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Jun 01, 2009

To Tweet or Not to Tweet

By Natalie Boike

“All the little birds on Jay Bird Street love to hear the robin go ‘tweet, tweet, tweet.’”

Today’s social media outlets have forever changed Bobby Day’s 1958 song “Rockin’ Robin.” The site is marketed as “a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?” In case you’re not familiar with the Twitter craze, you should know: Answers must be under 140 characters in length and can be sent via mobile texting, instant message or the Internet.

This tool does seem like a great way to keep up with acquaintances without a large commitment of time or resources. It didn’t take long for business to come on board and develop other Web sites and applications around twitter (i.e. http://tweetscan.com/). Many other organizations have begun to use twitter as a marketing tool–the most successful example of which is commonly cited as Zappos.com.

Another success: Just last month (April 23) Vice President of Brand at The Current Network Jordan Kretchmer–twitter username @Jkretch–was one of the first to post what has been dubbed a TwitteRFP on the site twerbose.com. His company is searching for a full-service ad agency. “I have 5 empty slots on the distribution list and am on the hunt for creative agencies who also live social media,” he wrote.

The response has been impressive. Many agencies responded via twitter. BG Creative used their blog to explain why they’re making a pitch. 22squared created a press release and then held an online brainstorm session for CurrentTV. Many more people are simply twittering about the TwitteRFP process. @peternoll says he’s “thinking what my twitter resume would look like, after reading: Current TV made ad agencies submit entries via Twitter to be their agency.”

After the TwitteRFT deadline elapsed, Kretchmer posted another twerbose.com entry saying, “There are 5 agencies on this list that we either didn't know, or wouldn't have considered before this process. And we think that's really cool.” The use of twitter in this case has been not only been beneficial for The Current Network, but it’s also provided exposure for smaller ad agencies that otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to land such a large client.

Just as interesting as the success stories is the dark side to all this twittering. When someone’s personal life and professional life collide, there can be negative ramifications. Due to the transparency of the Internet, employers can turn to any social network site to learn more about the people who work for them. In the “Cicso Fatty story,” someone tweeted about her hesitation over accepting a new job and the potential employer saw it. I doubt the offer stayed on the table for long. That’s just one example.

I think the success of Twitter depends on how it’s used. To tweet or not to tweet, what’s your decision? Why and how are you using twitter? What about IBM Systems Magazine; would you be interested in following us on twitter?

May 06, 2009

Let's Get Social

By Tami Deedrick

Hey everyone! I’m the managing editor of the IBM i edition of the magazine and I’m pretty excited about this new staff blog. Sometimes I have things I want to share with you but I don’t want to wait the three months it usually takes us to produce a magazine issue. This blog will give me the opportunity to share things much more quickly with you. I supposed sometimes I’ll wonder what on earth to say—I’m new to blogging—but other times I’ll be bursting with news…or questions.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about social media. So let me pick your brain. Do you habitually read blogs? Are you on Facebook and do you think companies should be there? Are you on LinkedIn? Do you Twitter? Perhaps more importantly, do you follow anyone on Twitter? If so, why?

Do you use the “share this story” button when you read stories online? What sharing services do you use? I use it but only to post to my Facebook page. I’m interested to hear what you think. We recently added this feature to the ibmsystemsmag.com website and I’m anxious to see if people like and use it.

Is that enough questions for you? I’m really interested in this social media topic and I’ve been asking everyone about it. Please let me know what you think. I’ll be waiting…