Posts filed under ‘Twitter’
I had the opportunity to go listen to Jack Dorsey, one of the creators of Twitter, talk the other night at The College of New Jersey. Janie Hermann found out about it and let me know it was happening, and we met up with Julie (Strange Librarian) there for the hour long talk. The talk was recorded by TCNJ and the video is posted here: http://www.tcnj.edu/~pa/video/twitter09/ .
I definitely recommend you take a look at the video and listen to Jack for yourself. Below are just a few of the things that stood out for me.
A soft-spoken guy, Jack talked about how he had the idea for what today is Twitter since he was 15. He said that when starting something the hardest thing to do is TO START, and I think we can all relate to that! He spoke about getting your ideas out of your head, onto paper and into discussions with others so you can find out if there really is something to the idea or not. If you don’t get the idea out of your head and start sharing and playing with it, then you’ll not only never know if that idea is anything, but it will be difficult to move on with the next thing, the next idea, that might be something!
This relates to the transparency and openness that Jack talked about a lot. Communication and fostering a community where ideas (and even mistakes and problems) are shared is really important to how Twitter has been able to grow and to become so successful. The best lesson he said he could offer is to start from a place of transparency and to be open to criticism and suggestions. Some of the best features of Twitter did NOT come from the company. The “@” replies feature, the retweet (RT), the hashtags, and even the concept of each update as a “tweet,” all came from the USERS! The awesomeness of Twitter today is all because they went out with an idea and said this is what we have. We’re not sure what it’s good for, but we think you’ll know! As a result, today Twitter is something they couldn’t have even imagined when they started it.
These days Twitter receives thousands of suggestions and ideas every day. As a company, their challenge is deciding which ideas to say no to, and then to actually say no to those things. Based on all of the input how do you decide? Jack said he realized that the business had to become a good editor. Company as editor.
As a business, Twitter has to choose what suggestions might add to the value and usefulness of Twitter. They would like to say yes to ideas that speak to 80% of the users and that sustain the technology and the company. They have to edit out those ideas and suggestions that will not improve Twitter. He also spoke about the business as editor when it comes to who works there – how do you choose who to hire and how do you decide when the relationship is no longer beneficial and it’s time to part ways? It’s all about editing.
He also said he isn’t interested in what market is using Twitter when a question came from the audience about how teens are (supposedly) not using Twitter. Jack said he wasn’t worried about what market uses Twitter, but about building a great product people love to use.
We also got a glimpse into what might be coming in the future when Jack talked about being really interested in immediacy and transparency and the health care and finance industries. He spoke about the fact that health and health care, especially one’s own health, is probably one of the most important things to and for us. However, most of us don’t understand what’s going on with health care. It is similar with global finance. This has a huge impact on all of our lives, but there are very few people who understand any of it. He said that health care and finance are two huge areas that he feels could really benefit from immediacy and transparency. I wonder what he has in mind!?
Check out some photos and more info here: https://www.tcnj.edu/~business/Twitter.html
You can also see the TCNJ press release for the event here: http://www.tcnj.edu/~pa/news/2009/dorsey.htm
Do take a look at the video – I would love to hear what you all think of his talk!
I started a little meme on Twitter on Thursday, which David Free picked up on and posted about over on his blog, David’s Random Stuff. I thought I’d add a little (brief) backstory and fill in some of the tweets that David missed. (One of the interesting things about Twitter of course, is that depending on who we follow or who follows us, we all saw – or didn’t see- different responses. )
Like David, I’m not naming names, but I thought it would be interesting to add timestamps to give everyone an idea of how this played out chronologically. I think there were some brilliant comments, so I hope the authors step forward and take credit.
Brief backstory: Janie Hermann and I were chatting about the lack of recent posts on LG and Janie jokingly suggested that maybe Twitter, the great sucker of time, was to blame. I threw out the comment that “Twitter is like therapy… without the progress.” Janie suggested (dared?) that I share that thought on Twitter. I thought it might make for an interesting meme so seconds later (at 11:10) I threw it out there to the 50 or so people in my twitterverse. This is what transpired:
- NEW TWITTER MEME: TWITTER IS LIKE… (I’ll go first) Twitter is like therapy… without the progress. (11:10)
- Twitter is like ADD without the Ritalin (11:19)
- Twitter is like Jaiku…. I’m bad at analogies (11:23)
- Twitter is like whippits (11:24)
- Twitter is like a celestial bulletin board. (11:24)
- Twitter is like a crack addiction without all the mugging, prostitution, and running from the cops. (11:26)
- Twitter is also like Paris Hilton: slutty and unfortunate. 11:26)
- Twitter is like your drunk uncle at Christmas, sometimes you want the madness to stop, but you still wanna see where it’s going. (11:30)
- Twitter is like passing notes during class. (11:31)
- Twitter is like [name redacted] – You don’t like it until you try it (11:32)
- twitter is like the background noise of the universe, kind of a low murmur that lets you know you’re not alone (aww!) (11:37)
- Twitter is like cheating on your blog (11:38)
- Twitter is like crack for procrastinators. (11:41)
- Twitter is like sex without a condom. Sure it’s fun, but you will probably regret it later. (11:42)
- Twitter is like…. so. y’know. … What was I doing? (11:43)
- Twitter is like compressed infobursts, effin ay! (11:45)
- Heck, Twitter *is* compressed infobursts (11:45)
- Twitter is like an inside joke: no one gets why you do it unless they do it (11:46)
- Twitter is like sucking out my braaains… (11:46)
- Twitter is like being stuck in a massive kaleidoscope- ooh something shiny! (11:56)
- Twitter is like drinks with @dwfree – makes you feel all nice and warm inside (12:04)
- Twitter is like drunk sex w/ a friend: not nearly as intimate as you expected it to be, but still sexy & satisfying. (12:04)
- Twitter is like drunk sex w/[the person who just posted about drunk sex.] (12:09)
- Twitter is like being in a room with your “friends”, saying something really loud, and hoping that someone hears you. (12:18)
- Twitter is like having 10 IM windows open at once. (12:27)
- George Costanza: “It’s like going to the bathroom in front of a lot of people and not caring.” Jerry: [pause] “It’s not like that at all.” (12:28)
- Twitter is, like, another reason I, like, totally, looove innovation (12:39)
- Twitter is like a party in my phone! (12:39)
- Twitter is, like, totally awesome. (ok really i’m done. lunch over) (12:43)
- Twitter is like the sound a tree makes when it falls in the forest — whether anyone is there or not. (12:48)
- Twitter is quotidian packet hops (12:51)
- Twitter is like finding out your favorite candy bar now comes in smaller easier to eat packaging…for free (12:55)
- Twitter is like is like a bus full of crazy people talking to themselves. Except you get to choose who is on the bus. (1:12)
- (Twitter is instant gratification.) (1:12)
- Twitter is like a dry skin condition. It itches, and the more you scratch it, the more it itches. (But it feels soooo good to scratch…) (1:22)
A friend of mine has said many times that she believes we in libraryland need to stop calling databases databases, and I have always agreed, but I have not done anything about it. I haven’t written about it, talked about it, blogged it, mentioned it, or thought about it any more than that.
