Friday, January 23, 2009

Twitter Community -- How I use Twitter; love and hate.

So, Twitter is an amazing micro-blogging, social phenomena the idea that peoples thoughts would be streaming on to the Internet in a way that is searchable and with an open API is amazing. (Think single consciousness of mankind)

Bahá'í Faith
Quran -- Mankind Oneness
Bible -- Mankind Oneness
(Please pay special attention to this one, considering the Internet--smile).

So, this morning; I was communicating with someone I met through odesk about doing some programming work with me through email. I saw they had experience with TestComplete, so I read about it; and did a little question/research of it compared to Selenium (especially for Silverlight). Anyway, I did a search on twitter for TestComplete and boom, JonKruger's tweet popped up. So, I sent him a reply tweet asking if he got any responses and what he knows. A couple notes: 1) Jon lives in the same cityI live in (Columbus, Ohio); we have met once or twice; and I see him several times a year (and a lot more if you count he works at QSI with a very good friend of mine (SteveHorn). 2) I am not following Jon on Twitter, I just randomaly found him by doing a search for "TestCompete" amongst the millions of users using I think this experience is a good example of showing the power of twitter for an individual to jump into the mankind consciousness that is the Internet; and for it to return connections to you locally.

Now a little bit of disappointment, I have not figured out the following/friend thing yet. I am an open networker in the sense I agree with Tim Sanders book, Love is the Killer App. I must always give away my network, knowledge and compassion; but I can't really "follow" even 33 people on twitter; let alone the thousands and tens of thousands some people follow. So, I started using TweetDeck some, and I follow only four people closely, and others I categorized by interest and commonality (is that the definition of different communities?). What's even more interesting is most of my closest friends are not even on twitter (my wife, my children--except for the photo of me with them--a little young for twitter--smile, and even most work colleagues). So, I am still trying to figure it out; how do I do, who do I follow--and am I really following them--or am I just lucky to read something they post sometimes before it scrolls on by in the other tweets I get.

I met someone the other day, I introduced myself to him in Panera (because I overheard him talking about Drupal with someone else, and the opportunity came up to strike up a conversation). The interesting part was once he handed me his business card, I recognized the company from the Columbus Tech Life community and then after we said good-bye and I went to send him my contact information by email I realized he was following me on twitter already (but I wasn't following him at the time). I think the best use of social software and twitter is when the use of the internet intersects with real world.

It is fascinating and engaging to think about social software and how it is useful and it intersects with real life, and at the same time a little scary--there are many thoughts out there from me in blog and twitter--that people could research to speak to my personal side and potentially manipulate conversations. There is no way for me to remember all that I have put out into the internet (blog, twitter, linkedin, facebook); that could be used to manipulate (or better sounding--direct) a conversation and decision.

I don't understand how it (Internet, social software, community) all works, and where it is going, but I am trying to figure it out, if anyone else is reading this, and you are trying to figure it out also, leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Best wishes!
Pete Gordon

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