Trouble travelling? Try Twittering a taxi today!
Don't fancy standing outside in the piss-wet rain to hail a taxi? Momentarily forgotten how a telephone works? Want to expand your travel experience in the direction of social media or some such nonsense? Excellent. Welcome to TweetALondonCab - an experiment in booking taxis through Twitter. Yes, that bloody thing again.
A small group of registered cabbies came together through Twitter, using it as a back channel to discuss work, share travel information and generally pass the time. They've now devised a way of allowing passengers to book cabs through Twitter, which involves sending private messages between accounts. There are no additional surcharges to pay, just regular metered taxi fares.
So what's the point, then? If there are no discounts, why go to the trouble of organising a ride through Twitter? For better or worse, whether it makes sense or not, people are becoming very trusting of businesses that conduct their affairs through Twitter. If a business uses the medium correctly, then it provides an approachable, one-to-one service - you can be put in direct contact with the individual who can help you. A person booking a cab through these guys will already feel an affinity towards them, and customers can read through the cab driver's personal messages and know their driver before jumping in the back. And if this group of drivers do their job well, recommendations will potentially spread virally back through Twitter.
Of course, if they turn out to be a pack of accident-prone, outspoken BNP supporters that won't go sarf the rivah, that'll become public news very quickly, too. It's unlikely to be the case though - they're already getting plenty of attention from press and television. Twitter, eh? You love it, you do.