Category Archives: twitter

It’s Not About the Tools, It’s About the People

We are all on Google+ now. It’s great because of who is here.

We were all on Quora at Christmas, because of who was there.

We continue to stay engaged on Twitter because of who is there.

We are bored with FaceBook because of who is there.

We use LinkedIn because of who we can find.

We use SocialCast in the Social Business Council because of who is there.

We use Jive with the Community Backchannel because of who is there.

We use Yammer in our jobs because of who is there.

It’s not about the tools, it’s about the relationship. The great thing about any social network is the socializing that takes place there. Yes, the tools are nice and a bad tool set can certainly squelch the conversation. But it’s not about the tools it’s about the relationships.

I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many people over the past few months who are not at all engaged in the social web. The line goes something like this….”I don’t have time for all that social media.” What they are really saying is “I don’t value those relationships and what I learn there. I get all I need from other sources.”

That’s fine. When people start to understand what they can get, the relationships they can build, and what an amazingly large diversity of ideas is out there, they decided to connect.

Many stick with email and cocktail hour networking. That’s fine, I do that sometime too, but I find it is not at all efficient as a stand alone activity. It’s good when I want to go deep with someone, but at a typical event, I can only do that with 1 or 2 people. At best, I’ll touch base with 5 or 10. During that same evening, I can touch hundreds or even thousands through online tools.

Through my BlogTwitterGoogle+ and various private communities, I can keep a conversation going with hundreds and my network can jump into overdrive when needed.

If you don’t want to use the social media tools now and think it’s too geeky, that’s fine. We used to say that about CompuServe and then AOL came along to break the ice among the masses. Then came FaceBook and everybody went online.

It is indeed gone widespread. Google+ may not replace FaceBook. Everyone may not get on Twitter, but in the long run, the mega trend is that, more and more, our lives are moving online. What was once called a “virtual” meeting is just a meeting.

Do any of you call your FaceBook friends “virtual” friends? Do you call these virtual conversations? No, it’s a wall post, it’s a message, it’s real interaction.

Social is happening, it is happening in different rates for different people, but there is no going back. As my friend Chris Rollyson says, It’s an “and” world, not an “or” world. We keep getting more ways to connect, as a result we are more connected, and finally we can innovate and move faster.

That is just what’s happening. Don’t deny it.

So go ahead, get social. You can start by connecting with me on TwitterLinkedIn, or Google+ and while you are at it, subscribe to my blog.

See you online!


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Filed under collaboration, community, conversations, Early Adopter, GooglePlus, microblogging, productivity, social, social media, tools, trends, twitter, web2.0

Tune In to the Social Web

I often find myself describing the “social web” to my friends.  Many are interested and wonder what I mean.  I go on to describe it with a simple analogy.

The social web is like a engaging radio station, but imagine you have never purchased a radio.  The signals are moving around, there is great music, stimulating talk, and even some good educational content.  Until you get a radio and tune to the station, you will have no idea such interesting and engaging content is out there.  Buy that radio, tune in and presto! You discover a whole world of knowledge and conversation out there that had been passing you by.

The social web is much like that.  Through the combination of tweets and blog posts, there are exciting conversations taking place.  Most likely, you would really get value if only you knew they were taking place, listened in, and were confident in how to add your voice.

I was with a friend the other day who is searching for an high level business development position as a result of the, all to common, “corporate restructuring” of this day.   He is doing all the right things, making phone calls, attending networking events, and polishing up his resume, but he wanted to talk with me about twitter.  How would he get started and what should he do?  I gave him a short but simple tutorial, starting with my radio station analogy.  You see, he wants to join into the conversation about opportunities within his industry.  He wants to plug into the inside story on developing startups in his field and learn of trends and opportunities out in the market.  He just needed to get familiar with the new medium.

I took him through the basics:  get a nicely cropped photo for Twitter, turn off the protected tweets, start following a few interesting people.  I even told him to look for hash tags in his industry and then seek out and follow those interesting people tweeting with those tags. I think he is well on his way to get in on the conversation.

I have seen this repeated many times.  It is rewarding to bring others into the conversation and help them “tune their radios” to the right stations.  There is the blogging Mom who is now joining the conversation, the budding theologian sharing his thoughts through blog posts and tweets, and the computer network professional who is building his business through a reputation for good work ethic amplified by engaging blog posts and tweets.

