Questions are important because of the answers they elicit. However, people tend to be more distracted by the importance of the answer and overlook the significance of the actual question. You often hear answers being criticized, but seldom the question.
Good questions are actually more valuable and important because they are directional in nature. A question, whether good or bad, has the ability to steer the direction of a project, committee, company, industry or even a country.
In this context I shutter at the lost opportunity with Twitter's question: What are you doing? What a wasted opportunity.
Twitter is a great little tool to connect people and help them fill down time. Most people twitter when they are board and have little else to do. They tweet when they are waiting for the dentist, checking out at the market, sitting in traffic, etc. In this moment when nothing is going on, twitter, focuses their users' mental resources on the question: What are you doing? What a disaster...
They are board which is why they turned to twitter in the first place and are preparing to tweet about their boredom.
What if Twitter occasionally asked an intriguing, thought provoking question and then used some of the algorithm capabilities they are developing to report back on the 5 most common answers? I'm not sure exactly where that would lead, but it would a) provide insight into the public consciousness, b) reduce boredom and c) potentially spawn new ideas.
Here are the first five questions they could ask the business community:
1 - What business expenses have you cut that really saved money without hurting business?
2 - What would improve TSA airport efficiency?
3- Have you used any social media that actually resulted in new business (provide specific details)?
4 - What do you wish "new technology" could help you accomplish (top 3 only)?
5 - If personalwere 3% higher, would you work less hard?
Have an interesting thought or question of your own, comment, email or tweet me @wrongquestion.