Friday, December 19, 2008

Cool Technology of the Week

In my experience, social networking applications gain marketshare by being first to innovate and then spreading virally.

I was an early adopter of Facebook but delayed joining Twitter, a microblog that enables me to post instant blog entries via SMS from my Blackberry.

Over the past 60 days, I have seen an incredible rise in Twitter use among my colleagues and have now joined the ranks of folks who "Tweet" their blogs. You'll find me at http://twitter.com/jhalamka

Here's what I do to use Twitter
1. I've added Twitter's SMS address (40404) to my Blackberry and can send a message directly to my Twitter blog from my Blackberry wherever I'm traveling
2. I've linked my Life as a Healthcare CIO blog to Twitter via TwitterFeed . TwitterFeed supports OpenID for authentication, so you do not need yet another password. It automatically checks my blog's Feedburner RSS feed 5 times a day and creates a microblog entry using tinyurl.com to keep the links short.
3. I follow just a few people, but have increasing numbers of folks following me. I try to limit my Twitter posts to just my blog entries and one interesting factoid per day about a meeting or travel. Sometimes Twitter can get overwhelming if you're following several people who post multiple times per day.

As with blogs, Facebook, forums and other aspects of the interactive web, it's a way to stay connected with your friends and colleagues. Is there a business purpose for Twitter? For me, it does connect me to an entirely different audience for my blog. If I can reach my staff and colleagues via the means of communication they find best - IM, email, blogs, microblogs, phone/voicemail, fax, and Plaxo/LinkedIn, then I've met my goal of overcommunicating with all my stakeholders to ensure they understand my strategy, priorities, and important healthcare IT news of the day.

Twitter is another communication tool for me that easy to use, integrated with my existing devices, and a low burden to maintain. Staying in touch with microblogs - that's cool!

3 comments:

The Medical Quack said...

You are a brave person to take on Twitter with all you have on your plate! I use it for the blog feeds too and it is quite useful when reading other blogs instead of having to subscribe via RSS.

I have to almost give myself "Twitter Hours" if you will as it can take over if I decide to actually comment outside my feeds and that of course will generate more questions and responses from Twitter too, but I try to use Friend Feed a lot to keep up and organized the tweets.

I agree too on who you follow as well as the follower list long exceed who I follow too and started using the Twitter hacks if I need a look up. Again, amazing how you manage to fit everything into your schedule so well!

Raj said...

It's interesting you mention twitter. I just began using twitter about 3 weeks ago as a way to communicate with my staff. I looked at all the different social networking and blog tools - friendfeed, tumblr, etc. - and though friendfeed is very slick, twitter is great because it has a basic utility that is clear to people (elasticity to change is always an issue when introducing new tools).

I also embedded it in our sharepoint site so that we didn't have to add one more place for people go.

Now if they'll just work on group collaboration features, it would really be valuable.

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