You don’t need a fancy website, a custom domain name, or even Facebook to do this.  You just need to dive into the deep end of the social web, join into the tweet stream, and maybe even blog a bit.  There is a big world out there with hundreds of millions of interesting people.  Why don’t you just “tune your radio” to the right station and then join us in the social web.

Next thought…Building your personal brand on the social web.  Stay tuned.

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Filed under community, conversations, how to tweet, microblogging, social web, twitter, web2.0

The Upside Down Enterprise Portal

A new type of “citizen editor” is emerging, becoming a trusted source of curated content on the web.

I’m a curator of news. Like many people, I use twitter to gather the latest in technology opinions and developments. My particular interest is Social Business and Mobile gadgetry. Other people follow photography, sports, science or one of any variety of focused niche topics out on the web.

When we find something interesting, we retweet (RT) it to our twitter followers or share it with our Facebook friends. Sometimes we send it as is, other times we add a commentary and pass it on. Most of the time, we are tweeting links (URLs) to other content. We are sending “pointers,” so to speak, to content that we find interesting on the web. Over time, we gather a following and become a valuable editor or curator of the news. Some turn it into a business like Mashable or Engadget. Others just do it as a hobby and use their “passion” to build relationships with like minded people or those wanting to learn more about that particular subject.

This model of curating information has turned the traditional media on its head. Gone are the days when a few powerful editors of the major print and television news outlets decide what the world should know. Do you remember the days before CNN when just three broadcast networks decided what to share with the public every night on the evening news? Times are certainly different now with many varying outlets to source our information. The real value comes when our “social network” shares what they feel is relevant. A new type of “citizen editor” is emerging, becoming a trusted source of curated content on the web.

On a typical day, I will monitor twitter feeds early and late in the day to catch up on the events, attitudes, and happenings. I have become efficient with the RT (retweet) as a means to share what I am learning. In fact this innate desire to share is driving the explosive growth of the social web.

Twitter has the “ReTweet”, Facebook has the “Like”, and Google just recently announced the “+1”. In fact if you look around, the ability to share is everywhere on the social web. Aging systems have the “email only” share choice, but modern software is being fitted with increasingly sophisticated share mechanisms that make it easy to share relevant content with your Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and a host of other groups.

On my iPad, applications like Zite, Pulse, and even Murdoch’s Daily all build in native functionality to share content that the reader finds interesting. YouTube even does it, but still ignores the “tweet this” option. It really is a new way to promote content and get the word out, taking advantage of the clout and credibility of friends or colleagues to share content that they find interesting within their social circle. Content goes “viral” quickly and takes on a life of its own when friends share it with friends.

So, where am I going with this? I had the “Aha!” moment recently as I was at the office reading news stories from the corporate intranet. I found a great story and wanted to share it with my corporate colleagues (aka followers). The familiar share button I always find on the public web was missing. Why don’t we build this share capability into today’s enterprise portal? This new way of the emerging “citizen editor” can be applied to the corporate intranet as a means to share content relevant to the employee masses. It can be done much more effectively than the old Network News model when Corporate Communications comes up with slick stories and pushes it on all the employees.

This “secret sauce” of the modern intranet embraces the same concept. Abandon the old push model and embrace the “citizen editor” or “employee curator” concept as a means to share news and make stories and messages go viral in your company. Engagement goes up, good ideas spread, and information is quickly shared within a healthy collaborative culture.

Do you like the idea? Below is a straw man proposal to consider as you go through the next redesign of your corporate intranet.

Today’s Social Intranet environment should have the following basic building blocks:

  • Self Service Employee profile with IM presence
  • Microblogging function
  • Ability to follow / friend a colleague
  • Corporate and user generated news feeds / articles
  • Blogging platform
  • Wiki platform (for collaborative authoring)

To make it truly social, add these advanced sharing (curation) abilities:

  • Share ideas (tweets) internally with followers / colleagues / or the entire company
  • Tweets should include any content on the intranet or internet
  • Share button built into all content pages
  • Metrics to track number of shares for each piece of content
  • Most popular content is automatically featured on the portal home page

To make this content truly accessible it should be available on various form factors:

  • Desktop / laptop access for all functions
  • VPN remote access for all functions
  • Mobile access on all popular platforms (Android, iOS, RIM, …) for limited functions such as news, microblogging, email, calendar, alerts
  • Mobile access on employee’s personal devices

Finally along with the technology, there needs to be an equal or greater effort paid to the cultural change needed for a culture of collaboration, trust, authenticity, and transparency.

