Leveraging social media connections for research

One thing that has perplexed me as of late has been whether it is possible to use social media to come up with research projects and collaboration amongst like-minded individuals. With the number of tweet-chats, the passing of important papers, news items, and condensed key points broadcasted, I often wonder why no one just says "Hey! Let's do something about that!" Why don't these individuals connect, pool their resources, and find other collaborators to solve problems or conduct projects?

Perhaps the reason I bring this up is that the traditional methods seems to have always relied on word of mouth, personal contacts putting in a good word for you, or at medical conferences.

But maybe thats the key. Those can at times be more secure, instead of throwing to the wilds your ideas. Coming around to the world of academia, there always seems to be some level of competition, especially in the 'Publish or Perish' culture that still exists. That item may be the biggest limiting factor overall sadly. 

I for one like to see what others are talking about and see if its worth creating a project on. I think thats why I have enjoyed writing on mobile tech so much, since I do not have to go far to see what the hot topics are. But I have yet to make a significant connection that has led to collaboration on a topic. But, who knows, tomorrow is another day and only a Tweet away.