Depending on how you use it, Twitter can be a place to read about someone’s latest gym visit or can be used to dish up a wealth of information about emerging trends and interesting information you may not have found on your own. It’s not only useful as a corporate tool to get the pulse of customers but as a collective of research, a way to capture ideas from many degrees away.
By following an eclectic group of thinkers, I am presented daily with a smorgasbord of ideas. I sift through the snippets and click through to blogs or news articles. Usually a thread will emerge that connects those ideas and gives me the fodder to assess how this may have an impact on some aspect of business.
There are analysis tools, and last week during Gartner Symposium I used Tweetronics, The Archivist and Scout Labs. I would suggest you give these a test drive – some are free and some are on a trial basis. These may be appropriate for trending and analytical information, but are not necessary for general or personal use.
You don’t need complex technology to find the nuggets, just the discipline to bomb through a series of tweets from the great minds you follow and a little quiet time to assemble all the ingredients into a recipe. Ten minutes a day can provide some interesting ideas.
I find the “digital divide” a lot when I share with others that I use Twitter. Some people are surprised, many are skeptical. Twitter is also a great source for first hand news. A recent San Francisco earthquake was picked up and I could quickly assess that there were no injuries or damage – minutes before the news coverage. During the San Bruno gas explosion, Twitter was the first to the scene. Categories are enabled by the use of a hash tag – making it easy to follow the twitter stream for a specific event or topic. For instance, #bpm is widely used by the BPM community.
There are a lot of ideas and knowledge nuggets to be discovered if you follow interesting people and work the tweet stream. Twitter is a pyramid scheme I can get behind!
Follow me on Twitter! @eliseolding