We are a few years into a revolution of content sharing and creation on the social web. It is only a matter of time before employees demand the same functionality within their corporate intranets. The smart communications officer will see the future being played out on the social web and begin to implement it within the enterprise today.

What do you think? Do you have examples where forward thinking enterprises are doing this already? Do you agree that this is the future? Or do you have another view. Please add your view in the comments below or in your tweets, shares and +1s.

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Filed under crowdsourcing, enterprise20, intranet, share, twitter

Fully Curated – Tweets from the Month of March

I often hear that people enjoy the articles that I share.  I’ve even been hearing the term “curation” recently.  I know it was a big month for tweets and decided to take a little time to pull together a list of what I curated from my twitter feeds during the month of March.    Here it is in one place…a month full of tweets.

Amazon Locker

  1. Amazon faces backlash over music locker service
  2. The Cloud Will Be Your Hard Drive, Despite The Record Labels’ Greed
  3. HOW TO: Use Amazon Cloud Player With iOS Devices


  1. Rumors: iOS5, iPhone5, iPad3…Cloud-Based iOS 5 This Fall?
  2. Rumor: iOS 5 will be a ‘major revamp,’ won’t debut until fall more heavily cloud-based iOS
  3. Apple Releases iOS 4.3.1
  4. iPhone 5 rumor central (info graphic)
  5. Apple To Let Users Use Cloud Service To Download Songs To Multiple iDevices
  6. good post on post-PCness


  1. Why AT&T Bought T-Mobile
  2. One bad company buying another: AT&T buys TMobile
  3. RWW AT&T Starts Sending Letters to Jailbroken Tetherers, Will Automatically Charge Fee

My Blog Posts

  1. Facebook Today, Reminds Me of AOL in 1998
  2. Here’s my iPad 2 first impressions blog post
  3. My Post illustrating Mobility & Ease of Consumption


  1. The 4 Personas of the Next-Generation #CIO now on #hbr


  1. Great, simple explanation of Dropbox;
  2. Cloud computing: A market for computing power | The Economist:

Enterprise 2.0

  1. Expertise Location: The Killer App for Enterprise Social Computing
  2. List of Enterprise 2.0 CFP winners is now available #e2conf. Congrats to the winners!
  3. good discussion w/ IBM’er on adoption The Psychology of Collaboration
  4. Excellent analogy: email vs. SocNets. :Trains, Sliding Doors and Social Networks
  5. BT Intranet SharePoint 2010 examples
  6. Merck looks to Facebook for employee portal, CSR effort – Medical Marketing and Media
  7. Social Business Begins by Unleashing Your Business Talent By @elsua
  8. The military shows the need for information sharing and local decision making post by @BartSchutte
  9. Challenges of transforming large, rigid org cultures into agile and aware networks: Great post:
  10. Awesome, Socialcast evolves the #hashtag for all people to understand –
  11. If true other teams are running plays on field while MSFT is in locker room deciding uniform colors.
  12. Good advice on social software adoption:
  13. Video: The Conference Call
  14. Social Intranet – The Intersection Diagram by @adowbor


  1. eBay acquires GSI Commerce for $2.4 billion


  1. List of Social Intranet, Enterprise 2.0, Collaboration, Engagement, and HR Technology Experts


  1. Gaming for engagement is trending… using game design in non-gaming contexts
  2. How do you become a futurist? “claim you are and people either believe you or not” says @rossdawson
  3. 1373 Twitter users with “Futurist” in their bios
  4. [VIDEOS] The latest robots are virtually indistinguishable from people
  5. Very cool #future “day in the life” video (Corning) “A Day Made of Glass”
  6. Top 10 Dying Industries: Newspapers, Photo Finishing, Record Shops make the list:


  1. Google copies Facebook’s Like Button
  2. Google Announces New Service for Nonprofits
  3. Half A Billion Blog Posts Later, Google To Give Blogger A Revamp


  1. Groupon moving towards real-time location based coupons. Two buttons: I’m Hungry, I’m Bored.
  2. CHART OF THE DAY: Watch Groupon Go From 0 To $25 Billion In The Blink Of An Eye


