"What are you doing?" Twitter asks. What an existential question! But from the company's roots as a slightly nosy oddity in 2006, users have responded in unexpected, and quite interesting, ways.

Much of the conversation remains mundane ("high on coffee"). But it's also a handy place to:  share experiences (Newcomers Adjust, Eventually, to New York. "For Cali transplants, this article really hits home."); discover new loves ("I am in love with TweetDeck; with it up full-screen, iMac style,  I feel like Captain Kirk."); and always solicit feedback.

Marketers are getting in on the act in droves. Big boys like Cisco, Zappos and Whole Foods use Twitter to keep in touch with what old-school CEOs might have once characterized as "the little people." And the clientèle aren't limited to marketers and corporate suits. Fictional characters, like the cast of Mad Men, are also drawing crowds. Whether truly affiliated with the company or not (AMC made it pretty clear that the Mad Men twitterati are not its spawn), these popular Twitter members forge bonds with fans and would-be customers that inevitably also become brand affiliations.

So hop aboard the Goodship Twitter—before imposters do! (Users won't differentiate; they'll associate your company with whomever they hear from most.) Here's a Twitter for Business reading list, and a How-To featuring a panoply of links. (Get a head-start: search Summize to see what Twitter's already said about you. Aha!)

The Po!nt: It's time to Mix and Twitter. Engendering among strangers—hundreds at a time!—is how Twitter serves brands best.

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