I saw Clay Johnson's post last week about Twitter being the future of email marketing. I've always found it's easier to show than to explain, so I built a petition site (with Jesse Haff, the designer from Brave New Films) that takes full advantage of Twitter.
It's very simple. Here's how it works. You sign a petition by tweeting it, and other people can sign the petition just be re-tweeting it. There's no need to go to the act.ly site, except to start a petition. If you are re-tweeted, you get credit for the referral, and will show up in the "Smokin' Recruiters" link on act.ly.
We put one petition up last night just to work out the bugs: http://act.ly/1
But here's the coolest part about doing petitions with act.ly. You target your petition to another Twitter user, so each time someone signs, the tweet shows up in their mentions. It's insanely viral. Then, all the targeted person needs to do is click on the act.ly link and log in with their Twitter account to respond! Act.ly then sends a DM to the person who started the petition to verify if it's completed.
So you can go from outrage to petition idea to people signing in about 2 minutes. And we track right on the petition page how long it's been with no response.
We'll be adding analytics, similar to what people have come to expect from email marketing. There are some extremely cool things possible with Twitter analytics because nearly the entire social graph is public. Things we've been trying to track with email for years that just weren't possible, are now possible with Twitter.
Recent events have made it clear there is huge potential to tweet change. Act.ly can help.
UPDATE: There's more at TechPresident.