  1. How Small Businesses Are Using #SocialMedia [INFOGRAPHIC]
  2. The #SocialMedia World Before Twitter And Facebook [Infographic] –
  3. Infographic of the Day: The Next 25 Years in Emerging Tech | Co.Design
  4. Who’s Really Scanning All Those QR Codes? [INFOGRAPHIC]
  5. #Tablet comparison #infographic –
  6. nice info graphic on the culture aspect
  7. Should you be on LinkedIn? [infographic]
  8. How Mobile Shopping Is Changing The World [Infographic] –

iPad / Tablets

  1. 18 Million #WordPress Websites Now Available in #iPad Format
  2. iPad to go on sale outside US: Apple Inc to stick to plans to roll out product this week.
  3. BlackBerry Playbook Will Be Available In 20,000 Retailers
  4. RT @MacOutfittersPA: Read our new blog post, iPad 2: First Impressions
  5. 7 Twitter Apps For iPad:
  6. Five ways the iPad 2 works on the buyer’s subconscious:
  7. The Week in iPad Cases: The iPad 2 has landed: All your choices explained
  8. Apple could face iPad 2 component shortages:
  9. This looks like a promising iPad app.
  10. Why the iPad is awesome @TreyRatcliff shows off cool photo processing app 100 cameras
  11. Equal Time…iPad 2: The Skeptic’s Review:
  12. iPad 2: A Gaming Machine?: The iPad 2 is out, but is it a good gaming machine?
  13. Dell and HP: Two computer giants prepare for a world no longer dominated by the PC
  14. Putting iPads To Work — my guide: by @waltmossberg
  15. How To Collaborate With Others Online Using Your iPad
  16. iPad Essentials for the Network Administrator
  17. The 3 Best iPad PDF Markup Apps; –
  18. Interesting: what is in that iPad smart cover:
  19. iPad 2 jailbroken, no ETA on public release
  20. Backordered: Total iPad sellout – 70% new buyers: Fortune Article
  21. So, what’s inside the iPad 2?
  22. IPad2 offers aspiring movie makers the whole package via USA TODAY
  23. My hunt for the elusive iPad 2 delivers some big game <-my story in comments
  24. Mobile Harmony: iPad 2, Android & Windows 7
  25. Maybe… Here’s What’s Coming In The iPad 3 (AAPL)
  26. iPad 2: Thin, Not Picture Perfect My review: #ipad2 by @waltmossberg
  27. How does apple really feel about their new Ipad2? Here is the video:
  28. Want a 3G iPad 2 and Own an iPhone? Here’s How You Save $130
  29. Original iPad Better Than Ever: Here’s why. Price and Apps
  30. Unleashing creativity in many ways… How the iPad revolution has transformed working lives
  31. Did you write a post on how to transfer your data from your first iPad to your new iPad 2? A. Yes
  32. How To Use iPad 2 | A New User Guide [massive post on how to use your new ipad]
  33. It’s Apple’s ‘post-PC’ world — we’re all just living in it.
  34. 10 more top 10 reasons to buy an iPad 2
  35. An iPad Lover’s (Initial) Thoughts On iPad 2
  36. iPad 2 Rollout Leads to Massive Deflation in Secondary Market
  37. Watch the iPad 2 March 2nd Event Keynote – #iPad2
  38. Steve Jobs announces iPad 2 #ipad2
  39. Watching the live blog: for iPad2
  40. It’s iPad day! Faster, slimmer, 2-camera iPad said likely: <-summary of latest rumors Wednesday, March 02, 2011
  41. To take on Apple, new tablets go where iPad won’t –
  42. Check out “The DVD Era Finally Ends – Thanks to the iPad”


  1. Japan: whatever happened to the nuclear meltdown? March 23
  2. Catching up on developments in Japan March 19
  3. These images are just sobering. If you need some perspective click here: March 16
  4. I don’t have words big enough to persuade why you should. The pics from Japan tell that story., March 15
  5. Cometh the hour by @jobsworth, March 14
  6. Amazing views of the devastation in Japan March 13
  7. Desperation and panic grip Japan (Reuters) “Like a scene from a disaster movie”March 12
  8. Google is helping to curate info about the Earthquake. March 12

