Starting Out with Twitter


In reading about Big Data, I was intrigued by the numerous references to Twitter. I have since decided to join the Twitterati and get my own Twitter account (@dfhawthorne1).

Even though I have used microblogging at work before, this is the first time I have ventured out into the big, bad world of the Internet with microblogging.

I have managed to link my blog with my Twitter account. So now, new posts will be advertised as tweets. This was a fairly painless exercise.

My LinkedIn account is supposed to be connected to my Twitter account, but I see no evidence of this.

As for microblogging, most of my experience has been in a work environment. This was part of a year-long trial to see where microblogging would be of benefit to the organisation.

What I mainly blogged about there was DBA operational issues. These posts included performance statistics on Oracle Portal, and performance problems with major production databases. There were also posts about pointers to interesting articles relevant to DBAs.

The reactions I got were puzzlement and support, but mainly indifference. The puzzlement arose from people unable to see the relevance of my posts to their jobs or concerns. The support came from people who were glad that the critical systems were seen to be continually monitored.

The indifference did not matter because the information I was providing was too raw and too immediate to be of use to the general user. This information would need to be aggregated and processed by others to produce more useful stuff.

There were criticisms of my approach with the IT department. The critics thought the IT consumers should only have access to mediated information in order to manage their expectations. The access to raw and cryptic information from me undermined their efforts.

This is certainly a valid point. The IT department wanted to have a structured relationship with the rest of the organisation through the offical channels of the IT Support Desk and Product Managers. My raw information stream undermined that.

However, I think there is a place for raw data feeds. People will have to decide to spend their limited attention either on understanding this feed, ignoring it, or relying on others to interpret it for them. I think the latter is the best possible path.

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