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Using Twitter to stay connected

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —November 1, 2007
Filed in Collaboration

I was sceptical whether Twitter would be a useful business tool. I heard it was addictive so decided to keep away until I worked out how it might be useful. There are six of us in Anecdote and we all work from home. Three of us are in Melbourne and three in Canberra. One of the problems with working from home, or out at client sites, is the feeling of disconnection that builds without hearing the chatter that would surround you in an office. Twitter provides this chatter.

We started using Twitter a few weeks ago and already I can feel the difference. I have closed down access to my Twitter feed to the world so only Anecdoters can see my twits. That way I can share all the things I might say if we were in an office together. This is a valuable service for our business but I couldn’t measure this value. It’s the value of contentment, sanity, fun, and a smile when you hear Robyn has just baked some muffins, Daryl is wrestling with Zahmoo, Mark is updating his iPhone, Krista is writing an anecdote for her business card and Chandni is getting her mac working.

I noticed Tom Davenport is writing off the business value of social networking applications like Facebook and MySpace. He might be right but being social is essential to our work. So if Twitter is a social networking applications I can say it delivers us business value but don’t ask me to put a figure on it.

PS. It is this type of hard the measure business value that Most Significant Change and Zahmoo is designed to assess.

About  Shawn Callahan

Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:

4 Responses to “Using Twitter to stay connected”

  1. David Sterry Says:

    I do think one business value is for man-on-the-street product opinions. If the devs at Twitter are listening to their users, they’ll get some good guidance. One thing lacking though to realize this value is search so that’s why I created TweetScan. You can search for your products and even setup email alerts so you can have the mentions of the day in your inbox.

  2. Stephen Collins Says:

    Shawn, I think you’ll find even more value in Twitter if you actually open your feed, or at least open it to your professional and personal network beyond Anecdote.
    The connectedness you are able to build and barriers you can break with tools like Twitter are manifold. I consider it a critical tool for both my professional and personal networks. I’ve used it to broker several real world introductions with people this year, particularly the folks I met in person at the Office 2.0 conference I spoke at in San Francisco. Without Twitter in particular, the barrier to introduction (see also my post at http://www.acidlabs.org/2007/10/31/shattering-barriers/) would have been a significant hurdle, with Twitter, it was virtually non-existent.
    BTW, after having met Mark, I look forward to meeting you in real life next you’re in Canberra.

  3. Shawn Callahan Says:

    Hi Stephen, I started with my feed open to all, and it was good to see the traffic, but I had a couple of people who must have posted a message every 5 or 10 minutes and I felt I was being overwhelmed with information. It was quite distracting. But I love hearing the twits from my Anecdote colleagues and close friends and collaborators. I gives me a feeling of being part of a vibrant community.

  4. Narciso Says:

    Can Twitter result in more sales?

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