Location Based Services

  1. Neiman Marcus Launches Nationwide SCVNGR Challenge


  1. Introducing LinkedIn Today


  1. Amazingly, MySpace’s Decline Is Accelerating


  1. Want to Engage Senior Executives? Think Mobile.
  2. Nine Powerful Apps That Convert Your iPhone Into A Knowledge Hub
  3. The Judge Group Launches Mobile Website – March 16, 2011 (Phila)
  4. March 28, Phila, Mobile Health Forum
  5. 90% of the world now lives in a place with access to a mobile network
  6. Hmmm..I need to give this a try… How to build location based app in five minutes, with no coding
  7. AT&T Confirms Mobile Hotspot Support for iPhone
  8. The 10 Most Innovative Companies in Mobile:
  9. My fav so far is instagram… 22 Ways To Tweet Photos & Images from your iPhone:
  10. How Mobile Shopping Is Changing The World [Infographic] –
  11. Smartphone use is expected to increase by 50% in 2011


  1. Salesforce buys Radian6 /
  2. buys Radian6, an excellent move! Details

Social Business Summit

  1. RT @joningham: My post on John Hagel session at #SBS2011
  2. All the tweets, pics and posts from Social Business Summit Austin:
  3. Reflections on Social Business Summit 2011 – Syndey and Austin
  4. Social Business Summit 2011 first half round up
  5. 2011 Social Business Summit Review
  6. Social Business is Here: Review of the 2011 Social Business Summit Austin by @andyjankowski
  7. Curated #sbs2011 tweet stream, courtesy of @keepstream.
  8. check out #sbs2011 to see great feedback on Dachis’ first summit in Sydney. Join others near you:

Social Business

  1. Career path of the social business professional – Being Peter Kim
  2. Watching the rise of “Social Business” over Social CRM, Enterprise 2.0.

Sunday Series

  1. Sunday Series: “Absolute Truth” Click the 3/21 message: or direct to mp3: by @greglaurie Sunday, March 27
  2. Sunday Series: “Raising The Dead” Click the 3-13 message: Or direct to mp3: Sunday, March 20
  3. Sunday Series: How Close Are We? Click the 3/06 message: or direct to mp3: @bridgefm Sunday, March 13
  4. Sunday Series: “From Thunder to Love” Click the 2/20 message: Or direct to mp3: Sunday, March 06


  1. 2011 Insights from @bobpearson1845
  2. RT @ShannonPaul Blog post – My Takeaways From SXSW Interactive
  3. SXSW 2011: Great for Networking, But No Technology Breakthroughs
  4. Zappos spreading the #Happiness story w/ new #brand. at #SXSW
  5. At each SXSW a new technology gains early adopter attention, one contender is groupme


  1. Topsy’s “Selinah”, 1 of 10 amazing “Ads Worth Spreading” from #TED:
  2. Target’s “Kaleidoscopic”, 1 of 10 amazing “Ads Worth Spreading” from TED:
  3. Intel’s The Chase, 1 of 10 amazing “Ads Worth Spreading” from TED:
  4. TED Ads Worth Spreading: If You Only Watch 10 Ads This Year Make It These
  5. RT @jordanayan Rode in Google’s new self-driving car at #TED a highlight of the conference
  6. Here is a link to a detailed story on the amazing kidney printing demo at #TED2011 –


  1. No one uses the phone anymore
  2. Entire movies compressed into single barcodes
  3. “Google before you tweet” is the new “think before you speak”
  4. Something to do with those old books  Masterful sculptures made from large books.


  1. Best practices for the “retweet”
  2. 10 Memorable Tweets From Twitter’s Five Years in Existence:
  3. How do you explain what Twitter is to someone that’s never used it?
  4. YES!!! Finally got my Twiter https option!!! Everyone should enable it!!
  5. Captures reasons why I prefer Twitter to Facebook –
  6. How to do Twitter in 15 minutes a day
  7. is my fav so far… 4 Ways to Read Your #SocialMedia Updates as Newspaper
  8. Very Cool: try VisibleTweets – looks great on a large screen! Eg:

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Filed under Apple iPad Innovation, collaboration, community, content, conversations, curation, enterprise20, IPad, iPad 2, mobility, social business, social web, technology, trends, twitter

Twitter, The Activity Stream of the Social Web

I’ve been on Twitter almost 2 years now and have some observations. I love the transparency and the “Work Out Loud” attitude it promotes. It truly is the nervous system of the Social Web.

