The Server-Side Pad

by Fabien Tiburce, Best practices and personal experiences with enterprise software

10 Twitter Tips for Professionals

with 2 comments

I am an unlikely fan of Twitter, the rapidly growing “micro-blogging” platform (I won’t call it a site, read on…).  For starters, I don’t particularly enjoy gossip.  I have no interest in celebrities and I think Smalltalk is a computer language.  So like many, I hesitated to join Twitter.  I was afraid it would amount to pointless chatter, noise.  That was then.  This is now: in a matter of weeks, Twitter has not only become useful to me, it has become downright essential.  Here are 10 Twitter tips I hope professionals find useful.

1. Twitter is a bit like eavesdropping.  The conversation is as good as the participants.  Follow interesting people, creative thinkers, prominent speakers and chances are you are going to be enlighted by a constant flow of insightful tweets.  Follow “noise” and the pearls of wisdom will be few and far between.

2. Follow your friends and peers, sure.  But mostly, seek out people you wouldn’t normally get to converse with.   Unlike LinkedIn, you can virtually follow anyone.  This is unique.  Following someone on Twitter is a bit like being allowed in his or her inner, albeit public, circle.  Twitter has given me new perspectives from people I may not otherwise meet, listen to or learn from on a day to day basis.

3. Everything you say is public.  The search engine in Twitter is very good and real time. The appearance of “inner circle” privacy is just that, an appearance.  Be candid (most people are) but tweet accordingly.

4. Being a fairly public and open platform, Twitter is very transparent.  You can search Twitter (company name,  person, idea) using #hashtags.  This gives you a pretty good idea of  how the company or idea is being perceived.   Real time, unfiltered knowledge.  Brilliant for marketers, researchers and just about anyone involved in creating and selling a product or service.

5. Tele-presence.  There is a great conference in San Francisco you wish to attend but can’t due to prior commitments.  No worries.  Lookup the hashtag and “listen” for tweets on the conference.  Key points and take-aways will probably make it on Twitter before they show up anywhere else.  Not quite like being there, but close.

6. Twitter is a platform, more than a site.  The web interface is one of many ways to get on Twitter.  I installed a desktop client called TweetDeck and a BlackBerry client called TwitterBerry.  There are countless other clients which is further driving its adoption.  And there lies a valuable take-away on success 2.0: play nice with the community and the community will adopt you and make you successful.  

7. Twitter is not just about people, it’s about news.  I essentially stopped using RSS and now use Twitter to read updates from some favourite technical news sites such as Slashdot.  There again, Twitter is a platform more than an application.  Its potential is enormous.

8. Twitter can get your questions answered.  Sure LinkedIn has Q&A’s but the answers take days or weeks to come.  Answers on LinkedIn tend to be longer and well thought-out (some anyways) but they still take time.  Chances are, unless you are writing a research paper, you need answers at the speed of business.  The answers you will get on Twitter are more like insights, facets to the complete answer.  Quick, opinionated, maybe a follow up link or two.   From there you can make your own opinion.

9. Twitter restricts you to 140 characters.  What good can you say in 140 characters?  A lot!  Twitter forces you be concise, synthetic, to the point.  As a writer, it’s a good exercise in concision. As a reader, it’s a great time saver that stimulates the mind.

10. Remember Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus in the Matrix “No one can tell you what The Matrix is, you simply have to experience it for yourself.”?  Well so is Twitter.  Because of its openness, its choice of interface and who you follow, Twitter is what you want it to be.  Try it and you just might like it.

Follow Fabien on Twitter at


Written by Compliant IA

April 26, 2009 at 9:04 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I really like this post. Especially the Matrix one 😀
    I wrote similar post like this, but I think you have a better naration.

    Chris Prakoso

    May 5, 2009 at 7:30 pm

  2. I keep looking for some evidence of how participating in Twitter is good for business. Your article actually offers more points of evidence than most, which claim to say why but are all about how. But I remain to be convinced that Twitter won’t be just another distraction from productivity rather than a contribution my success.


    June 15, 2009 at 9:30 pm

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