This month’s questions that need answering are…
- Why should average Jane or Joe professional consider using twitter?
- What benefit have you seen in your career because of twitter?
Number one is fairly simple in my opinion. Every social networking tool is what you make of it. This goes with an individual’s use or an entire community’s use of the tool(s). Twitter has been around since 2006 (according to Wiki). My account goes back multiple years. I owe thanks to Denis Gobo for getting me into using Twitter. Well, his attempts to. Originally I didn’t use it. I created my handle, watched some people talk about taking showers and eating bacon and said, no thanks. Sometimes they had to go to the doctor for some sort of exam that I really didn’t want to picture or hear about. That was even more frightening when you see some of the avatars they used. After that, I stopped using twitter for a few months. Then for some reason I jumped back on and tried it the way I should have in the first place. I used it as a social networking tool that relates to my business, technology corner and all around community involvement. I had been a part of several .NET and SQL Server Communities prior to twitter but really, twitter is what made it scale both up and out, very quickly. With the expansion of my ability to get involved in the SQL Server Community with twitter, I also had a single and effective place to make my blogs public. Prior to tweets such as, “[Blog] SQL University – let’s blog!” my blogs had only a few hundred hits on a good month. Yes, I said, Month! Once I took twitter in as a tool to get my blogs in front of more people, my visits doubled, tripled and simply hit marks in the thousands. I can now count them in days without feeling no love from the community :-) You can’t argue with those types of statistics and free marketing abilities.
Number two: My career is based off twitter right now. Literally! A good friend of mine, Aaron Lowe (Blog | Twitter), works for Magenic. At the time I first started talking to Aaron, I was leading the data team at a large pharmaceutical company. Aaron, in so many words, wanted me to look into Magenic as a next step in my career. Long story short, I did start talking to Magenic and landed myself right in the mix of some of the most brilliant technology leaders around by coming to work with Magenic. So when someone asks me, “What possible benefit could twitter give me in my career?” I can easily say, it made my career to date. Without meeting Aaron on twitter, organizing a few SQL Saturdays with him and working with him both on design and simply, great conversations about SQL Server, the step to where I am now may have taken twice or even three times as long. So if someone tells you twitter is nothing more than a 140 character prostrate exam alert, send them to me. I’ll show them the proof in how it can help your career, community involvement and networking.