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Am I a Twittersaurus ...

By ScottyUK ·
... and am I destined to become extinct ?

1st post ... be gentle !

http://www.computing.co.uk/computing/comment/2259589/face-facts-social-media-future

I read more and more commentary like this that IT pros won't accept the 'brave new world' and will effectively consign themselves to doom.

Is the problem that I am an IT Pro? I am not a top-notch salesperson, social commentator or marketing guru and would never try to be something I'm not.

I get the fact that IT pro's need to be oriented to the needs of a business and must collaborate with other departments in acheiving goals. How will Twitter et al assist me in doing this?

At this time, I simply don't want to be involved in Facebook. I simply cannot see how it is of use to me.

I've had a look at Linkedin but I am struggling to get a handle on how it would benefit me.

Then we come to Twitter. I have toyed with the idea of using this to pass on links to articles which I think are interesting or relevant. The thing is I have a mental block that's telling me there are people far more interesting than me saying exactly the same things and able to get a message across to a wider audience.

Why would the people I need to communicate with, the users to whom I am employed to provide a service, want to "Follow me on Twitter", when they display little desire to take on board what I have to say in other modes of communication!?

So for me it all boils down to this, is social media a valid business communication tool or is it simply a means of self promotion for people who have the ambition to move onward and upward?

Don't get me wrong, if my employers said "We're hip ... we're with it!" and wanted to promote social media usage to the masses, I would engage with them in assessing the challenges to allow them to do so.

Someone please convice me that I have a use in the impending future, without the need to shout from the rooftops "HERE I AM .... LISTEN TO WHAT I HAVE TO SAY !!"

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Responses.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Am I a Twittersaurus ...

"The thing is I have a mental block that's telling me there are people far more interesting than me saying exactly the same things and able to get a message across to a wider audience."

I have the same opinion. I tried blogging and Twitter and found I had nothing to say.

My very limited experience with Twitter has shown me those worth following also maintain full web logs. I prefer to read that format; it gives the writer more room to expand on their ideas, and isn't choked with the non-IT personal minutia I don't care about. Admitted, I have trouble sorting out who is worth paying attention to from among the millions of screaming voices, both on Twitter and in other forums. Jason Hiner here at TR has posted several lists of people he considers worth following, but apparently we have different standards.

I'm sure there are business uses for it, but that doesn't mean those uses apply to all users or departments. For a business viewpoint, social media are marketing tools. A few months ago I realized I don't need marketing tools in my support job and didn't care about broadcasting my personal life, so I quit trying to use them.

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... and are we therefore in the minority ?

by ScottyUK In reply to Responses.

"For a business viewpoint, social media are marketing tools." I totally agree, and what's more they are very welcome to them if they serve a valid purpose. Why do they insist though in labelling IT Pro's as some sort of social lepers just because we don't want to jump on board the bandwagon with mighty enthusiasm?

The blogger wrote "In a world where the line between technology and business is increasingly blurring, much of your capabilities as an IT leader going forward will be measured by your ability to fully grasp this new paradigm. If you keep doing what you have always done, you will get what you have always got ? it?s your decision."

She's not the only one saying this either. It's getting to a point where I'm starting to feel quite paranoid about it.

The other opinion that I currently have difficulty with, is that businesses need to embrace Social Media and allow their staff to use them to carry out their duties. Other than sectors which require promotion of self e.g. journalism, entertainment, politics even, I don't see the argument for the "if you don't jump on, you'll get left behind" generalization.

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Nothing inherently wrong with being in a minority.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to ... and are we therefore ...

"...your capabilities as an IT leader going forward will be measured by your ability to fully grasp this new paradigm."

First, pay attention when someone uses the phrase, "going forward". While it doesn't guarantee someone is blowing smoke up your arse, it does indicate that they're drinking at least one flavor of Kool-Aid (buzz words) and may be drinking others (the requirement to be active in social media).

Second, part of 'grasping a paradigm' (another buzz phrase) is understanding when it is and isn't appropriate to use. Computer drafting software premiered a couple of decades ago, but the CIO at a financial firm knows it isn't going to change the way his company does business. Web technologies for retail sales don't factor into the strategic planning of a public utility. If the company you work for doesn't have to stay in the public eye, constantly refreshing customers as to it's existence, you may not need social media, no matter what generalizations the pundits make.

As to your other point, I too don't see how social media can be a useful part of my job. When I was experimenting with a web log, someone told me it could be useful to pass troubleshooting and assistance tips to my users. ****, they won't hit F1 and use Help systems much better organized than any blog I wrote could ever hope to be. Maybe someone out there will read this and tell us how an IT person uses social media to better perform his job.

For what it's worth, Jason's latest list of 'followables' is here:

http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/hiner/?p=3866&tag=content;leftCol

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I don't get it

by GSG In reply to Am I a Twittersaurus ...

I'm not that interesting, and 99% of the people on Twitter aren't that interesting either. I don't want to know every step people make during the day, and I really couldn't care less about every random, useless thought that crops up in their heads.

A lot of people just seem to have this need to be noticed and Twitter is just another tool that facilitates the stupidity and insanity.

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Yes, it definitely highlights the idiots

by Tink! In reply to I don't get it

There are idiots galore out there and you'll see plenty of them on Twitter and FB! I have found however, that the intelligent folks will learn to avoid those idiots and only follow other intelligent folks. Therefore, if you follow intelligent people, you should get mostly intelligent posts in your stream.

Of course, everyone is entitled to a certain number of idiotic posts of their own even if they ARE an "intelligent folk" :)

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Twitter has its uses

by Tink! In reply to Am I a Twittersaurus ...

but as of yet, I haven't figured out how it would benefit the company I work for. In the current struggling economy we could definitely use more sales but as we don't have "specials" like retail stores (i.e. Free shipping, 50% off, etc.) there's nothing really to advertise other than the company itself. No one will "listen" to you for very long if you just keep promoting the same thing over and over.

As for finding help or asking technical questions that need answers, it seems to be much faster and more productive to simply do my own online research or come here to TR. Although I have to admit that my following is mostly crafters and not techies so that can affect the outcome of technical questions quite a bit.

I do find that Twitter and FB are great for self-promotion for people who are doing online things such as selling handmade items in online shops and writers who post online to get paid for pageviews.

One drawback however, is in order to get a good audience that will respond to your posts you have to respond to them as well. This can be time-consuming.

I don't think companies are going to LOSE any sales if they don't Twitter and FB, but certain types of companies could definitely gain more sales. Those companies need to calculate whether the amount of sales generated through social networking is worth the time (and pay to the employee) needed to promote the sales.

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