Most people seem to have missed the news, but Twitter added in-tweet polling this month. This is an interesting new feature, and one of the biggest changes to the platform in years, but there’s a problem: When viewing a poll in one of the many not-yet-compatible clients, just the text of the question appears. There is no indication that a poll was attached, leading to some weird, out-of-context possibilities.
Tech Field Day is a live, in-person event for the dozen delegates selected for each event, but as that term implies, a far greater number are represented. Indeed, our latest events have drawn a far-larger audience to the live video stream, and these viewers are joining the event via Twitter as well. This hybrid approach is unusual in the IT event world, and part of what makes Tech Field Day so special.
We really enjoy Marco Arment’s blog and the links he posts and comments on. And we recently read his post, “We’re Just Flipping Through Index Cards”, with a reference to a podcast interview John Roderick by Myke Hurley that got us thinking. John is talking about the music industry, and Marco is talking about the app store. But a lot of it rings true for enterprise IT, too.
Twitter can be confusing for the uninitiated, and the fact that there are effectively four different ways of viewing it certainly contributes. Although the main Twitter stream seems like a unified set of short messages, clients view it in very different ways.
It can be difficult to start using Twitter, since you must decide who to follow and it will take some time before people follow you back, let alone interact with you. Imagine yourself walking into a room full of interesting people, all having conversations with each other. Do you expect everyone to notice that you have arrived, stop what they’re doing, and greet you warmly? Or do you expect that you will need to find someone interesting and join their conversation?
When you create a Twitter account, you will be asked to enter some profile information, including your name, URL, description, and photo. All of these are critically important: Many people will look at them to decide whether they want to follow you. If you have not set these up, other Twitter users likely will ignore you!
The most important concept to grasp is the fundamental nature of Twitter: It is an ongoing, global, democratic conversation. It is not a blog, USENET, Facebook or MySpace, or an instant message platform, though it does have certain elements of all of those. Let’s take a look at these elements in a little more depth.
It’s funny how powerful the thoughts of individuals have become. A reasonably popular blog can post an item on a new product and outrank the company that made it in the all-important first page of Google results. Corporate blogs, Twitter accounts, social networking sites, and the rest have sprung up everywhere, all trying to fight it out with “just plain folks” for “social media” mindshare. But most corporate shills fail miserably and are forced to resort to extraordinary means to make their content “go viral.” This is ironic because the secret to getting people to share your tweets, blog posts, videos, updates, etc is really quite simple!