Why Twitter is Good 4 You

(Ref Id: 1350443064)

Don't get me wrong, I like LinkedIn. I use it every day. I'm a participant in numerous groups and forums there, but LIMSExpert.com uses Twitter for DIY discussions. What gives?

Twitter is superior for several reasons. First, Twitter is popular among software developers who are distributed geographically collaborating on a project. Years ago many developers would use IRC or some kind of chat system for communication but Twitter works well because it works on various devices -- cell phones, computers, tablets, etc. There is no need to maintain a dedicated connection to a server. You can be disconnected, check in, and publish something, and go on to catch that flight.

Sure then, you might say, that Twitter is a bit better than a chat server, but what about forums like LinkedIn? LinkedIn groups, great as they are, suffer from the 'correctness' problem. They suffer from a more centralized, top-down format for discussions. The most influential people on LinkedIn are often those that have a reason to be so influential -- that is, they have something at stake. They will be service providers, consultants, recruiters, or just somebody looking for a job. LinkedIn even has a top influencer metric for groups that denotes who is generating the most buzz. Twitter is completely different. Yes, there are influencer metrics floating about but people really don't focus on any of that. It is not staring you in the face every time you open your Twitter client and, if it is, you can change clients.

The fact of the matter is that you don't want to be influenced in DIY. That is the opposite of what you want. You want to be a participant -- an active participant -- in DIY LIMS projects. If you have published a system Twitter lets you contact your users. It lets you publish release dates and answer questions. If you are a user of a DIY system you can find someone else -- not necessarily the developers -- that might know enough about the system to give you a helping hand. On Twitter your posts are just as important as anyone else's (depending on who is following you).

Here's another benefit: when you notice that someone is trying to influence you one option is to simply unfollow them (another is to block them from reading your tweets as well). You can't really do that on LinkedIn and other online forums. When some people annoy the heck out of you on Twitter you can simply tune them out. This is not so easy to do elsewhere.

The beauty of Twitter for people discussing software development projects is that you can limit your feedback to the standard 140 characters or expand upon it by providing a link to a blog post or to an online code repository or otherwise. Twitter is decentralized where groups are centralized; Twitter is flat -- tweets and ideas can come from left, right, center...everywhere. Groups on LinkedIn tend to be top-down -- first responders get top billing so even though their contribution may be fairly useless 'look at me' type fluff it still winds up at the top of the discussion. Yuck.

There is one additional problem with LinkedIn -- spam. Spammers with every kind of absurd post will wind up starting discussions in groups. Granted, group administrators can control this but many administrators refuse to spend the time leaving the poor group members to become victims of reams of spam masquerading as discussion topics.

In summary, don't use LinkedIn or other groups for DIY LIMS -- spend the time to learn to use Twitter. It seems absurd at first -- 140 characters -- but that restriction forces you to think about your posts. It makes the communication brief and to the point -- a sort of hybrid between a personal conversation and a personal ad you would post in the the back of a newspaper. When people like what you have said and they find it useful they retweet it for others to read. They can also send it to their friends and new people will find those posts and follow you.

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Citation: Why Twitter is Good 4 You. (2012). Retrieved Thu Apr 19 15:00:22 2018, from http://www.limsexpert.com/cgi-bin/bixchange/bixchange.cgi?pom=limsexpert3;iid=readMore;go=1350443064