Local online business owners Adam and Wendy Leidhecker are proof that you can speak volumes in only a few short words.
The Leidheckers, owners of the eco-friendly, organic online pet supply company Paw Luxury, recently won social messaging and blogging service Twitter's Shorty Award in the business category for providing the best short content on Twitter.com.
The award will be presented on Feb. 11 in New York City.
Twitter allows users to send text updates - called "tweets" - via phone, instant messaging or the Web with the caveat that they can use a maximum of 140 characters - including letters, numbers or punctuation - in each update.
The messages are sent to "followers" who subscribe to that particular tweet, according to Adam.
About 6 million users, or "tweeters," use the service, he said.
Tweets can include anything from what a tweeter had for breakfast, to thoughts about the economy to breaking news, according to the Leidheckers.
Leidhecker said he, his wife and their dog Lola joined Twitter about a years ago as a way of "connect ... with customers and pet lovers one on one."
About a month later, the Leidheckers launched their online pet products company at www.pawlux.com.
The company was launched to create a clearinghouse for eco-friendly, organic dog products, Wendy said. The products already were available, but difficult to find because "they didn't exist in one place," she said.
According to Adam, it took a year to launch the site because he and his wife researched every product they intended to sell. Their philosophy for choosing a product was that it had to good enough for their own dog, they said.
"If it's not good enough for Lola, it's not good enough for us," he said.
They even researched the companies that made the products to ensure they used environmentally friendly best management practices and treated their employees well, he said.
In addition to products, the site features an "ask Lola" section and information about pet nutrition and health.
Joining Twitter allowed the company to reach out to a vast audience that they would not have had access to through conventional forms of media, they said.
The 140-character limit to their tweets, rather than being restrictive, forced them to choose creative ways of conveying their thoughts by way of the network, Wendy said.
"I think it makes you think really hard about what you are going to say and how you are going to impact people," she said.
A typical Paw Luxury tweet?
"We ask questions. We answer questions. We tell people what we're doing," she said.
Since joining Twitter, the Leidheckers have gained 10,500 followers.
"We follow everyone who follows us," Adam said. "We feel if they're going to take the time to listen to us, we're going to take the time to listen to them."
When the Twitter award nominations came up, company followers nominated them for the business award.
"It wasn't until we got 50 nominations that we realized were even nominated," Adam said.
Tweeters then were allowed to vote for one of the top five finalists in each of 26 categories such as advertising, business, education, health, humor, food and music.
"We're humbled to be nominated and it speaks volumes that our tweets are helping people and their pets out," Adam said.
The Leidheckers said they plan to choose their words wisely when it comes to give their acceptance speech.
The speech only can be 140 characters long.