Twitter, FM, and Microsoft Extend Association with ExecTweets IT

Six months after Twitter, Microsoft and Federated Media teamed up to launch ExecTweets, a service that streams business tweets from a handpicked collection of executives, the group is debuting a new project, ExecTweets IT.

ExecTweets IT functions on the same premise as the original ExecTweets, but is tailored for the Information Technology community. A group of prominent IT bloggers has been picked to share their tweets on the site, including Richard MacManus of ReadWriteWeb, GigaOM, and Mashable. Harry McCracken, former editor-in-chief of PC World and current editor of FM’s Technologizer blog, has been chosen to “curate” the page.

“On the highest level this is just like ExecTweets only it is further dialed down and curated very specifically for the professional IT community,” Matthew DiPietro, Federated Media spokesman, said. “What we’re seeing now is marketers creating Web properties that act a lot like standalone media properties, and it takes professional people to be able to curate and bring all this stuff together in a way that is useful and valuable to the community.”

ExecTweets was Twitter’s first-ever association with a marketer, and has attracted more than 1 million followers since it debuted in May. Extending the service to IT professionals carries obvious benefits for both Twitter and Microsoft, for whom the IT community includes some of its most highly engaged customers. There is a Microsoft banner ad on the bottom of the ExecTweets IT page and links to Microsoft IT resources in a display box on the right.

In addition to the stream of IT-related tweets, the page has an IT blog, and a “Town Hall.” IT professionals can enter questions into the Town Hall and get answers from other experts in the field. The Town Hall is powered by Aardvark (Vark.com), a “social search engine” that sends queries to individuals rather than search the Web for links.

Unlike ExecTweets, Twitter users cannot directly follow ExecTweets IT; the service has no traditional Twitter feed. Users must visit the site to experience the service.

Still, DiPietro said that FM and its partners believe that IT executives will bookmark the page because it provides a practical service.

“We preach here at FM that marketing must add value to the community,” he said. “We are so far beyond push marketing on the Web.”

There are currently no further iterations of Exectweets in the works, according to DiPietro, but FM and Microsoft have teamed with Twitter on other projects, such as BingTweets, a mashup of Bing and Twitter search results, and Harmony Tweets, which is aimed at Toyota Prius owners.

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