Mar 9, 2011

Twitter and its uses

Yesterday I tweeted this on my twitter account
It turned out to one of my most "re-tweeted" tweets ever. (A "re-tweet" is akin to forwarding a mail or sharing  on Facebook)

A lot of people (and organizations) have asked what is the way they should use twitter... and my response is always - "It depends" (yeah, I know that's a typical HR guy's answer ;-) I question them next "What do you want to use it for?"

That question almost always prompts a pause and then a question "what can I use it for?"

Personally I use twitter for these different uses:

  1.  "Personal Learning Network" - when I want to learn about a certain area I follow the thought leaders and notice whom they are talking to. I click on the sites they recommend. I learn by conversing with them, asking them questions. For example, if I want to learn about Social CRM who better than the person who literally wrote the book about the subject, Paul Greenberg?
  2. Asking for help - There are tonnes of people who know stuff or people who know people who know stuff. Asking what to do in a city, or which gadget to buy, or whom to ask for help - people on twitter respond with help. It sometimes is more useful than a search engine. Because people respond, not "keyword optimised websites"
  3. News - When there is an international event, like Egypt, Libya, the Mumbai terror attacks, New Zealand earthquakes, someone is out there tweeting about it, from that spot. And news on twitter shows up, as people share it.
  4. Social Network - A lot of my "blogging buddies" (from the HR and KM and the Indian blogosphere) have been early adopters of Twitter. It's a great way to stay in touch with them, find out what they are reading and sharing and also to meet them serendipitously meet them
  5. Curation - I use twitter as a way to share interesting content I come across - not just for the people to follow me. But I am also using it as my own bookmarking service.
  6. Promotion - Very less, but when I want to promote my work (as a consultant, or content creator) I use twitter to spread the word. Most people end up doing only (or mostly) this through twitter, and then it doesn't work. 
  7. Promoting others and their efforts - I do this often. It could be a cause. A great piece of art. An achievement. Someone's new job. I share it
So that is how I use twitter. And I don't have a "strategy" to use twitter. 

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