Rick’s post yesterday accounted for about 25 new Twitter friends in the Portland/Washington area. We were sharing storm news last night as the wind gusted up to 50 mph and the power failed in areas of Portland. This is a nice side effect of local Twitter friends.
Another is get-togethers. Last week, Rick posted about an ad hoc meetup on December 29 organized by Scott Kveton. I went, as did about 20 other people. It made for a nice way to mingle among fellow geeks/Tweeters from Portland. Matt King‘s Twitterwhere offers a way to build a local Twitter following by creating an XML or RSS feed of all the Tweeters in a given geographical region, e.g. here are all the Tweeters within 5 miles of 94065, here are all the Tweeters within 50 miles of London.
Of course, this only works if you have a decent profile, and I tend to agree with Eddie Awad that people’s Twitter profile should have both real name (because Twitter uses handles) and location. It makes it easier to know whom you’re following and who’s following you.
I’ve blogged about Twitter’s power to pull together people who are geographically far apart, so this is yet another way to use Twitter for good. We all have different, sometimes overlapping communities, e.g. Eddie is both a Portland area and Oracle Tweeter.
I’ve seen some tweets in past from Julio Fernandez, about which Oracle employees tweet, and my goal here is to start a list of people who Tweet, including Oracle employees, ACEs, anyone who’s interested in following Oracle happenings, and AppsLab readers. This serves a couple purposes. First, it connects those of us who have similar interests and already use Twitter. Second, it offers a nice list of people in the extended Oracle Twitter community to start following if you’re brand-spanking new to Twitter.
So, without further ado, here are some of the ones I know, please add yourself in comments if I’ve neglected to mention you. This list includes people who tweet very infrequently, if at all, as well as prolific tweeters, so your results will vary.
- Tim Bonnemann
- Johan Myrberger
- Cliff Cate
- Anshu Sharma
- Richard Byrom
- Frank Bradley
- Justin Peterson
- Arvind Karuppasamy
- Matt Abrams
- Marius Ciortea
- Gretchen Alarcon
- Justin Kestelyn
- Puneet Thapliyal
- Lou Springer
- Ethan Jewett
- Adam Glickman
- Matt Topper
- Paul Gallagher
- Shishir Srivastava
- Sivakumar Jayaraman
- Phil Crissman
- David Haimes
- Ontario Emperor (can’t recall his real name)
- Laurent Schneider
- Sagar Kamdar
- Karri Myles
- chenshap (only know the handle)
- Paul Lin
- Karen Tillman
- Nitin Mittal
- Floyd Teter
- Omar Tahboub
- Dan Norris
- Oracle FAQ (only know the handle)
You can review my account to see all the people that I follow. Now that you have a nice stable of friends, how should you stay in touch. I recently switched away from the Firefox add-ons I used before because Firefox was getting super bloated and eating too much memory. Plus, I wanted to try FF 3 Beta 2, and they weren’t compatible.
A lot of people use Adobe AIR clients like Twhirl, Snitter, and Tweetr which turn out to be pretty nice. These are free, and their producers take bug and enhancement requests over Twitter, natch. I think these are built by geeks who just wanted to fiddle with a new technology, another sweet use of the Twitter API.
I test drove all three of these and settled on Snitter for a while. Now, I’m using Twhirl and Snitter on different machines. I like the desktop client more than I thought I would. It works just like an IM client, so you don’t have to keep refreshing the Twitter home page to get updates. Replies and direct messages are colored-coded or otherwise separated to make them more noticeable. You can click a person’s avatar to @them or d them.
If you want peace and quiet, shut it down like you would IM. Incidentally, if you’re freaking out because you have multiple IM clients, you really need to go to Pidgin or Adium (for Mac) and get rid of all those clients.
Obviously the larger your network, the more noise you’ll get, which inevitably will lead to rants like this one from Scott Karp. Your Twitterverse is like a huge cocktail party, lots of conversations, some interesting, others not so much. How you handle that is up to you. Twitter does not support grouping followers, which is my primary beef. Groups would allow you to follow and tweet selectively based on the audience. I hope that in the plans, but for now, there are way to muddle through this gap.
My personal philosophy is to follow everyone who follows me, at least to start. If someone turns out to be a spammer or doesn’t add any value to my stream, then I stop following. I feel a little bad, since if that person still follows me, the conversation becomes one-sided. But it’s rare that I stop following someone.
Other people have different policies, e.g. follow only those you know, protect your updates (I’m not a fan of this one), cap your followers when you hit the wall like 100 or something whatever you can handle.
The key is adding value, which for me is not just through work-related stuff. I have conversations about all kinds of stuff over Twitter, and it humanizes the network, e.g. what is Michael Krigsman cooking for dinner, when is Marshall Kirkpatrick walking his dog, what is Topper watching on TV, that Gretchen’s daughter was sick, but is feeling better, that Justin P and I both love the Bud Light “dude” commercials, etc.
Twitter isn’t for everyone, but I like it. Check it out for yourself and as usual, sound off in comments.
Update: In an attempt to consolidate some of our New Web properties, Maris suggested adding a wiki page over on the Oracle Wiki, and I’ve also added a new Oracle Tweeter group to Mix. Feel free to add content to both. We can use the wiki page for additions and changes to the list plus other content like Twitter clients and review and the Mix group for messages, ideas, questions, etc. Doesn’t New Web rule?