Thursday, March 15, 2007

48 Hours in Twitterland

Twitter allows employees to live a day in someone else's cubicle, so to speak, and share learnings less obtrusively.

I am addicted to Twitter. is a "service that allows you to post short little posts under 140 characters," according to an definition from This week, I've been using Twitter frequently, just to experience for myself if there exists any real business apps potential here. You see, I just joined a new project team and I decided I needed some high-tech, fast on-boarding. Twitter is a great way that co-workers can shadow each other and learn. I asked co-workers to sign up and Twitter about their day, so I could get a feel for their hour-to-hour activities. Meg accommodated me and signed up immediately. She Twittered about meetings and conversations and I soon realized that people-to-people interactions take up a good portion of her day.

As for me, I Twittered tweeted about a combination of one-sided MeetingPlace calls and Web slide presentations, amidst intermittent tasks like customer care by email, software training, and little unrelated observations. I tend to be more "heads-down," burrowing into the guts of the work like a tech-loner. I'd make a lousy manager that way.

Sometimes conference calls are the background noise I need while I dual and triple process. I rarely pick up a phone to chat with a colleague, because email is just an extension of my whirling fingers. Maybe that's not so great, especially since I work remotely much of the time, and my over-dependence on technology makes me a corporate wallflower -- invisible too often. If my co-workers in other cities were on Twitter, perhaps I wouldn't feel so isolated.

Two co-workers in the same company or group can have and act upon different concepts of work day effectiveness. After comparing our Twitter posts (Meg and mine) for the past 48 hours, I felt like my day was fragmented. It made me think about better ways to organize my tasks around bigger chunks of productivity and, of course, people. So, in a way, being on Twitter caused me to up my game, mainly because I was broadcasting to the world. Now if every person behaved that way...

As a side note, while reviewing emerging presidential candidates, I found myself gravitating toward certain candidates for technological reasons. Now I'm wondering if I can separate the medium from the message. I noticed that and both have & Twitter pages. No, I don't think having a "cool" Web presence is necessarily a requirement of U.S. leadership. They're just tools (she tells herself), not qualifications for vote-getting or indications of competence. But I'm getting sidetracked again.

Anyway, back to the business hook for Twitter. Twitter allows employees to live a day in someone else's cubicle, so to speak, and share learnings less obtrusively. For or those in another city, -- something most distance workers wouldn't normally experience in such an informal manner.

So...if you've , I can answer that. There are real time implications for corporations interested in adding more social media tools to their internal communications mix. It's giving me a better perspective on how I can best work on this new team, too.

Here's a list of business :
· Attracting event sponsors - whether planned or spontaneous
· Media outlet news feed
· - i.e. film festival mini-reviews, sports play-by-play and so on
· Informational and real-time updates for users - system outages, server issues, product releases, and product updates
· Radio station play list - with updates on what track is now playing
· for a geographically diverse workforce
· Marketing or PR ticker directed at journalists or analysts
· Feedback channel for customer care purposes
· Blow-by-blow notations of usability studies for PD teams

Can you think of more? Comment on this blog post and/or add a link to Twitter Fan Wiki on Business Uses.

~ Kim


newmediajim said...

Firstly from you earlier twitter about blog comments, I HOPE people still comment. I just started blogging just shy of three weeks ago!

Twitter is immensely useful on a number of levels. I'm not giving up on blogging in favor of it, but Twitter does increase ones circle of influence. Being new to blogging, I would like to get as many people looking, linking, and commenting on my site as possible. Twitter is a good way to get people to read you blog. Your tweet on blog comments led me here.

In my day job I'm a network news cameraman for NBC, so I get to twitter about pretty cool things - Air Force One travels, interviews with Brian Williams and Sheryl Crowe - all pretty tweet worthy. I'm also building a business that leverages my TV skill set with emerging internet TV/social media models and I use Twitter to establish an identity and reputation int this space. So my blog, aptly subtitled "the intersection of old and new media" supports my twitters and vice versa.

I've said Twitter to as many "visionary futurists" at NBC and they kind of blow it off. Hopefully they are developing proposals that will give them credit for the idea of using it as a promotional tool. Beyond just NBC News twitters, the company could empower individual correspondents to do so and promot their stories for off air and online consumption. I've certainly Twittered on their behalf (without "authorization") numerous times.

Friendsourcing, as our mututal Twitter chum Chris Brogan calls it, is another great biz app.

I need a.....
Does anyone know a good.....
I'm looking to hire a.....

you get the idea.

Anonymous said...

Your comment about the concept of Twitter falling on deaf ears among so-called visionary futurists hit home with me. I still remember the slack-jawed look by tech execs in the early 90s when I first mentioned the Web. As for Twitter. it's fast becoming the next generation of blogging. Lots of people don't have the time or inclination to write traditional blogs, but they do have time to Twitter in less-than-30-second sound bites.