I set up a Twitter account last year, just prior to the 2010 Spring COMMON Conference and occasionally tweeted about what was going on during the conference. Through the rest of 2010 I'd rarely tweet about something - I just didn't get Twitter! It seemed silly to me to “text message” to the Internet what I was doing. Plus, others would tweet about these events and I just never felt that I was contributing new information.
But recently, much to my surprise, I discovered some tweets that were very informative.
It all started just before the holidays, when I finally downloaded and installed TweetDeck. It had been suggested to me that perhaps if I tried an application for using Twitter that I might find more value in it. Up until that time, I had been using the Web interface. Having an application to work with Twitter made sense, and the tweets from the people I followed would automatically show up. Pretty cool. But still, I continued to feel like I didn't have something of value to contribute by tweeting. And most of the tweets I read were trivial “I'm doing this today.” Bah, humbug!
Then along comes Watson. People I followed on Twitter were tweeting about Watson. And through those tweets and links to news articles, I learned a lot about the project. In fact, Twitter was THE vehicle for how I found out about many of the articles that had been written.
And it hit me – I had found some real value to Twitter! Had I not seen those tweets about Watson, I wouldn't have read those very interesting articles!
But I was still having trouble trying to figure out how could I use Twitter to contribute to the community. I can't tweet about the details of my day-to-day job. Going to speaking engagements is nice, but is it really contributing information to just tell you “I'm at the xxx User Group Conference”?
Then I work up last Sunday morning with an idea. While I'm not working with the latest and greatest technology all the time, I do know a lot about IBM i and have a very good understanding of our documentation. And, for the same reason I started to write this blog, I figured out how I can now use Twitter to contribute something. I'm going to try to tweet on a regular basis – but it won't necessarily be about the latest stuff. Rather, I'll share links to helpful documentation, PTF cover letters, support knowledge base articles – really, all the same things I do with this blog, but I'll do it in Twitter micro-blogging style.
My Twitter ID is @DawnMayiCan and we'll see how rethinking Twitter goes.