It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Since then a lot has changed. I completed my first full-time year of my MBA, added a puppy to my life and joined Twitter. The first two changes are profoundly important, but Twitter has changed the way I operate unlike the other two. I actually joined Twitter about 9 months ago; when I first joined I didn’t understand the craze. Now I do. I have three Twitter accounts; one personal (@eshooman), one for the company I work part-time for, and one experimental account (@munchmylunch). I plan to promote my blog and partake in entrepreneurial chatter with my personal account once I have a better understanding of Twitter’s best uses, I utilize social marketing making announcements of new offerings and promoting other social media such as the company blog for the corporate Twitter account I administrate, and I use my experimental account for exactly that, experimenting. My experimental account is where I’m really learning about Twitter. I use best-practices and strategies I’ve learned from other tweeter’s blogs and the book Twitter Power by Joel Comm (@joelcomm). This account focuses on food, so I follow other foodies, food press, chefs and restaurateurs. Following others provides me with up-to-the-second information about Boston restaurants’ daily specials, menu additions, openings and closings. I am currently working on building relationships by participating in conversations and initiating comments to others’ tweets. My social network is expanding almost exponentially without getting up from my computer… with people I’ve never met before, but have always wanted to meet!!! I am now holding direct conversations with celebrity chefs and TV personalities; providing helpful input they may never have honored if met randomly on the street. Twitter is amazing for building relationships. What else is Twitter useful for? I like to break the usefulness of Twitter down into the personal, professional, and marketing contexts. I have my own opinions, but would love feedback to understand how others are using Twitter.
In anticipation of next week’s EmTech08 conference in Cambridge I’ve been reading blogs about last week’s TechCrunch50 event from California. Many of the participants seem gimmicky, but few stand out as viable businesses. Yammer (the winner), and iamnews (the peoples choice award recipient) deserve recognition as the top two companies at TechCrunch50.
Based out of West Hollywood, California Yammer is Twitter for the business environment. ‘“Yammer is a tool for making companies and organizations more productive through the exchange of short frequent answers to one simple question: “What are you working on?”’ – yammer.com/about. Yammer should be used for collaboration, not as a tool to micromanage. If you see it as a tool to spy on employees then you either need to reevaluate your workforce or change your management style. Yammer is a tool for collaboration; allowing users with valid business e-mail addresses to discuss ideas, post news, ask questions, and share links and other information over private feeds; it’s instant messaging on steroids. Yammer’s entrance into the complexity filled corporate social networking arena is the first answer to provide a simple solution for business collaboration.
imanews is a simple idea: let people contribute to the news. Their about statement is clear: “iamnews is an open newsroom platform. We empower publishers and reporters by giving them powerful, easy to use tools for co-creation of news in real time.” iamnews targets bloggers and small publishers that don’t have the resources to create news . Web Publishers are used to ensure accurate reporting. If iamnews’ system ensures accurate reporting (and I hope it truly does), then it could be a competitive threat to the traditional reporting of AP and Reuters. iamnews ‘ competitive advantage is providing original and unique video and photography to current events, but I still struggle with their ability to ensure accurate news text. The availability of original and unique photo and video connected to individual news stories is enough for me to see potential for long-term viability.
There are other TechCrunch50 participating and demo companies that have viable products, but I chose to present only the two winners. Again, in my opinion many were gimmicky, but I strongly recommend you take look and share what companies you find interesting.
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