Keep Up with News/Trends
RSS feeds getting to be too much? Twitter and its many associated applications can help you keep tabs on the world around you or at least direct your attention to what is most important.
"It's an attention lens for me," York explains. "I follow a certain number of people that I have deemed to be authorities in their realms, so their links are of interest to me."
Many news sites offer Twitter feeds as a way to catch up on headlines of the day without having to browse a site or delve into an overflowing RSS reader. "I saw Nortel was filing for bankruptcy first on Twitter," says Wayne Bogan, CTO of Spirit Telecom in Columbia, SC., who has his BlackBerry set to check his Twitter feed once per minute to stay in tuned to what is happening.
During a December 2008 ice storm that knocked power out to more than 300,000 customers, Public Service of New Hampshire (twitter: @psnh) used Twitter to deliver status updates on how many customers were still without power and the progress that was being made. For those with limited 'net connections, the updates proved invaluable.
Social networks can also be used to keep tabs on your vendors. Brandt, who takes great care of his LinkedIn "Rolodex", caught a vendor off guard when he asked them who his new sales person was after the last one left. Brandt noted the departure through a change in the person's LinkedIn status. The vendor, it seemed, did not know the guy had left.
You don't have to be on a social network 24 hours a day to enjoy the benefits. Keeping your profile up to date on LinkedIn, staying in touch with former colleagues on Facebook and jumping into the occasional conversation on Twitter is enough to build your social network persona and might find you that perfect hire for a job opening or provide the answer to a vexing question.
Meserve can be found on Twitter here.