Institutional money managers and government agencies are catching on to Twitter, a social networking site that allows users to communicate in messages that don't exceed 140 characters. The preceding sentence tops that limit by 44.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, launched two Twitter feeds earlier this month in an effort to help better “promote accountability and transparency in federal programs and operations.” One of the feeds (https://twitter. com/usgao) directs users to GAO reports and testimony, while the other (https://twitter.com/usgao legal) updates users on GAO legal decisions.
Despite Twitter's ability to provide up-to-the-minute information, there are some bugs that still need to be worked out and a few potential pitfalls. A recent tour of Twitter's site revealed that it can lock up because of overuse, displaying the message: “Too many tweets! Please wait a moment and try again.”
Users also should be aware of the potential for imposters on Twitter. A recent post on one of six separate bogus accounts for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner reads: “Yo, Bernanke is tweakin. Open up that short term fed funds window playa. Naw you know I'm just playin. lol.” We're guessing Mr. Geithner has better ways to use his time — and better diction. — Timothy Inklebarger