After yesterday's tragic shooting at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), it naturally occurred to me that a private Twitter-based system could have been used to send SMS alerts to students, faculty, and staff.
And that's when I figured that organizations may be able to acquire Twitter-based solutions if Obvious were to:
- Licensing. Allow private organizations to license the Twitter platform to deploy a private Twitter network. All costs associated with sending messages would of course, be borne by the organization;
- Appliance. Package the Twitter technology into a 'black box' solution that is sold as an off-the-shelf 'appliance' with ports that are simply 'plugged' into the appropriate networks (easier said than done, but certainly doable);
- OEM. Allow other solutions providers to OEM the Twitter technology into their product suite.
Side note: In the second (7.30pm) press conference related to the shooting, a Virginia Tech spokesman said that they had started looking into text-based alert solutions last August, but that a system has not yet been deployed. [more info]