1.What’s your name, company, and website URL.
2. How and when did you first hear of Twitter?
Recommended to me by Dennis Howlett, @dahowlett, ZDNet blogger.
3. When did you first start Twittering?
Last May, 2008
4. Why does Twitter appeal to you? Why do you Twitter?
Twitter is incredible for building relationships, and in my SAP vertical, there are many fascinating and larger than life personalities who Twitter that I love getting to know better. It will make my conference/in person time much richer and keep the connections going in between shows. Twitter also suits me because it fits my daily workflow much more than conventional daily blogging, which is a real chore to me that I have dispensed with. I like the rapid fire of Twitter and while I’m on Twitter for business, it’s a great way to gradually let your personality out to your business colleagues and deepen relationships.
Twitter is also a very deep stream – one year into Twitter and I’m still getting into a comfort zone in terms of how I want to use it and how to make the most of it. I like that it unravels its mysteries slowly. The conventional popular notion that Twitter is about saying “what I’m up to” again and again and sharing meaningless diary-like trivia is incredibly simplistic and shallow as compared to what actually can happen. Also: Twitter reduces dependency on email and email has become a serious impediment to my daily peace of mind. Twitter also reduces the chore of combing through RSS feeds all the time looking for breaking or relevant news. Twitter is also becoming a big factor in live event coverage, both in my own work covering SAP events and simply in tracking world events of note.
5. Did you immediately jump right into Twittering, or did it take you a while to start Twittering regularly?
Jumped right in, but took a long time, as I said, to develop the right feel for how I was going to use it.
6. How much time do you spend each day on Twitter?
I dip in and out of the stream all day most weekdays, but I’d say one hour a day is about right for my active involvement.
7. When someone asks you what Twitter is and how it works, how do you describe it?
A majorly misunderstood application and social environment that is largely whatever you make of it. Twitter is now overhyped to the point that people don’t realize that in terms of its business use, it just isn’t the right tool for everyone. It takes a real time commitment to get something out of it, Twitter does not reward the casual user – another reason I like it.
8. If you could follow only three people on Twitter, who would they be and why?
The only pseudo celebrity I follow is Tim O Reilly, and he’s the only one that I would probably recommend to any thinking person regardless of whether you are on Twitter for business or personal. He combs through the best of the web and retweets thought leadership as well as his own usually smart takes. He’s the only person with a follower count much above 5,000 that I bother with. The fact that he only follows a few hundred people compared to all who follow him doesn’t bother me. If his stuff is good, then you follow.
Other than Tim, my two “must follows” are Dennis Howlett of ZDNet and James Governor of RedMonk. These guys are, in my opinion, the two most incisive analysts in the IT space. Both have mastered Twitter and are gifted at making the most out of 140 characters. They both show a great deal of range and personality in what they do. They are provocateurs who want to invoke reactions in order to push conversations and ideas forward. Both are incredibly well informed to back up their rants.
9. Do you have any pet peeves re: Twitter?
1. I don’t think too highly of people who follow (and try to communicate with) whatever celebrities they can find on Twitter.
2. I don’t appreciate people who reply to me (especially in a confrontative manner) while not including a URL and profile pic of themselves.
3. I don’t respect people who compulsively follow everyone who follows them or expect the same in return in order to build their follower count. The beauty of Twitter is you follow who you want and vice versa.
4. The “social media superstars” on Twitter really bother me, but it’s the community that awards them that status so we are all to blame. Some of them are smart but the size of their following is rarely in proportion to their actual usefulness.
5. The corporations who are trying to cash in on Twitter visibility by saying “follow us on Twitter” when following them is simply following a one way broadcast of their agenda, which is a violation of the conversational essence of Twitter. However, these folks will soon find out that one way bullhorns on Twitter get called out and taken to task in the community, often with a hashtag as in #amazonfail.
10. What do you think Twitter’s future is in 1 year? 5 years? Do you think you’ll still be using it?
I’ll definitely still be using it. In one year Twitter will have put into place some kind of revenue model, perhaps based on leveraging their search through targeted ad listings by Google. I don’t think they will charge for using their service. I think they will develop a corporate private label version and/or flesh out some kind of groups functionality which would work well for business workgroups.
11. Do you use a Twitter desktop client? If so, what do you use? What are your favorite Twitter tools/apps?
I don’t use any desktop clients, I like the regular interface best in conjunction with search.twitter.com for keyword monitoring. I’m old fashioned, have tried Tweetdeck but for now prefer the basic interface. I’ve been using Tinytwitter on my BlackBerry and like it so far for that purpose. I have a blog entry on Twitter that has three videos for those who want more on how I think Twitter can be used to immerse yourself in an industry, in my case SAP.