Twitter Use #1: Access to Thought Leadership

If you are a Twitter veteran, this post is not for you. I encounter people all the time that express a level of confusion about the value proposition of Twitter. They see things like the following YouTube clip of a recent Verizon ad:

I say there is great value to be had. Twitter provides a great opportunity to get insight from thought leaders in industry. In my word, having a pipeline to leaders in the technical community like Bill Gates (@billgates) and Werner Vogels (@werner) to see what is happening in their worlds. They tweet about trends they see, as well as fun personal details that provide both insight and entertainment. As more and more leaders start tweeting, the possibilities will become seemingly endless.

It’s not necessarily about each individual tweets they write, but a composite view of these thought leaders can provide a new level of understanding of an industry that can prove to be very useful. The way to do this effectively is to use Twitter lists so you can isolate those thought leaders into a group so you can view their tweets together and scan them very quickly. Or, one can find lists that other Twitter users have created, which can be a shortcut to finding those leaders. I prefer to create my own lists as I then have the ability to manage it as I see fit. Whichever way you go, using a list make it is simple to detect trends that may be worth investigating further, or just hold back in the memory bank for later. I can say that having that type of information available has proven to be valuable on more than once occasion.

I have a few other posts in the queue relating to the usefulness of Twitter. In the meantime, how do you derive value from Twitter?


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I am a software lab manager in the Corporate Research Lab at 3M in St. Paul.

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