I like to think I am still able to keep up to date with what the ‘tech cool’ are up to and Twitter is the latest thing I needed to get my head around.
For the same reason it took me years to buy an iPod, I didn't want to just follow the crowd and start ‘tweeting’ without having a purpose or reason so I set up my account, changed my Facebook status to “Mark is trying to figure out what twitter is for” and spent a few days thinking about it. Eventually, it clicked into place … or at least I think it has.
- Why update my status in two places? – The first thing I needed to figure out was ‘why would I update my Facebook status and Tweet the same thing’. I looked for some status sync tools but in the end could only find a tool to update from Twitter to Facebook. I did this a few times but eventually realised that all of my friends I wanted to keep updated on what I was up to were on Facebook anyway, this is when the penny dropped
- Being two faced – One thing I try to do is keep my work and home life separate. I like to think I do this quite well with a Facebook profile, XBOX Live Gamer Tag and Windows Live Messenger account for my personal life and a blog and Communicator IM address for my work life. There are a few people that cross over between these boundaries but for the most part I manage to keep them separate for good reason. When I thought about this separation I realised that I didn't actually have the ability do ‘status updates’ for my work persona. Could this be a reason for me to use twitter? Yes.
- Faster than a speeding blog post – Shortly after realising I had at least one use for Twitter another one came along. Quite a lot of the time, I think of something I want to share via my blog but don't feel its worth a post because its either a little off topic (something cool but not UC related) or to short (an interesting article but don't have the time or ability to write much about it). Twitter is the place for me to do this, allowing me to keep my blog clear for more ‘deeper’ thoughts.
- Access is everything – Facebook is near enough my homepage, so updating my Facebook status is not a problem. Having to go to a different site to update my twitter status and checking see others updates is a pain. Twhirl and Blu mean I can now see peoples tweets easily on my desktop and update my own. Problem solved.
- Keeping your ears to the ground – Rob Gray (ex MS employee) pointed out to me that Twitter and the search feature is also a very good way to understand what people are talking about. In a similar way to how Facebook combined with CNN allowed me to understand what people thought about the Inauguration while it was happening, Twitter will enable me to keep my ‘ears to the ground’ about subjects I find interesting e.g. OCS R2.
And so with this post my Twitter adventure starts. It has purpose, it has a plan, but does it have legs?
Follow me at https://twitter.com/markdeakin