Thursday, January 26, 2012

From the Horse’s Mouth: Tremors and Fandom Courtesy of Twitter

Why Tweet?

There are many things I love about this microblogging platform and the way it enhances my business life and various hobbies. In business I can count on Twitter for an endless stream of recommended blog posts, white papers, and other social media, cloud computing, and learning content that the people I follow post all day, every day.

My music hashtags always manage to point out some new fantastic group, music video, or preview of a new track from a band that dominates my playlist. It's nearly as useful as reddit (If you reddit, you know what I mean, and you should check out r/listentothis)

It's also fantastic to see instant updates around the world the moment news occurs. For example, on August 23rd 2011, there was an earthquake along the East Coast of the United States. It originated in Virginia with a magnitude 5.8 and there were no reported injuries or deaths, though there was some damage to buildings in the area. There was so little fallout, that the initial panic became a bit of a running joke.

In the Saba Lexington office, it translated to this: I was working away and slowly noticed this shaking sensation. I thought someone near me was having a caffeine attack and thrumming their foot against my wall. Eventually it seemed odd enough th
at I stood up, and saw dozens of other people standing all over the office looking around, perplexed.

What was that?

I turned to my twitter stream on Tweetdeck, which is always open on my desktop, and saw dozen of tweets popping up immediately from across the east coast. Dozens of people in New York reported feeling it. Even more Bostonians were throttling the stream with confused updates – Was that an earthquake in Cambridge? My DC friends were much more sure – evacuating – but not before reaching for their smartphones. I added to the conversations, reporting shakes in Lexington. Thanks to Matt Malczewski, a community manager that I met at Enterprise 2.0 2011 in Boston, I found out that the shaking extended all the way to Toronto, Canada.

Thanks to twitter, I knew immediately what was happening before any major news site had broken the news. Yes, they probably released articles a few minutes later, but there is something so exciting about hearing it from the horse’s mouth. Industry peers and friends around the world that are posting their experiences and perspectives with no filter. It’s an extremely subjective but fantastic knowledge exchange. That’s just one moment when I saw the unique value that Twitter offers.

Oh and I also got retweeted by Paul Pierce once. Talk about twitter-related shakes. As a massive Celtics fan, that was pretty freaking unbelievable! I immediately started telling my Boston friends my amazing news, many of whom responded – What’s a retweet?

How is twitter useful for you in your day to day life? And how do you use it to enhance your business knowledge? What’s your best twitter experience?

Shakes? Shivers?

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