Twitter – advantages and disadvantages

At one point in my career, everything was RTM (Read the Manual).  If you couldn’t find it in the manual, you had to find some other hack, or prayer, or someone else to solve the issue that was currently throwing up a brick wall.

Then “let me google it” became the preferred method.  I was always a little worried about it because of the whole notion of “If it’s on the internet, it’s true” maxim, plus the fact that a couple of the proposed solutions I just dropped in and ran to varying degrees of disaster.

Then I discovered Twitter was more of a developer tool than an “I’m bored and need to waste time” sink, and had a venue to ask questions from people a lot smarter than me.  Tags like #sqlhelp and #ssrshelp were my favorite ones, but after a while, I started realizing that the amount of effort I was putting in to solving a solution was lessening because it was so much easier just to ask leaders in the field or people who had done a lot more than I ever would.  I realized that Twitter had become a bit of a crutch.

Another disadvantage is how quickly you find like minded people and end up trading quips back and forth for what seems a few minutes but ends up extending a lot longer than that.  Finding those people isn’t a disadvantage, letting conversations take over your workday is 🙂

The greatest advantage is the helpful interaction: getting tips and announcements and articles to further my knowledge of the industry and technology.  The notion of #sqlfamily has true meaning because I have to say I really enjoy the community that I have been interacting with.  Not sure if I can say I’m part of the family(wondering what the adoption process is), but it’s been really beneficial to follow people and see their interests and expertise and want to try to emulate that on a regular basis.  I haven’t really done much worth publishing or talking about, but I’m going to continue to blog and expand my horizons and try to become someone people want to follow because I have something to contribute above a funny quip.

Question – how do you get people to follow you, without sounding desperate ?  I’m thinking it’s just making a contribution to the conversation.  Sometimes social, sometimes technical, and always with respect.