Let me mention some basics first and then dig into it a little on how I think this simple tool is revolutionizing interactions on the web. First of all the basics:

  • A tweet is a 140 character statement that is sent to followers.
  • A retweet (RT) is when a follower finds that interesting and sends it on to his/her followers
  • A hashtag (#E20 for example) is a user generated tag that helps identify a topic in the tweet.
  • One can search on a hashtag to find all recent tweets on a particular topic.
  • When you first sign up to twitter, you have no followers, and you follow no one…boring
  • In time, a new tweeter begins to follow interesting people and others begin to find the tweeter interesting and follow him/her.
  • Once you get to a critical mass (50 or so followers and following you) it starts to get interesting
  • A direct message (DM) is a private tweet delivered to one person
  • A @message is a semi-private tweet that is delivered to that one person, but visible only to all who follow both of you that are conversing. You compose the message by beginning with @ followed by the recepient’s twitter name.
  • A tweeter’s full tweet stream (except for DMs) is available for public viewing from the tweeter’s profile.
  • Many people use for their tweet platform, but most use some other twitter “client” or program on their desktop, laptop, or mobile device. There are dozens of good twitter clients available for free.
  • Tweets can contain a link to interesting content. Most often the URL is shortened by an automated URL shortener (remember, we are working with just 140 characters here)

The beauty of Twitter is the simplicity. When you put this all together, you have a constant ebb and flow of conversation. The conversations create community. Communities create relationships, and Relationships create lasting value. Let me give you some examples.

The transparency of twitter allows one to “overhear” a conversation. When two people you follow are messaging each other, you can monitor the conversation in your main twitter stream. It’s interesting, you learn that a relationship exists just by witnessing the tweets.

Sometimes it’s like “high school”, you can see who is hanging with the “cool people”. For example if there is a “rock star” on a particular subject (call him Jerry) and I see he and a good friend of mine (call him John) are having a back and forth conversation, I can watch and say “Hey, I didn’t know John knew Jerry that well”. John must be a “rock star” too. My opinion of John is elevated and I suddenly see him in a different light.

The openness of the platform makes it easy to join the conversation. Simply enter you thoughts with the twitter IDs of John and Jerry at the beginning and just like that, you are in the conversation as well. I think that is one of the great appeals of twitter, the ability to have meaningful converations and begin meaningful relationships with just a set of short messages.

Another great thing is the ability to join in and stay out at your convenience. Since the tweets are all captured, you can pick up the conversation later and not miss a thing. However, with the steady stream of tweets, many are missed. That’s alright. If someone wants to catch your attention, they just need to enter your twitter name into a point for you and it shows in your @mentions stream.

Finally, there is nothing like the “now” effect of twitter. Again, a “rock star” may be on line tweeting and if you reply immediately, it is likely he or she will see it before it gets lost in the long stream of tweets from other fans. There is nothing else like the accessibility of those tweeting. Generally if you see a new tweet, you can bet they are online right now and reading what comes their way. Yet another way to cultivate the conversation and begin to build a relationship.

I wonder what you have observed in the subtlety of the interactions and relationships you have built in Twitter. Tweet me @jimworth or add your comments below.


Filed under community, conversations, how to tweet, microblogging, social media, twitter, web2.0

2000 Tweets


Yes, I’m closing in on 2000 tweets. It’s at 1997 as I write this and I didn’t want to just let the milestone pass with no recognition.

It’s really not such a big deal. I’ve seen many others with many more tweets. And just saying a lot is not really a reason for celebration, but somehow, I think hitting this milestone says something about how I’ve embraced the social web, how I’ve opened up and decided it’s OK to share many of my thoughts, ideas, and opinions on a very public stage. In fact, I understand all my 2000 tweets along with the other 20 Billion out there are being archived in the Library of Congress. It would make the first time, to my knowledge, that the Library of Congress cared anything about what I had to say. That’s for sure.

So, what goes into 2000 tweets? I remember my first tweet, something like this. “I just set up my twitter account, now what.” I remember the response I got from an experienced friend. “Tweet”, he said.

And tweet, I have. It started as a trickle. I found about a dozen friends to follow. I kept my tweets protected. I would only accept followers if I knew them. I continued this way for about 7 months then something snapped. I had about 40 followers at this time and was starting to get engaged in a global crowd working on enterprise social media applications. I was beginning to have some interesting conversations and meeting like-minded people all over the country and soon all over the world. I’m not sure why, but all of a sudden, I decided to open it up. I remember another friend said (through a tweet), go for it. You’re in for a fun ride.