When I hear the word “database,” and if I didn’t know what it was, it conjures up for me some really complicated spreadsheet system or, well, database, that is way too complicated for me to figure out and use, and that is TOTALLY BORING – not exciting or attractive to me in anyway, doesn’t sound useful to me and doesn’t make me want to use it or care to find out how to use it at all!
Well, yesterday this flew out of my mouth (or my fingers rather) in a twit over on twitter when someone mentioned they were changing their database descriptions to try to at least better reflect what they were to try to get their students to use them…. I put out my thought that if we really want to become more “2.0” and more valued and user-friendly, we need to stop calling databases, databases and do it now! More like do it yesterday!
This created a nice little chat discussion on twitter about what we SHOULD call them and that led to another nice little discussion about what they really are and what the users think they are and want to call them.
I want to thank Rochelle, KGS, Pete Bromberg, Library_Chic, cindi, wanderingeyre, awd, and everyone else for that twit yesterday. I am using the verb to twit as in a chat, to chat here …
This was also a great example of a nice use of twitter…. a quick IM-like conversation between a few people that was captured in the twitter program for me to go back and look at today.
It wasn’t an IM session – that in most cases would be between two people and wouldn’t necessarily automatically have been captured for me to refer to today. It wasn’t a chat room, it wasn’t e-mails, it was a quick conversation among some professionals that was saved as it happened. We commented back and forth while doing other things on this topic – in the 140 character limits of twitter – so we had to be brief and concise – no waste! I thought it was great!
Today I could go back and refer to all the suggestions and thoughts and questions and compose this post over here on Blogger.
So, to get back to the issues of the databases…. Really now, what can we call them so that people
1. Want to use them
2. Get the idea of what they are
3. Don’t be made to feel stupid (see the excellent post on this over at Tinfoil Racoon’s blog)
4. Don’t feel intimidated or turned-off by them
5. Find out the value of them
The twitter conversation went something like this:
Databases are mentioned.
I say we need to stop calling them that.
Someone says, then what do we call them? “…those article thingies?” *
We decide to “brainstorm” this
Someone says “Find good stuff with these search tools”
I say “yeah, search tools, electronic resources – still “eh” on those”
Someone adds, “search tools for [discipline(s)"]?
This causes me to start wondering if the databases are search tools or the resources within them? “but is the database the search tool or the gold in the mine!?”
Another adds, ” “library resources”? “resources to use in your research”? “
Then, of course, we got a little silly with:
“crap that your professor wants you to use so just do it already”?
And then in response to “tool” vs. “gold mine” we got to
“The trick is the meta-search of multiple indexes and then cross-linking to the full text in their respective happy places “
Which resulted in
“tool to find happy place of needed articles” ;-)
“that’s the problem. Catalog = search engine, inventory control, or lipstuck pig? Database = search or result or full-text?”
At one point, the brilliant KGS characteristically asked, “why don’t we ask the user?” and
someone replied, “*has* anyone asked the user what to call it?”
Then a few “gasp! ask the user!? oh no!” comments and jokes twitted by and then we continued questioning “well what is the database TO THE USER, not TO US!?”
Someone comments that their kids say the databases are websites, “database, electronic resource, etc=”website” “
Which gets a reaction of “knee-jerk reaction “no it’s not!!”…but really, isn’t a database just an iteration of a website? at least to the user? “
We get a little silly again:
“goldmines of knowledge” is suggested
“Goldmines of knowledge = databases, I love it. Is hilarious and descriptive”
“what to call databases: Stuff you need to convince your teacher you used more than wikipedia “
“Infopools, factipiles, report’o’calls” (some of my personal faves!)
“Put on your hipboots, kids and wade into our authoritative, full-text Sludgepits o’ Knowledge”
Okay, okay we were getting a little out-of-hand toward the end, but you get the idea….
So, c’mon everyone: What are we going to call these things that are expensive, incredibly powerful, valuable, under appreciated, under marketed and UNDERUSED!?
I KNOW we can do better than databases.
STEP 2: Get everyone on board calling them by their new name……..
* I have decided to not cite who said what in case anyone wouldn’t want their terrific twits shared with the world – I am not trying to withhold credit, but protecting against exposing anyone – if you want to claim any of those – go ahead – and/or tell me and I’ll give you credit where credit is due! ;-)