Twitter can be useful

[Originally intended as an email to the NBComm Yahoo group .. repurposed to the blog.]

I get the feeling that many of you don’t use Twitter. I totally understand the desire to avoid getting sucked into yet-another-social-network. Twitter is different. Yes .. there’s plenty of inane and completely useless noise on Twitter, but there’s also a fair amount of good info to be found. The trick is avoiding the noise and just gaining the benefit of the useful info.

Of the various social networks available today I find Twitter the easiest to benefit from without spending huge amounts of time getting sucked in. That’s not to say that you can’t get sucked in and spend huge amounts of time, but that’s totally up to you. I actually find that I learn about important events (local, international, and global) on Twitter before reading about it through traditional media.

First .. you don’t even have to set up an account to make use of it. You can read an individual’s tweets or follow a hash tag by just going to twitter.com and doing a search. This is a great way to dip your toe in the pool without a huge commitment.

Starting with this last week and going for the next couple weeks are some techcomm conferences that you can follow on Twitter. It’s a great way to get an idea about what’s going on at a conference without being there ..

Keep in mind that you’re getting the perspective of only those attendees who Tweet .. which may or may not be a good thing. You’ll also notice that hash tags can collide! (#ICC2014 is the tag for the Intelligent Content Conference, but it’s also apparently the tag for the International Champions Cup!)

The great thing about Twitter is that the tweets are short. It’s easy to scan and skip over those that are not useful, and follow links of those that are.

If you do decide to set up an account and post tweets of your own, it’s a very low bar with minimal overhead and requirements. No confusing permissions and settings. What you tweet goes out to whoever wants to read it. People will follow you if you tweet about things that interest them. You can follow people who tweet about things that interest you, and if they start tweeting about things that don’t interest you, you just stop following them. Easy.

You can follow @NBComm on Twitter as well, to see the fascinating things that we tweet about!

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