Twitter is great for a lot of things, but I think my favorite use of it is public smack-talking. Just read what Lance Armstrong has to say about his Tour de France-winning teammate, Alberto Contador. And in the tech world, we have some good smack talking from Verizon directed at rival AT&T today.
John Czwartacki, who is the policy blog editor for Verizon, sent the following public message on Twitter, “This what USA’s most reliable wireless network sends BEFORE a conference. #VDC“— complete with a TwitPic (below) of a giant Verizon truck parked outside the conference to bolster signal.
He doesn’t mention AT&T specifically, but he doesn’t have to. His next tweet repeats the message, but directed at me. Clearly he’s been reading our rants against AT&T’s poor service, most recently about AT&T having problems during Comic-Con in San Diego.
For what it’s worth, AT&T reached out to me the other day saying it felt that it did a good job handling the onslaught of Comic-Con traffic on day 2. Of course, that still doesn’t speak to why it was bad on day one, when the company undoubtedly knew they were going to see a surge of usage. And that’s what Verizon’s tweet speaks to, nipping problems in the butt before they become problems. Judging from SXSW and Comic-Con, apparently that’s too much to ask from AT&T.
AT&T has been a trending topic on Twitter multiple times over the past few weeks — and never for a good reason. Verizon is just the latest to jump on the bandwagon of trashing the service on Twitter. Will AT&T respond? Can it?
In related news, an AT&T Twitter bot has been responding to negative comments by bloggers with multiple Tweets from fake accounts. Could this be the era of Twitter astroturfing?