This is the truly intriguing period of the development of Twitter, mainly because it's broadening its function from a combination text messaging/microblogging service to, well, whatever someone ingeniously devises.
Case in point: The recent accomplishment of Big Deal PR in generating a marketing campaign on Twitter under the guise of Peggy Olson, the second-most complex character (Don Draper still rules this category) in Mad Men.
Initially, the AMC network fumed when Big Deal fictionally began channelling Olson and others on Twitter. After all, Big Deal had no real right to do so. It wasn't sanctioned and AMC successfully fought it; Twitter scraped a lot of messages off.
Then it dawned on AMC: Big Deal was reaching a lot of people with the effort, well more than AMC could on its own. So it relented and Big Deal generated a lot of buzz --- and continues to --- by taking these fictional characters, bringing them to life on Twitter, and feeding a following.
The effort is chronicled by Barbara Iverson at Poynter Online this week. The suggestion is that journalists can learn much from this, in that a 140-character Tweet can lead people to their deeper work. True enough (although, truth be told, it's a 115-character Tweet and 25-character Tiny URL that seems the combination of best practice at the moment). Beat reporters and columnists can direct people to their content.
But another immediate and fascinating opportunity appears in the publicity-seeking realm of film and television characters. Big Deal's Carri Bugbee, who won a Shorty Award for the Mad Men initiative, is going to make a business out of Twitter marketing, providing writers for entertainment firms that want to develop followings for their characters. She tells her story to AdAge in this video (unfortunately, no embed is available, so it's a link).