Its hard to believe that there is anyone out there, especially in the IT industry who have not heard about twitter. For those of you who are not familiar with it, you can think of it as the facebook status message in someways. You are allowed to post 140 character updates and also include tags that help others search for certain topics. For instance, during the idol finale, there were a ton of people tweeting using the same tag. So if I searched for that tag, I could find updates flowing in real time. Another example I would like to include is Citrix synergy, which is an annual conference held by Citrix. There were so many attendees tweeting during the conference using the same tag about their favorite sessions, insights, freebies etc. This served as a pulse of the conference for me and helped me make wise decisions in terms of how to make the most out of the conference.
So the next question is, why is this any different from all the other social networking tools. Why do you need twitter? I would like to speak from my experience. I was VERY skeptical about twitter initially. I did not even have an account till about March. Then I decided to sign up, and just like any other social networking tool, I decided to import all my contacts from gmail and followed everyone under the sun. As a result, it was nothing more than a slew of irrelevant information like where someone is heading to dinner, changing his hair color, a new car, new job, hating his wife etc. Totally worthless!!!!! My real purpose of using twitter was to make it work from a career perspective and to stay on top of industry trends and new developments in my areas of expertise. I also use it to let folks know about my latest music (since i love to sing). Since my intial approach did not really serve the purpose, I decided to start all over again. I completely cleaned up all the people I was following and started following industry experts in the field of application/server/client virtualization. I also looked at who they were following. It was clear that they were very selective in who they followed, and I also saw some trends among the various experts. This really helped me define the list of people I’d like to follow. The end result was a very refined list of updates from my friends list that ended up being a plethora of information in my field, things I would normally have to go to a gazillion blogs to track, all in one page and that too in a very concise format. I have not looked back since. Twitter is now my one stop shop from a career advancement and industry insight perspective. I get to know of the latest and greatest developments, the latest rumours in my field, whats happening where, latest product releases/reviews etc. I always feel enlghtened 🙂 It has also helped me network tremendously and also spread the word with regards to my music.
If you havent yet used twitter, I would strongly urge you to do so. When I compare all the tools out there, this is the most useful tool to stay on top of things that interest you and ONLY the things that interest you. Dont miss the boat on this one as it is here to stay! No doubt about it. Also, I would urge you to check out Tweetdeck. Below is a screenshot. I think the picture says it all 🙂 Good luck tweeting!!!!