Hey there all you aspiring writers and content experts out there. Pay attention – here’s your chance for fame. Well, fame within our little modest world of document, content, records, and business process management.
In talking to people at conferences and chapter meetings and on webinars over the past few months, I am constantly amazed at the expertise out there in our extended community. But it’s mostly confined to in-person conversations. It’s time we took the cork out and started tapping into this knowledge pool.
So I am launching a series on my blog for guest columnists. The title is “8 Things You Need to Know About X,” with the “X” being something to do with document, content, records, and business process management.
Here are the conditions.
- Because of my great love of consistency, I want 8 items. Not 7 or 9.
- Write about anything that you know a lot about – albeit having something to do with the world of content, broadly defined. Try to be specific and with a bit of a “how to” mindset. For example, “8 Things You Need to Know About Content Management” or “How I Learned to Play the Saxophone” would not be good topics. First come, first served re topics. I may do more than one list on a topic if warranted.
- In terms of length, aim for 700-1,000 words.
- Send the drafts to me via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Keep in mind these are opinion pieces, not fully vetted ISO standards. So have a little fun with them.
- I reserve the option of minor editing for consistency and whether and when to publish. You reserve the right to approve the final version.
- Don’t use cuss words.
- You can publish under your real name or a descriptive pseudonym, just as long as I know who you really are. If the former, a small jpeg pic would be great.
- Anything pitching products will be thrown out.
- You give us (AIIM) the right to reuse the final product (i.e., in Infonomics magazine, on the web site, on InformationZen, in other published materials, etc.)
So I will start it off to give you the idea.
8 Things You Need to Know About Twitter and Business
This "8 things" provided by John Mancini of AIIM. For more information, contact him at email@example.com.
1. In many ways, Twitter is like instant messaging. As in instant messaging, the emphasis is on short, punchy messages. In fact, the very definition of Twitter is 140 character messages that describe “what are you doing?” That’s not much real estate. Longer than an IM, but shorter than an email message.
2. There is a big difference between Twitter and instant messaging - Twitter messages go out to the world. This is an aspect of “content” publishing that drives many above the age of 40 berserk. It is the same objection that many initially had to blogging – who cares to hear your opinions about all the minutiae of your life? I’ve heard Clay Shirky talk about this (Here Comes Everybody) and he notes that earlier generations of one-to-many publishing had a built in filter – publishing mechanisms were expensive and thus the publisher became the filter and editor. Social media throws all that out the window because anyone can publish anything, essentially for free. But I diverge. The point is that an instant message goes to exactly whom you specify. Tweets can be viewed by anyone.
3. Much of Twitter terminology will make you feel like an idiot. It is hard for a grown professional person to even use the term Twitter without generating snickers. Much less terms like twitpeeps and tweeting and retweeting and twit-this and twit-that and Ashton Kutcher. [Note: There is a somewhat off-color joke that Steve Colbert told on the Today show about Twitter one morning that I will tell you sometime if you buy me a beer.]
4. The key to understanding Twitter and marketing is not followers. It’s folders. Many I know who have not become twitpeeps ask me, “Why on earth would you ever want to ‘follow’ anyone. It’s like being a stalker.” Or even more likely, “Who are all those people following YOU? Some of them are just plain creepy.” I think the key to understanding all this is to forget about the following and followers. Educate yourself about hashtags. Hashtags are denoted by the pound (#) sign and are essentially folders of tweets that relate to a particular topic. Hey, folders are something that those of us in document management know something about. You can also search on particular terms. I find the biggest value I get out of Twitter is through following a set of tags and terms that relate to our industry. For example, one search I regularly run reports on the following: #ecm, #aiim, #erm, “content management”, “document management”, and “records management”. You get the idea.
5. Twitter itself as an interface is not very good. You can enter your searches and twits right on Twitter itself (http://www.twitter.com) but it is not very satisfying. There are a number of clients out there, but the one I like is Tweetdeck. Very simple and satisfying to use. There are a gazillion (large number) of Twit apps and clients out there. Fun to browse, but many are goofy.
6. Speaking of goofy, do not expect Twitter to provide moments of classic literature. There is much weirdness out there. I don’t really get the point of tweets sent out to the void like this (real one): “Moving home facts: eating out vs cooking 80/20 vs 5/95, no cheddar, smoked shortback bacon or cumberland sausages.” There is an option to direct tweet someone - just put a D in front of their name - but too often these kind of weird and bizarre personal messages are just sent out into the world rather than to a particular person.
7. Do not activate the text message delivery option. I know a lot of people like this. It delivers twits from your followers directly to your phone. I tried it and it drove me nuts.
8. Lastly, and most important, if you are using Twitter for business or organizational purposes, tweet with that purpose in mind. My advice:
- Decide where you want to have a presence.
- Find the hashtags associated with those topics.
- Use the relevant hashtags in your tweets.
- Don’t just tweet junk. Tweet information that means something. Try to be somewhat educational. TRY THIS SOFTWARE not really worth doing.
- Be generous in retweeting the tweets of others who are saying something meaningful about the topics you care about. Follow these people.
- Use links. Shorten them (Tweetdeck does this automatically) before sending. Drive people to your web site.
- Don’t use up the full 140 characters. Leave 20 or so to make it easy for people to retweet you.
- Set some time limits for yourself or all this can be pretty addicting. Like 15 min at the beginning and end of the day. Or on your cell phone when you’re just standing in a line or waiting for an airplane.
There you go. 8
Things You Need to Know About Twitter and Business. It wasn’t so hard.
Why not give it a try on a document, content, and records topic that you
care about? Who's going to be first??
There you go. 8 Things You Need to Know About Twitter and Business. It wasn’t so hard. Why not give it a try on a document, content, and records topic that you care about? Who's going to be first??