A local restaurant we frequent asked its frequent fliers if they should get involved with Twitter. And I hear this question a lot: Twitter, do I hafta?
Of course, people are getting on Twitter and using it because it's achieved critical mass and it's Simply What You're Supposed To Do rather than understanding what it's good for. Like with Facebook. But unlike Facebook, which is basically good for finding out about your former high school classmates without actually going to the reunion and having that Awkward Moment where you've expended the five minutes of conversation you built up over the last couple of decades and NOW WHAT?, Twitter is quite good for lots of things.
You can promote your blogging on it, like our friend Miss Destructo. You can ponder the ins and outs of magic, like our friend Wolven. Or you can use it for some weird conglom of all of it, like when I was lucky enough the other day to have Graham Linehan, the creator of The IT Crowd, relate both my admiration and a question to author Alan Moore–and get me a response. (It was my admiration for Moore's spoken word albums and when will he be doing another one–Answer: maybe next year.) This via Twitter.
But back to the restaurant, if we assume we're talking about businesses. Do they have to get on Twitter? Yes. They do. Do they have to use Twitter? Well, no.