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Hewlett-Packard CMO Michael Mendenhall Wants A Corporate Version of Twitter

Posted by: Burth Helm on March 5, 2009

I thought this was interesting: Hewlett-Packard Chief Marketing Officer Michael Mendenhall thinks famously un-monetized Twitter should make money by selling an enterprise version of its software. Companies would use it for internal communications. During a quick chat this afternoon at the 4A’s Media Conference and Trade Show in New Orleans, he told me he’d love to use a version of the software within HP. “Keeping employees posted in such a dynamic market, like we have today, is so important,” he said. “Twitter is real time. No internal communications today is real time.” Mendenhall said he could imagine paying for a private, firewalled version of the social-networking software to help with crisis management, dispersing company news, and staying connected with HP’s sales force.

I think he may be onto something. I’ve been on Twitter since the fall, and I didn’t really start using it until a few weeks ago, when I found it was great for staying on top of topics related to work. It’s been pretty useless for my social life.

Reader Comments

Tim Leberecht

March 5, 2009 9:24 PM


March 6, 2009 3:15 AM’s is an open-source alternative to Twitter. It works exactly the same and is very easy to setup for any developer person.

Mark Burris

March 6, 2009 4:36 PM

Yammer does this pretty well. It sets up a twitter-like network among your own employees.


March 6, 2009 8:37 PM

He can have it right now without Twitter. There's the open source, open microblogging based Laconica. and Leo Laports Twit Army are Laconica instances.

ritu venkat

March 7, 2009 7:44 PM

I'm a bit surprised at Mr. Mendelhall's comment. Anyone truly wanting to implement would have asked around and found quite a few suggestions that could already have been executed.

But intent is half the battle won.


March 8, 2009 12:15 AM

Will it only be useful for the media, politicians, web developers, and social networking experts in the corporations as well?

Michael Mendenhall

March 16, 2009 6:22 PM

HP has already developed a product that does this and more. Titled WaterCooler.

WaterCooler Description:
WaterCooler operates like a social networking site inside an organization enabling employees to easily share expertise, news and opinions and conversations across geographies and organization boundaries. You can browse data by source, organization, workgroup, job junction, author, keyword or topic. Instead of spending your time searching information, you're tapping the expertise of your co-workers to get what you need faster. Each results page can be subscribed to as an RSS feed, so employees can easily monitor for new items in a desktop newsreader or widget. For example, WaterCooler is encouraging people to read beyond their business group boundaries at HP and we've found people are twice as likely to read posts from outside their business group through WaterCooler than through our blog server.

Tim Chambers

March 18, 2009 9:09 AM

I love WaterCooler! There's a paper about it at

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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