Feb 27, 2008

Twittering or Microblogging and HR

Of what good is Twittering or Microblogging? A few months ago even I did not understand. Much the same way as I did not "get" the concept of blogging in 2002 (I'm a slow learner, you see ;-)

What is Twitter, you ask?

If you are seeing this blog post on the web then you might have noticed some text on the right hand sidebar under the heading "Twitter Updates" with some text under it.

Twitter is the tool that helps make this possible and people are using it differently from what it was started for. In a very simple form, it asks you to answer the question "What are you doing?" in 140 characters or less. People can choose to follow your updates, if they choose to become your "followers". Here's a more in depth article by Jeff Jarvis on the Twitter phenomenon.

Then like Technorati for blogs, there's a specific search engine for Twitter called Terraminds. I am such a Twitter newbie that I discovered it today. I searched for HR and Human Resources and found lots of people to follow.

The biggest advantage of twitter is that it enables you to get away from the computer as you can choose to receive the tweets on your cell phone. So imagine that you are doing an informal salary survey for accounting professionals, and you tweet your question to your followers if any of them know how much accountants are making, you can receive real time data.

That's not all, tweeter tracking is another killer feature for you to track specific phrases and have them delivered to your phone/IM. So imagine you are hiring Strategy Consultants, you can set up a track for "Strategy Consultant" and whenever anyone publicly mentions that phrase in their Tweet, you get an update and can contact the person directly. Adding an @ before the username of a person on Tweeter makes the person see it as a reply.

Since Twitter has opened up their API lots of applications are being built around it. My personal favourite is Twitterfox, a Firefox extension that enables me to twitter without going to the website.

Then for the bloggers amongst you, there's Twitterfeed that enables you to send a link to your blog posts to your twitter followers. Some 9 ways Twitter can add to your blogging depth and richness is described in this article.

Oh yes, did I mention how you can use Twitter for recruiting?

Anyway, if you are on twitter, or have decided to convert to a Twitterer (or is it Tweeter?) you can find me here! And other HR folks and Recruiters on Twitter too.