E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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Groups for Twitter; or a Proposal for Twitter Tag Channels and on the Importance of Listening to Your End-Users

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I was planning to create this particular weblog post last week Thursday, but in the end I didn’t, more than anything else because I didn’t want to build further up on the frustrations of not being able to use Twitter for most of that day, as Neville clearly points out over at Twitter needs some super strength and agility. Instead, I decided to let it go and enjoy a Twitterless day. But now that things seem to be back up again I thought it would be a good idea to share some further thoughts on why I still feel Twitter is the killer app., as far as micro-blogging is concerned, that is.

As a starter, people keep coming up with some pretty impressive blog posts that clearly detail how Twitter could be used on a business environment to help you stay connected with other knowledge workers while in a distributed world. Latest examples are those from Jeremiah Owyang with his stunning and incredibly thorough overview of how to benefit from Twitter within the enterprise: Web Strategy: What the Web Strategist Should Know about Twitter and Bill Ives, who over at the FASTForward Blog, gets to comment further in a very interesting conversation on another blog post put together by Sara (From HiveTalk) on 7 Enterprise Uses for Twitter.

I tell you, if you would ever want to get a crash course to find out where all the buzz is coming through with Twitter, those links that I have just mentioned above would get off to a good start, along with the 10 Reasons Why Twitter Will Help Improve Your Already Existing Social Networks that I created some time ago and which, to date, still remains as one of the most popular blog posts I have created over here.

But the thing is that not only those blog posts are helping out Twitter become that killer app. for micro-blogging; it is actually the fully committed end-user community who keep coming up with plenty of different ways on how to improve the overall user experience. And perhaps one of the best examples that I am very very excited about is the one put together by Chris Messina, a.k.a. FactoryJoe, over at FactoryCity, under the title: Groups for Twitter; or A Proposal for Twitter Tag Channels. Something that, by the way, has also been mentioned and adopted by Stowe Boyd, and which you can read some more about it over at Hash Tags = Twitter Groupings

In that particular blog post, Chris gets to detail one of the main reasons for which Twitter has become the killer app. out there: the passion to innovate and keep up with the pace of a thriving end-user community who cares about a particular tool and who would want to take things further into the next level.

Yes, that is right. In a very thoughtful and insightful blog post Chris gets to describe one of the features that we strongly feel would make Twitter an even much more attractive Web 2.0 application for everyone out there to try out: combining the concept of groups and tag channels that would help connecting with people in a much more meaningful way than what is happening today.

I am not going to detail what Chris is after, since you can read the lengthy post over at his blog. What I am certainly going to say is that with proposals like that one for social software tools you can never go wrong from a product development perspective Why? Because that helpful feedback on how to improve the user experience is coming from the most valuable source available out there for any social computing tool: its end-user community. That is just how you can keep innovating at a rampant pace keeping up with what end-users are asking for, which in the end will make things a lot easier, as far as adoption is concerned, and will certainly pave the road on where innovation is heading.

It is a collaborative effort. A collaborative effort that goes beyond the enterprise and which keeps getting active involvement and participation from that where it matters the most: the knowledge workers themselves. I tell you what, I am really excited to see what Chris has put together working collaboratively with others, because I can certainly see making it come through and become the next wave of interactions from Twitter.

Only thing remaining would be whether the Twitter development folks are up for the job and would take FactoryJoe’s collaborative work and push it through the next time that the application goes for a facelift. Now, that would be really cool and something for which I would forgive the fact the RSS feed has been broken since almost day one! (Thank goodness for Tweet-r!).

Can you imagine what Twitter would be like if we would be able to set up tag channels for "contextualisation, content filtering and exploratory serendipity"? I doubt it would get better than this, I tell you. And at the same time I am very excited to see how this particular proposal taps as well into some of the superb piece of work that Thomas van der Wal has put together for tagging and folksonomies. That’s just as dynamic, vibrant and exciting as it would get!

Let’s bring it on!

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  1. Hi Jeremiah! Thanks much for dropping by and for the feedback! Yes, I know. I thought it would be a good opportunity to put together in a nice blog post some of the really good conversations I have been following on how Twitter could be used from a business perspective. That way, I hope people would be able to check out some of its great potential.

    Glad to read your enjoyed the wrap up! Keep up putting together some amazingly good content! We shall enjoy linking to it and digesting it further!

    Thanks again for the feedback!

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