This week’s Time cover essay by Steven Johnson, “How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live,” doesn’t deliver on its title promise. Johnson recounts how he was at some important egghead conference, and — OMG! — people tweeted onto the big screen from outside the event. He told that same story about blogs in 2003.

More interesting is the much longer package of articles on Twitter as a business tool by financial news site 24/7 Wall St. The writers turn a healthily skeptical eye toward Starbucks and other companies trying to use Twitter to draw consumers into their stores and onto their websites. Here’s the 140-character wrapup: Use Twitter to show you’re clued into the times. Don’t blast out calls to action. Alert followers to special offers. But always in a way that lets them feel in control.

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