhorizonsblog.

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