I have to admit I have no idea how pervasive the online social networking site, Twitter, is in China, let alone its current relevance for doing business in China. This post is about one instance in which Twitter seems to have served a good business purpose – i.e. putting a couple of entrepreneurial people together, who then developed a big picture project, combining online social networking with the offline world of business.
This might not be a story you would pick up from the online media. As far as the mainstream media goes, Twitter gets plenty of flak, for being trivial, time-wasting, lowbrow – you name it. As an example, you could read Stephen Matchett’s less than subtle piece in the Australian newspaper this week (I usually enjoy reading Matchett who has a great sense of irony, but this was apparently an irony-free day for him).
Is there a lot of trivia on Twitter? Undoubtedly.
Is there a possibility of serious business on Twitter, or enabled by Twitter? There are two guys in China who would say so.
Winser Zhao and Peter Davison met through Twitter and have now launched an ambitious venture under the banner China Travel 2.0.
China Travel 2.0 is a two week tour of China, from June 1st to June 14th, for travel editors, and aims to incorporate an understanding of how travelers learn about possible or planned destinations. The tour is framed in a perspective of “past, present and future” – looking at historical China and also at the changes taking place.
There are six editors listed by name so far on the site, with a strong presence from the social networking field: Julie Schwiertert Collazo from the Matador Network, Maria Kosmatos from Offbeat Guides, Donna Airoldi from TravelMuse, Craig Martin & Linda Martin from IndieTravelPodcast, and Janelle Nanos who runs the Intelligent Travel blog at National Geographic TripFilms will also be represented. There is an impressive list of sponsors.
As the website explains, the China Travel 2.0 logo incorporates “YouYou” the Panda. The logo is intended as a reflection of modern Asia, with China as its biggest country and “YouYou” the panda, with suitcase and lantern, is ready for travel and adventure.
Chalk one up for the Twitter-helps-business records.