Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Wonderful and Weird world of Twitter

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Using Twitter is like "Alice in Wonderland", its wonderful and weird

Its a wonderful tool that can be private or public or both, corporate or personal or both, logical or illogical or both well hopefully you get the point.

So here are 5 reasons why I think its wonderful ... and weird

#1 - Wonderful cause I can keep in touch with my network and if I feel like shouting out "I need caffeine" on a Wed afternoon I can. Weird cause now I can see virtual colleagues shout out about things like "Gummy Bears".

#2 - Wonderful cause it allows me to communicate with friends and family quickly and easily at the same time. Did you know that you could "direct message" someone by putting "d username message". Weird that Twitter allows me to do the same thing I used to did with my IM status a few years ago and yet its so much more engaging and powerful.

#3 - Wonderful cause with Twitter I can open conversations with people in my industry or area without having to visit tradeshows or events or ever having to meet them in reality. Well you might say that no big deal cause more collaboration and networking tools allow that. Weird cause its a best response I've seen from complete strangers wanting to engage in a short 140char conversation.

#4 - Wonderful cause I can now get all my news from the likes of Guy Kawasaki, Chris Brogan et al. Weird cause it makes me wonder if they realize how much folks like me rely on them to feed me tidbits ;-)

#5 - Wonderful cause big media and spammers have still not figured out how to abuse Twitter (blatantly). Nothing weird about that, its cool.

... and all this is with very few Following and Followers.

I'm not sure if you need 1000's of followers or need to follow 1000's on Twitter to get value out of it. Though I can clearly see folks in sales and marketing doing that, especially those that might be companies of "1" or "they" are the brand.

If harnessed appropriately Twitter or micro-blogging tools like Twitter can be yet another amazing collaboration and productivity channel within an enterprise. Imagine mgr's using it to keeping in touch with their large distributed team's, Smaller teams leveraging it to stay tight, sales or project teams updating each other, salespeople using it to mine and harvest, marketing using it to drive messages and test the mood.

For me Twitter fills the gap between an IM and a Message Board or Email Group.

Speaking of email groups I wonder when Microsoft starts offering micro-blogging as part of Hotmail or Outlook + MSN Live or Sharepoint for internal use. I use them as an example cause they have the tools and web properties to make this happen. Imagine you could tweet through Hotmail or Outlook and create your network or look up tweets on MSN Live later.
Thunderbird could do that as well, except they don't have a web property like that to persist the network and content. The only other company that I can see doing this is Google with Gmail as the client and one of their properties. Wouldn't that be cool.

The only downside I see for that is that Twitter today supports umpteen clients and something like that from Microsoft or Google might not.

Ah the wonderful world of Twitter.

1 comment:

Stu Higgins said...

I work in Social Networking and I never liked or saw the point of Twitter. So much more can be achieved with other sites.

Stewart Higgins
Intranet Expert
Intranet Software