By Tim Dexter on Jan 27, 2008
Do you tweet? If so, what about? Do you share the minutae of your life with the world via Twitter? If you have no idea what Im talking about, keeping reading, I'll explain. Tweeting is the means by which you can send short, 140 chars of information into the ether - there folks can 'follow' your every move or maybe comment on 'why you might be late for work' or provide an opinion on your 'choice of breakfast' - I kid you not, people share that kind of stuff.
I have to admit I was completely unimpressed with 'tweeting' - Im sure people neither want to know nor care that 'Im going to the dentist' unless you enjoy some kind of voyeuristic experience 'watching' others. Now, if it could be used for some kind of business use then you have piqued my interest.
In steps Jake from Appslab - we have been exchanging emails recently on tweeting. I left a comment on one of his tweet blog postings recently expressing my 'unimpression' with it - yep Im a dinosaur. LAst Thursday, he posited an idea for tweeting that really got me thinking. The idea was to use twittering (the collective noun for tweets) for questions, annoucements, tips and tricks. I and others of a BIP liked persuasion could tweet such content and those that were interested could quietly follow or contribute to the conversation. This had me hooked, if we could post information out there that folks could consume quickly and digest easily (140 chars remember so I cant waffle on like I am here) then we might be on to something.
The tweets are pushed out in one long stream, so how to find the BIP content in all the noise? Twitter does support the concept of you being able to 'follow' people so you could build up a loose knit group that could follow each other and tweet about BIP - but the casual reader would be lost in that stream of tweets, we need some way to tag the BIP messages. Use 'eventtrack' says Jake - this little nugget of gold comes from as a side project from Craig at SAP, yes that SAP. It was developed to allow folks to register an event that everyone thats interested can tweet to. This opens up specific content to the casual reader via a browser or RSS. Cool!
So, after Jake ran it by Craig, I have setup a 'bippers' event - now this is not an event as such, we are abusing eventtrack a little to bring together the BIP community and allow us to share 'tagged' content that anyone can access for a longer term than a typical 'event.'
If you are tweeting already or are interested in starting and want to share read on. First you need to register with Twitter - very straightforward, everything you need can be found on their server at http://www.twitter.com - once you're signed up you can start tweeting to the web collective. You can do this in a mutitude of ways on your PC/laptop. The twitter site offers a page to send your messages or there is a mass of clients and plugins that you can install. Im currently using 'twhirl', you can even 'tweet' from your phone.
The next step is to enable the 'bippers' part of the puzzle. Just tweet '@eventtrack start*bippers' on your twittering device of choice and eventtrack will 'tag' your messages so that they hit the 'bippers' stream. Now, there is one drawback here - all of your messages will be picked up by eventtrack and 'tagged' whether they be BIP related or not. You can turn off the tagging by sending '@eventtrack stop*bippers' at any time, thats going to get annoying very quickly. Personally I think its small price to pay to get a BIP stream - I dont mind if you want to share your dinner plans with the group.
The stream is not there to replace the forum or blog but if you have links to blog articles, quick questions, etc then tweet em!
You can find me twittering under the mysterious guise of 'timdexter' - Im so imaginative! and watch the 'bippers' feed here - http://www.eventtrack.info/?t_event=bippers or get the RSS feed here.
The more contributers we have, the more valuable the stream becomes. Give it a try, without you Im just a 'twit' in the wilderness :0)