TwelpForce: How to get answers to technology questions on Twitter

When it comes to buying new technology like MP3 players, cameras and HDTV's; unless you know what you're looking for, finding exactly what you want can be a difficult task. One made no easier by the differing technologies and abbreviations that fill product descriptions these days, but thanks to TwelpForce, a virtual help desk on Twitter, you can get answers to all of life's electronic questions.

TwelpForce is made up of 2,100 Best Buy employees across the nation who take time to answer questions on Twitter about anything from HD video cameras and HDTV's to Xbox 360 headset recommendations. Thanks to the large number of Best Buy employees who answer TwelpForce questions, some even off the clock, responses are swift, smart and numerous.WalletPop was able to track down Nishant Patel, a 21- year-old Best Buy employee from the Tampa area -- who has answered 50-70 questions on TwelpForce -- so that we could get a better understanding of the service.

In a phone interview Nishant told WalletPop that one of the reasons he answers questions on TwelpForce is, "Because technology has changed a lot, especially HDTV's and this is a way to share knowledge and be helpful." Patel and other TwelpForce participants take pride in providing customers with solutions to their problems, whether it's showing them a product that meets their needs, directing them to the Geek Squad or offering help hooking up a new gadget.

In fact, the only downside to the service is that, according to Patel, it's hard to answer every question in 140 characters, but he does his best and invites people to come in to the local store for help with complex questions or ones that are best explained with a demonstration. Patel isn't alone in his in-store invitations; a look at the TwelpForce account on Twitter reveals many such invitations to visit a local store for more information.

Using TwelpForce to get answers is incredibly simple. Just send a message to @TwelpForce on Twitter like the one below and then sit back and wait.

After a few minutes of not even thinking about wireless printers, I found the following 2 responses from @TwelpForce via a Best Buy employee, complete with a link to a $69.99 multifunction Wifi enabled printer. Judging from the answers to other questions, these won't be the last.

During my trial run of TwelpForce I particularly enjoyed the speed and the fact that, while pointing me to Best Buy's products and services, I didn't feel like I was getting a hard sell.

It's nice to finally be able to get quick, honest, intelligent answers to tech questions via Twitter. Actually, using the service, I feel a little bit like that guy in the Best Buy commercials; asking a stadium full of geeks and technology enthusiasts how to solve my problems and boy did it feel good.

If you're looking for a technology gift this holiday season, and don't know everything there is to know about it, you should definitely hit up @TwelpForce for advice before you buy.
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