Friday, November 21, 2008

Twittering for development

Twitter provides you the possibility to exchange short messages with a large number of people. You can follow people, or otherwise, people can follow you. Twitter can be used in many different ways.

For example, you can use your twitter network to help you do your work. If you are looking for a guest speaker on a certain topic, and you can not directly find this person, than you can distribute your question to your network of twitter friends. It also provides possibilities to exchange your emotions, questions and other experiences. By spreading your message to a group of more than 30 people, you can always expect some responses from some people. So, in some situations this tool can be very helpful. But ofcourse, you have to build your twitter network first. When you start twitter as a new twitterer, it may seem like a stream of useless messages.

Nancy White: "So the bottom line, the value of Twitter depends on who you are connecting with, not the totality of the twitterstream (though that probably has value if you had the time to understand it and the patterns it holds.)"

Gerrit Visser from ICCO: "In itself Twitter may not seem all that valuable. With Nonaka’s old paradigm that knowledge management is essentially ‘connecting people to people’ I do think that Twitter in itself has an enormous potential. Yes it’s value may depend very much to the people you are connected to. I even dare to say to the ‘quality of your network’. The content that people share on Twitter differs as much as the people one is connected to."

Kwami Ahiabenu II from Ghana has set up an twitter account for the upcoming Ghanaian elections: Ghanaelections (see picture). Kwami explained that they did so with the following objectives in mind:

1.micro blog the upcoming elections providing short and concise news items

2. to direct more visitors to our website about the elections in Ghana

3. for Ghanaians living abroad, since they can not connect to our local short code service, an idea for them is to follow us on twitter and then linked it to their mobile, effectively having updates on their mobile phones using twitter instead of direct messages we will send to subscribers in Ghana

4. lastly we wanted to use the twitter to connect with other twitter users providing content on the elections unfortunately, there are only very few twitter accounts from this part; see a short announcement about our twitter and SMS service, wondering whether twitter is the right tool.

The Ghanaelections twitter account so far has:
36 Following
But it is too early to know whether it is valuable.



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