Rob Wood’s posting I’m Yammering away describes how he obtained feedback from fellow Carphone Warehouse employees about a web page he had written by using Yammer.
“Previously getting this sort of feedback would have been a nightmare – I’d have had to track down the right person and then exchange a series of emails or phone calls with someone hundreds of miles away.
Instead of all that, Yammer let me type out a short question and chuck it out to everyone who was logged on. Within half an hour three or four people (several of whom I didn’t know before) had come back to me with suggestions about what I needed to consider.
It wasn’t just the speed that impressed me. The inclusive nature of Yammer means that’s everyone who could help with my problem did – even if I didn’t know who they were.”
Liz Azyan has updated her list of UK local councils on Twitter. On April 11th 2009 there were 101 with Newcastle City Council having the most followers (1050). She has also started lists of US, Canadian and Australian local government on Twitter.
Gartner has released a report that highlights the different ways that companies are adopting Twitter for business use. Many organizations have begun to actively participate in Twitter but not all are using it in the same way.
Gartner has identified four different ways in which companies are making use of the Twitter application: direct, indirect, internal, and signaling.
Direct — The company uses Twitter as a marketing or public relations channel
Many companies have established Twitter identities as part of their corporate communications strategies, much like corporate blogs. They Tweet about corporate accomplishments, distributing links to press releases or promotional Web sites, and respond to other Twitterers’ comments about the brand. Gartner recommends that at a minimum, companies should register Twitter IDs for their major brand names to prevent others claiming them and using them inappropriately.
Indirect — The company’s employees use Twitter to enhance and extend their personal reputations, thereby enhancing the company’s reputation
Good Twitterers enhance their personal reputation by saying clever, interesting things, attracting many followers who go on to read their blogs. As people enhance their personal brands, some of this inevitably rubs off on their employers. Twitter provides a way of raising the profile of both individuals and the organizations they work for, which elevates these companies that want to be seen to employ influential leaders.
Internal — Employees use the platform to communicate about what they are doing, projects they are working on and ideas that occur to them
In most cases, Gartner does not recommend using Twitter or any other consumer microblogging service in this way, because there is no guarantee of security. It is crucial that employees understand the limitations of the platform and never discuss confidential matters, because as a seemingly innocuous Tweet about going to see a particular client can tip off a competitor. Other providers, such as Yammer and Present.ly, provide Twitter-like functions targeted at enterprise microblogging with more security and corporate control.
Twitter streams provide a rich source of information about what customers, competitors and others are saying about a company. Search tools such as search.twitter.com or the twhirl application can scan for references to particular company or product names. Companiescan use these to get early warnings of problems and collect feedback about product issues and new product ideas.
Examples of the business use of Twitter can be found at 16 Examples of Huge Brands Using Twitter for Business and 40 of the Best Twitter Brands and the People Behind Them
Thanks to Phil Bradley, @kurafire and @atebits for these two pages about Twitter:
Twitter is not a competition http://twitterisnotacompetition.com/
Twitter is not email http://www.twitterisntemail.com/
Unless you have locked your updates, your Twitter tweets are public. I shall repeat that – unless you have locked your updates, your Twitter tweets are public. And even if a company or person is not following you they can still pick up your derogatory comments about them, as one person found to their cost.
Many organisations now monitor Twitter as part of their market and competitor intelligence. Set up search alerts on your organisation’s name and products and you can see what people are saying about you within a few minutes of their tweets leaving their iPhone, Tweetdeck or whatever.
How to Tweet Your Way Out of a Job recounts the sorry tale of a person who had received a job offer from Cisco. Unfortunately, after hearing the joyful news the potential employee tweeted:
“Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.”
timmylevad from Cisco responded:
“Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.”
There are further details and comments at Careers – Big Brother – How Not to Get a Job Via Twitter but it really is stating the b******g obvious. If your updates are public then anyone can find and view them. I would go further: even if your Twitter updates are private and you approve people to follow you, when it comes to Twitter you would still be well advised to keep your thoughts to yourself about the merits of future employment. It is all too easy to RT a comment into the public Twitterverse.
Note: RT stands for re-tweet, not Radio Times as I first thought! Caused me no end of confusion when I first saw it.
This list of 20 alternative Twitter search engines is a must for Twitter addicts.
Personally I still think that http://search.twitter.com/ and its Advanced Search is by far the best, but Phil gives some interesting alternatives that have unique features.
This item from the The FASTForward Blog concerns a juror on a civil trial against a building materials company who was caught tweeting some of his musings, resulting in calls for a mistrial. I assume that the US has similar regulations to the UK in respect of jury service, in that you are not allowed to discuss the trial with anyone other than your fellow jurors. I would have thought that tweeting would come under “discussion” but perhaps the instructions to jurors need to include social media such as Twitter and Facebook messaging in the ban.
As Joe McKendrick says:
“Along with legal proceedings, occasions such as driving, job interviews, performance review sessions, religious ceremonies, and first dates come to mind as times when hold off on the urge to tweet. The world will wait for you.”
If Twitter is your preferred news medium and you want to keep up with what is happening locally, for example school closures due to bad weather, use Twitter / uklocalcouncils to track down your local council. A meagre twenty-two are currently listed and you can follow individual councils or all of them (uklocalcouncils). Content varies but usually includes news about jobs, changes to refuse and recycling collection dates, school closures and impact of severe weather conditions on local services.
This list of UK local council twitterers was compiled by Liz Azyan Research and is on the Local Government Engagement Online Research Blog. As well as giving Twitter details of 21 local councils, there is a Hall of Fame including the first council to start using Twitter (St Helens), newest council (Pembrokeshire) and the council with most followers (St Helens and Barnet). Also noted are councils using Twitter for particular service updates: Birmingham City Council Transport, Lichfield District Council Planning Applications and Leeds City Council Press Office
TweetShrink is an interface to Twitter that shortens tweets to make the 140 character limit. This is a web based version of the TweetDeck shrink button. I was not impressed when I tried it out. I expected it to contract ‘I have’ to ‘I’ve’, ‘I had’ to ‘I’d’ but it just seems to convert ‘to’ to ‘2’. ‘for’ to ‘4’ etc. You may have more luck with it than me but I find using your own brain to concentrate on the main point of your tweet is far more effective.
Thanks to Infobunny’s Twitterapps for the alert.