Want better service? Just complain on Twitter

Twitter isn't perfect, and not just because we're all sick of hearing about it. The one-line updates can be maddeningly short, and too many users do a lot of reading but not much posting.

On a typical day, the average Twitter stream can look like a tedious march of news of the weird and alarmist predictions of a dire future. But after a recent trip, I discovered that it does have its uses.

Sure, there are lots of people who treat Twitter like an inane chat room, and use it to announce when they're going to bed, and what kind of pickle they're eating for lunch. But many companies use it, too, to manage vocal customers.