Twitter is great for a few key reasons, first let me highlight the two key uses I feel it has in the enterprise.
- As an asynchronous instant message or status message. Companies are constantly reporting status back and forth. But when someone asks for status I don’t always have bandwidth to give it, then when I’m available to give it, not everyone is free to hear. Instead why not cut down the meeting times and I simply publish messages only to those that its directed at, then they consume when they’re ready to. Additionally a twitter-like ability would be easier to control. This would allow twitter to be present where IM is still currently banned in some organizations. Yes, it may be hard to believe, but some companies still don’t trust their employees to use IM as an effective communication tool.
- Ideation! When I have a fraction of a thought I don’t know what to do with it. When I have a complete, full-fledged out thought, I have a blog post about it. However if I’m thinking about how I don’t like the shape of a soda can or how I think email should be improved I have no medium to communicate that, except ad-hoc conversations. With twitter I say that email should be improved, but I’m not sure how. Then tens to hundreds of users give their input on why they feel its broken, and my thoughts start to become more solid. By simply limited users to 140 characters it changes the psychology around my posts, and allows content to be created on twitter, verses simply published such as on blogs
So with those key uses, what about adoption. So what if it has these great uses, if no one really buys in. Well while what I’m suggesting is twitter-like functionality, which could really be delivered by a lot of providers or a custom solution. I’d like to examine the growth curve of email and IM within the workplace, but will do that in a later post. The keys to twitter are the character limit, the one to many conversation as a default (with options for direct public messages, and direct private messages), and finally open access. I can read and publish to twitter from my phone, IM, the web, the desktop, or other sources. This only simplifies the number of sites I have to go to, and well my life.