An example of the value of Twittering

Tara Hunt has posted a great piece recently on Twitter for companies (by the way, if you don’t follow Tara’s blog, you really should take a look). Here’s a a small illustrative anecdote from WSTC last week.

I gave a presentation at our internal WebSphere conference that talked about Twitter, among other things (ordinarily I’d Slideshare the presentation, but it did contain some stuff I can’t post externally, sorry about that… maybe I’ll write an external version sometime).

One slight technical hitch. The conference organisers were set up to record presentations from a Windows laptop and Powerpoint using Camtasia. I was presenting using Keynote on the Mac, so I chose to use ScreenFlow to record the session (I noticed that Jason McGee did the same thing for his WebSphere sMash pitch earlier in the week). I tested beforehand and everything seemed good, but just at the end I switched virtual desktops to do an unscripted demo of something, and found a stack dump from ScreenFlow on the screen. I’d spoken for an hour, taken 15 minutes of questions… and lost the lot.

I twittered my frustration and headed out into the corridor, thinking about re-recording.
Within minutes, I checked my email and found an email offering support from one of the guys at Vara Software, who produce ScreenFlow.

Well there’s yet another illustration of the power of Twitter. Let’s be clear, they haven’t in fact been able to recover the data for me, but that doesn’t matter… this level of responsiveness and support just makes the relationship I have to that particular piece of software much more positive and sticky. I’m pretty impressed. I assume that they were using Tweetscan or Summize (Twitter mashups / “search engines”) to watch for references to their software and decide whether to respond. This was just great.

Oh, and this worked brilliantly to illustrate my point about why folks should take a look (or second look) at Twitter in the talk itself. This is increasingly becoming an important channel of communication.

8 thoughts on “An example of the value of Twittering”

  1. Agreed. Twitter IS a valuable channel for communication — once you dig beyond the junk that’s floating on the top. (Think public timeline.) Your example is perfect. I bet others can come up with similar stories of how Twitter has helped them.

    Here’s a quick one from me. Last week, I was in a recording booth, recording a screencasted training video about WordPress. I needed comments on a sample blog post so I could explain how comment moderation worked. I posted a request on Twitter and within 20 minutes, had six comments — including some specifically written to look like spam.

    It’s good to know my Twitter friends are out there.

  2. I think this whole “broadcast help” idea is very powerful, assuming that people are able to receive.

    From a corporate perspective, “customer service 2.0” as Julio calls it, is actually something of a challenge. How can a traditional support organisation respond to this kind of new channel, etc.. Tricky, I think, unless a company is particularly flexible and responsive already.

    Again, +10 to Vara Software.

  3. hiya Andy
    Recently I was using PBWiki for something and tweeted “does PBWiki fall down very often?” within an hour the co-founder (I was not following at the time) replied saying they were working on it with an est. time service would be back..
    I thought that was a pretty good way for Twitter to work too πŸ™‚

  4. […] An example of the value of Twittering Good story about how Twitter is a valuable means of communication. On The lost outpost. (tags: twitter Web2.0 socialnetworking) […]

  5. andy, this is an awesome story! there’s no doubt twitter is reaching beyond fun/engaging to truly powerful and transformational. thanks for sharing.

  6. just saw this post, andy, and i’ve had the same experience with jazz/rational team concert.

    i have no idea how to convince anyone else to use twitter though. it seems one only gets it after trying it for a little while. however maybe more examples like this will get the “unconvinced” to try it.

Leave a Reply