So what have I tweeted about? Funny, they come and go so fast, I don’t really remember most of them. There are a few however, that seem to endure my memory. Most of them are interesting observations that my “following” crowd has sent my way. I find many of them useful and add my 20 character analysis and send them on. Most of these have something to do with new developments in Social Media, Social Networking, Enterprise 2.0, and Social Business in general. I’ve found so much information in blogs, articles, surveys and such that have enriched my understanding of this quickly changing landscape.

Then there are the Apple tweets. You see, I got an iPhone about 16 months ago and have been enamored with advances in mobile technology ever since. I followed closely the announcement and then the hoopla around the release of the iPad (ending up buying mine on day 1 from the tweet peer pressure). Then there was the leak on the iPhone 4. I remember tweeting something like “I wonder of this was an accident, or some marketing ploy by Steve Jobs”. I continue to listen to and chime in on the iPhone vs. Android debate. I don’t really care which is best, but rather enjoy the advances brought on by competition.

Then there was the Google Buzz debacle. I remember ranting about how the introduction of Google Buzz exposed the private mailing list of the early adopters. In some cases revealing secrets that were best kept secret. That was the time that @jowyang tweeted that Google Buzz was like an old girlfriend. I chimed in that it was more “like a spited girlfriend who shared all your secrets with the world”. That one got lots of mileage and all of a sudden Jeremiah and I were sharing the RT rounds. It was nice, if only for a brief few days, to be in the same company Mr. Owyang.

I started noticing some of my peeps tweeting about their political views, their religious views, and many topics that would be too sensitive for the office, or even for happy hour. But I found that they tweeted nonetheless and the community embraced their openness, sometimes agreed, but never chided anyone for truly speaking their mind.

I thought, heck, I should share some ideas too. That’s when the Sunday Series started. So, 31 of my 2000 tweets have been links to weekly mp3 messages, sharing the simplicity of the Christian Gospel. They go out each Sunday Morning as a nice diversion from the normal flow of tweets. Hopefully, the messages have spoken to someone with what they needed to hear at that moment.

Then, there have been the foursquare tweets. I really enjoy experimenting with location based technology. Foursquare and Gowalla came along at just the right time, making it fun to tell the world where you are and what you are doing there. I don’t tweet all my foursquare updates, but each of my 30 or so mayorships have been tweeted, along with the subsequent oustings. It’s harmless fun.

The conference tweets have been engaging. Taking part in the “back channel” during a webcast or a conference session is invigorating for a wise cracker like me. In the past, I had to whisper to a friend and snicker. But now with twitter, I can make my comments and often times they are picked up in real time. I remember a webinar when it moved from education to sales talk. I tweeted “Uh Oh, I hope this doesn’t turn into a sales pitch”. That got retweeted a few times with the webinar hash tag, and I think it may have turned the conversation away from where it was going.

I got the bright idea to gather a listing of blog posts from the recent Enterprise 2.0 conference. Using the wiki from, I set up a framework and tweeted it with the conference hashtag. Within 1 week, over 25 people from the conference contributed and it has grown into a very comprehensive summary of the conference.

Then there was the tweet that started a conference. I said something like “Thinking we should plan a Doylestown social business “barcamp” unconf. Any Ideas?” That one picked up very quickly and now we are off and planning our first Social Business Unconference for this coming September.

One of the funniest exchanges was just after I launched a big software system at work. I remember tweeting “I just released my largest software project of my career, on time and on budget”. It got bounced from a friend in Spain to a new friend in Australia. It was a Monday evening for me, and a Tuesday morning for him. I remember he said, something cute about me limiting scope or something, I chimed back with a few explanations and we had a quick round the world conversation right there. That’s the power of Twitter.

Then there was the day that we were all waiting for the Tsunami to hit Hawaii. I remember tweeting a friend on Maui and asking him how things were as they prepared for the waves to hit. We stayed in touch, I followed a few “breaking news” feeds and thankfully saw that it became a non-event for the 50th state.

So, 2000 tweets have come and gone. It is my contribution to the global conversation. 2000 tweets could become a 150 page manuscript. That’s a lot of writing, but mainly, it’s just an extension to the conversations I have every day. What’s great is that these conversations are reaching much farther and returning much more than I could in my limited daily conversations. I think the best thing about 2000 tweets is the many new relationships that have been built. Literally hundreds of new people are part of my social and professional circle now due to twitter. Many of which, I have met face to face and then continue to keep the conversation alive through the tweets. There is something special about having a crowd that I can always talk with and will always be willing to listen.

