Twitter is an internet tool that is increasingly used for ‘Microsharing’.
Microsharing according to Social Media Agency ‘Pistachio’:
‘What is microsharing?
Let’s start with the best-known microsharing application, Twitter. Twitter is a collection of remarks. It’s what a group of people–a very dynamic group of people who are connected and becoming more closely connected everyday–find remarkable. The connections between people, the ambient intimacy.
Microsharing reduces the emotional and intellectual distance between people and helps them become more engaged, connected, effective and collaborative.
Microsharing is hard to understand at first, and frequently seems trivial and foolish, but it generates tremendous value and opportunity for participants who really get it and who push to discover its hidden potential.’
For me, the key benefit of this tool is indeed the ‘reduction of emotional and intellectual distance’ on internet platforms. It is very easy to:
- find people with whom you want to exchange ideas, and
- actually start conversations online.
It seems to be more easy starting an online conversation compared to e.g.:
- commenting on a blog post from someone else, or
- by commenting on a forum.
Therefore, the trend I am seeing in 2008 is to increasingly incorporate Twitter-like functionality in forum and blogging software platforms (e.g. WordPress.com)
Twitter is a great example of a platform that facilitates ‘organizing without organizations’ (Clay Shirky: ‘Here comes everybody’).
With the emergence of Social Media tools such as Twitter, the costs for people to organize themselves in (ad-hoc) groups is greatly reduced. Therefore, business problems that until now were not addressed can now be tackled.
This also means that Twitter (or Twitter-like tools) will enable cross-unit information sharing within large organizations in a very cost-effective manner. Within large organizations. special attention must be placed to issues such as information security, reliability, compliance, integration with other enterprise communication platforms (e.g. Microsoft Exchange, back office tools etc).
For the enterprise, several Twitter-like tools are emerging that take these specific requirements into account: www.yammer.com, ESME and others.
Enhancing my own blog ‘Web 2.0 and Management’
Using both my blog and Twitter, starting online conversations about specific topics is more easy:
- post on my blog (or comment on a blog from another user); and
- ‘tweet’ links to my blog post or comments on Twitter.
I have also added the twitter stream to my blog (right lower side of the blog)
Good post: ‘9 Benefits of Twitter for Bloggers‘
How to start with Twitter
Here is how I have started using Twitter:
- Create an account at twitter.com
- Use twitter search for some interesting topics and people to ‘follow’
- The best way to start with Twitter is to also have a blog (e.g. on WordPress.com). This is your ‘home base’ on which you post topics of you special interests.
- Post references to your blog posts on Twitter (‘tweet’ it) to elicit conversations about the blog post.
- Start ‘following’ people that have a blog with a shared interest. Increasingly, blog authors indicate their Twitter name on their blog.
Some people on the internet from which I have learned a lot about Twitter are:
- Chris Brogan: one of the real ‘gurus’ on Social Media. He really known how to combine tools such as blogs and twitter to grow his ‘audience’, and deliver real value to them!
- Darren Rowse (‘Problogger’): very experienced blogger, has lots of advice on how to start a blog
- Davied van Berlo (Dutch): ‘evangelist’ on Web 2.0 for Dutch government agencies
Some blog posts on ‘How to start with Twitter: Guide to Twitter for Business‘
Useful Twitter tools
Twitter is not only an internet tool, but a platform. A whole ‘cottage industry’ has grown around the Twitter platform, providing additional functionality. Some of these Twitter applications that I find very helpful are:
- twinfluence : ‘twInfluence is a simple tool using the Twitter API to to measure the combined influence of twitterers and their followers’
- tweetstats : ‘Graph your Twitter Stats including, Tweets per hour, Tweets per month, Tweet timeline, Reply statistics’
- Twitter search : Fulltext search on all public tweets (e.g. search on @jeroendemiranda to find tweets addressed to me by other twitterers)
Adobe AIR applications:
These tools are alternative user interfaces for Twitter (i.e. instead of using you browser). You must install Adobe AIR software as a prerequisite:
- Tweetdeck : ‘It aims to evolve the existing functionality of Twitter by taking an abundance of information i.e twitter feeds, and breaking it down into more manageable bite sized pieces.’
- Twellow : This is a directory with Twitter users.
Other sources for information
- Twitter Fan Wiki : probably the most comprehensive wiki with information about Twitter
- Other tools and ideas at my bookmarked links about Twitter at delicious.com.
If you want to follow reactions, tune in to my twitter feed at twitter.com/jeroendemiranda