Sep 16 2008

I’m Tweeting

Categories: General Dave Rathbun @ 10:53 pm

One of the things I noticed a lot of the “cool kids” using at SAP TechEd was Twitter. Twitter is an interesting and seemingly useless :lol: web service that allows you to post one to two line bits of text telling anyone who is interested what you are doing at exactly that moment. If you are interested, you can “follow” another persons twitter or their “tweets” as each entry is called. Wikipedia (and other sources) call it a “micro blog” because it lets a person post something (like a blog) but in very small bytes (pun intended).

Wiki also says that as of July of 2008 there were over two million accounts registered. :shock:

One of the reasons I decided to sign up was to see how it felt to use it. There are certain things that I use now that are part of the way I do things. For example, blogging has become easier because I see blog topics all the time. (This isn’t my only blog, so it gives me a wide range of subjects to talk about.) One of the sessions that I found the most interesting at TechEd was ESME (Enterprise Social Messaging Experiment). The folks behind that project are trying to see if a twitter-like function can be used within the enterprise. They’re expanding the service so that instead of just following a person you can also follow certain keywords or topics. Think of it as slightly slower than instant messages but faster and more succinct than email.

In any case, I figured that I would try it out. There is a twitter feed on the sidebar of this blog, and there is a URL that you can use to check in and see what I’m having for dinner, or whatever I am doing at that exact moment in time. Within reason, of course. :)

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8 Responses to “I’m Tweeting”

  1. Comment by wahey

    Welcome to the modern world, Dave. I just added you ;)

  2. Comment by Dave Rathbun

    Hm, for some reason the twitter portion of the sidebar is empty this morning. Does twitter put a time-limit or expiration date on tweets?

    [Edit] Aha. My current client doesn’t allow twitter via their proxy, so that area shows up blank for me when I’m at work. That was easy to figure out. :) [/Edit]

  3. Comment by Jansi

    I too found you both :) I received a mail from my client which showed David.Rathbun as one of the recipients…I am wondering whether it is you.

  4. Comment by Dave Rathbun

    So far I have only set up the first “tweet” and I won’t be able to do more until I set up my phone for access, at least when I am at my current client site…

    Since you both are using it, a few questions if I may. :) Why do you use it? What value do you get out of it? Do you broadcast or just consume … meaning to you subscribe only, or do you also use twitter yourself?

    I believe I signed up as “dave_rathbun” as the username, so David.Rathbun is not me. 8)

  5. Comment by wahey

    I started using Twitter about one and half years ago just to check it out. I have some affinity with web development, like you Dave, the phpBB Doctor, and I think that many web developers were early adapters, because it was kind of a hype in the WebDev blogosphere back then.

    I don’t really know if I’m getting anything out of it, or ever will. Some considerations are:
    I mainly write tweets to vent.
    It doesn’t require as much time and energy as blogging.
    Perhaps one day it will form part of some sort of online identity.
    It could also possibly be a way to meet peers or to stay on top of BI related areas.
    The missus is up to date on my whereabouts and movement (in combination with trackr.
    et cetera

    I was reading your post on how SAP was trying to incorporate these Web 2.0 (or whatever you want to call it) in mainstream business applications. I reckon there won’t be a market for such products just yet. Perhaps in a couple of years time, if ever? What do you think?

  6. Comment by Dave Rathbun

    Business Objects has tried several times to promote a discussions feature with their products. I think the first demo I saw was several years ago, and the feature is still present in XI today. I have never been to a client that uses it. The concept is good, but business – for better or worse – runs on email, not on discussion topics hosted on your BI server and attached to a report instance. It’s a technical as well as a social issue.

    Technical issues can be overcome with appropriate coding solutions. Social issues require something else to drive them. If the business need (or value) of a corporate twitter application becomes more valuable, if it becomes a competitive advantage, then business will start using it. My current Business Objects client uses IM, for example. They support Microsoft’s Communicator product (not Messenger) and tend to frown on AIM but many folks still use it, especially across divisions. So IM has made inroads into the corporate world.

    Twitter is sometimes called a microblog, but I can also see it as a delayed IM. Even if I’m not online right this minute, I can catch up with someones twitter feed when I do come back online. Some IM clients let me store offline messages for later delivery too. But twitter seems to be more generic in that my tweets just go out to anyone interested, and to nobody in particular. An IM conversation is dedicated to a specific person.

    How is that an advantage? What happens if I am asking a question, and I ask the wrong person? If I send an IM or email to a co-worker and they don’t know the answer, nothing has been solved. If I send out a tweet, then anyone watching my feed that knows the answer can suggest a solution. It’s sort of like BOB, only the technical limitations keep the comments short and hopefully to the point. One of the developers summed up one of the advantages this way:

    We can share ideas synchronously and asynchronously.

    The concept of ESME (demonstrated at TechEd) was trying to put more of a corporate wrapper on twitter. I thought they did an interesting job. I don’t think I’ve posted a link to the project, so here it is:

  7. Comment by Jansi

    I signed in just to know what it is. And I saw you and wahey there. I meant ‘David.Rathbun@…com’in my client mail and not in Twitter.(I know you are dave_rathbun in Twitter)

  8. Comment by Chris

    I originally liked the mass txt messaging aspect of twitter … send on sms text, everyone’s that subscribing to you gets notified … thought it would be a cool group feature (e.g., have the whole family twittering) … in practice, it’s a cool toy, but not as usable as 1st imagined.

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