I’m looking forward now to see where the conversation will go next.

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Filed under authenticity, conversations, microblogging, trust, twitter

Coming to Grips with a Social Way of Working

Over the past years, I’ve come out of my shell. Having been in IT and also online for many years (CompuServe and before), I’ve come to really embrace my online activities and a new way of working and interacting with peers, colleagues, and friends.

I tweeted about it recently referencing this HBR blog post: 10 Reasons to Stop Apologizing for Your Online Life.

(note: originally posted July 16, 2010, and refreshed Dec 4, 2010)

It’s true, my online life and my off line life are merging and the online aspect makes my off line aspect more fulfilling. Enough of that “navel gazing”, lets talk about what has changed in my daily activities.

Mobile is the “Tipping Point”
First of all, I do everything on my iPhone or iPad. I was a blackberry user for many years and watched my social circle expand greatly when I switched to the iPhone 3Gs about 14 months ago. With a powerful mobile device, the 10 items listed below can be done very frequently throughout the day. Without a “smartphone”, you’re limited to finding time to fire up a computer on a wired LAN connection or locating a wifi hot spot and laptop to engage in social media. It’s just too much trouble.

News is Targeted to me
1. Twitter is my central information source. I’ve stopped watching local and national news. I’ve stopped reading newspapers. Occasionally, I read the local page in my local paper, but other than that, most everything I see, I’ve already seen in twitter. I’m selective who I follow and look for people who have something to say that I find interesting and engaging.
2. I get my weather from my iPhone / iPad Weather Bug app. Often, I don’t even check the thermometer outside when I wake up. I just check the Weather Bug app on my iPhone for the current temp and forecast.

Communities are “Where it’s at”
3. I use Socialcast and Yammer all the time for several important communities. At work, it’s part of a large network of 4000+ employees all around the world. Within a peer group (20Adoption Council) Socialcast is the platform for very active conversation throughout the day with others who think like me all over the world. Google Groups and Yahoo Groups along with a couple of private email lists still feel like communities, but they are losing importance.

Email is much less important
4. I use gmail for my personal mail and make a point to keep it completely separate from my company mail. My day job mailbox is squeaky clean with only company business. Anything personal goes to gmail.
5. Most of my gmail is made up of lingering e-newsletters and notifications of what is happening on my social sites. Very little actual 1:1 communication happens there any more. When it does, I often miss it
6. I text a lot, but still keep it within my current 200 message monthly limit

Professional and Personal Networking
7. I make a point to connect with nearly every professional I meet on Linked In. I started there about 4 years ago and have seen that network recently exceed 850 connections.
8. Facebook is great and I use it regularly to keep up with non professional contacts (family, friends, people who my family would join for dinner, you get it). I keep that very personal and generally closed. I have about 100 “friends” there, and stay away from the high school reunion crowd. That was a long time ago…Why would I want to share my personal life with them now?

Location Based Enjoyment
9. I enjoy experimenting with Foursquare and Gowalla right now, but limit my “friends” there to people I’m comfortable with knowing my whereabouts.

Central Document storage with Crowd based Authoring
10. I’ve been using Google Groups, Google Docs, and Yahoo Groups for some time now for controlled online sharing. These are good, but I see them being replaced by crowd friendly tools. I’m really liking my recent experience with a consumer wiki tool from PBWorks. I have found it very useful for crowdsourcing links. See what I mean at my E20 Wiki Workspace.

There you have the basics. The reality is most of my communication throughout the day is on my iPhone or iPad through Twitter, Socialcast, gmail, Foursquare and Facebook. I check into my corporate email now on my iPad, but am not tied to it like I am my personal feeds. I find I am more and more comfortable sharing my thoughts and ideas with trusted colleagues. This steady stream of information can be intimidating, but I’ve come to a point where it’s OK to miss something even if it was a message addressed directly to me. If it is important, it will come again.

Willing to Foot My Own Technology Bill
It may go unsaid, but I’ll say it. My personal technology and productivity tools are much more powerful and flexible than those provided by my corporate employer (or any corporate employer for that matter). I don’t mind. In fact I prefer it that way. I like the flexibility and much prefer using my own tools just like I enjoy driving my own car and dressing in my own clothes when I come to work.

What do you think? Does this resonate with you? Please share this post (RT) and add your comments below.


Filed under microblogging, mobility, social web, twitter