Tuesday, 30 September 2008

More justification of Twitter

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase
Increasingly, at meetings and networking events, I am finding that Twitter is getting into my conversations with people. It has clearly grown up a lot and the profile of this tool is spreading way beyond the geeky, nerdy space that it was initially supporting.

However, the usual thing I get is "yeah, I looked at Twitter, but I just dont have time for any more social stuff" or "ok, but what's in it for me, there's no revenue I can earn, is there?"

Others use it, but dont have a clear justification as to why - they just "do".

Me? I used it initially to keep friends and family up to date with my activities, filling a useful, non-invasory, more personal space where they can look if they want, or ignore if not.

I've expanded on that to keep up to date with other people who's work or profile I am interested in, and hopefully vice versa. I have definately gained leverage, and here's a good example:

There was someone who's blog I used to read fro time to time, that I then followed on Twitter, got to understand the real them a little more, then entered into infrequent dialogue. Then I was able to connect to them on LinkedIn, and a while later, when I was looking for a contact at a particular organisation, I found that I was connected via this original individual, so was easily able to effect an introduction. Fantastic!

There are lots of ways to use Twitter to engage, or to disseminate useful information, and I have blogged before (and again) about some, but I found out recently that some enterprising soul (Tom Morris) has set up a London Underground Twitter tracker to spread service information on the lines - its starting to catch on, what would you rather have - an SMS every 10 minutes, 90% of which you dont want to receive (as you are already at work?!), or a feed that you can look at at your leisure, whilst en route to a station?

I think this is another great example of an application for the Twitter tool, just think how easy it would be to do the same if you were a small courier company, with the drivers texting back the last delivery they made, the traffic situation and so forth to a central operator, with the other drivers able to find that information via SMS or WAP; a really simple, non-invasive and time-saving business tool. what do you think?

There's a whole load of tools, tips and advice on how best to use Twitter, which Connie Benson has kindly recently summarised here.

At the very least I recommend visiting these (my favourites):

> Twitter in plain english (well, American, anyway) on YouTube

> A Bloggers guide to how to use Twitter

Rather than aim for a follower profile in Twitter of thousands and have no real strategy for it, there are many ways you can use it effectively in a small scale; I'd love to hear more examples.

What do you think? How are you using it, or why wouldnt you?

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Connie Bensen said...

Twitter is a powerful tool. It takes time to develop relationships there, but I think that it's faster there than in other places. And it's in a much more casual format.

Tom Morris said...

Thanks for the mention - when I've got a few hours, I'm going to be rewriting the back end of the Tube Tracker to make it much, much better, providing more useful information, with more frequent updates and so on.

Anonymous said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

Sally Dickson said...

Hi Nick,

Have you put the correct link behind the sentence: A blogger's guide to Twitter. I could not find that content.