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With many seniors dressing in suits on a daily basis and carrying more resumes than class notes, it’s easy to get swept up in corporate jargon and interview double-speak. But it doesn’t have to be that hard. In today’s world, the word on the tip of everyone’s tongue is one that you learned while watching Saturday-morning cartoons: Tweet.

Though our generation likes to pride itself in being the hip early adopter of everything technology, our glory days end with Twitter. The 35-to-54 year-olds are winning this one. At first, I didn’t see the appeal. It was beyond me why I should limit myself to 140 characters when I could be unabridged on a blog or why I should be restricted to text when I could add pictures and videos on Facebook.

But I respect our society’s elders enough to accept that they wouldn’t vouch for Twitter if they didn’t see some sort of inherent worth. As usual, our parents were right; as of last week, Twitter is valued at $1 billion.

Twitter may seem pointless to us non-celebs, and to some extent that’s true — I can’t believe that someone would care what I’m watching on television or what I ate for dinner. But Twitter also gives companies an opportunity to reach out to their consumers in what may be considered a more personal means of advertising. And as a consumer, you’re set to benefit.

The viral nature of the site allows companies to build and maintain their brand while tracking consumers’ uninhibited and unforced opinions about their products. When users post public tweets either praising or criticizing a company, the company can respond immediately and publicly in an effort to show off its customer service. And, if you’re in need of a bite at a low price (what college student isn’t?), there are plenty of food carts and small restaurants using the site for free advertising.

At Penn, where we are continually preparing for our future in the real world, Twitter is a great preview for what’s out there. Sure, we’re not business travelers in need of discounts from @UnitedAirlines, but we are sleep-deprived college students who could use special deals and promotions from @WilliamsCafe. Yes, Williams Cafe has a Twitter. “We’ll post promotions so students can receive discounts,” explained Engineering senior and cafe manager Arthur Spector, who plans on using Twitter more interactively this year.

If the coffee doesn’t have you sold, how do gelato and drinks sound? “We update a couple times a day with daily specials, drinks of the day, other promotional stuff … and pictures!” explained Christian Lisak, one of the managers at Capogiro on campus. Last Monday @CapogiroPenn updated from the web: “Come to CapoPenn now. Hot pepper gelato + Thai Coconut Milk gelato = Curry gelato. wildly good.” These updates are obviously for us students as much as they are for the 35-to-54 year-old Twitter demographic.

Aside from food, there are several aspects of the Penn lifestyle that could translate well to Twitter, but haven’t yet. Have you ever arrived at Iron Gate just moments after the show you wanted to see sold out? Have you ever lugged all your books to Fisher Fine Arts only to see that every seat, nook and cranny is occupied?

Now imagine if instead you could follow groups, organizations, establishments or just “regular” Penn students on Twitter for real-time updates on number of tickets remaining or library traffic. Not only would we build a stronger Penn community but the time you save will also be pretty significant. And with that time, you can work on sprucing up your own Twitter profile. I leave you with a gem from my own Twitter: “Three things in life are certain: death, taxes, and a line at Magic Carpet.” 1:47 p.m. Sept. 23 from Echofon.

Rohini Venkatraman is a College senior from Toronto. Her e-mail address is

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