Twitter as a Knowledge Base & Expertise Resource

Twitter is all the rage. But apart from your friends and family, why does the world care if you are going on vacation or that you are bored or that you are impressed with Michael Phelps’ performance at the Olympics? Truth is: the world doesn’t care, but for some reason, people like to read about this stuff. Maybe that’s reason enough to join Twitter.

However, Twitter is more than that. Real people make real connections and exchange ideas. Most of the time those people have something in common that causes them to connect with their Twitter friends. LawyerKM doesn’t know all of the people he follows on Twitter (and not all of those who follow him know him). But they all share an interest in legal knowledge management. So, there’s that.

But from a KM perspective, Twitter is a knowledge base and expertise resource. Because it’s open, you can search Twitter for all types of useful information, opinions, advice, etc. A Twitter search engine by Summize (recently purchased by Twitter) is one way to find what you’re looking for. Check out http://search.twitter.com/. There is a pretty good advanced search page, so you can drill down to just what you want.

Want to see what people are saying about Legal OnRamp? Check Twitter.

How about Facebook or Social Networking in general? Or Enterprise 2.0? Check Twitter.

Want to see what people are saying about Westlaw and Lexis? Check Twitter.

Westlaw even has a Twitter account that you can follow, if you like. So does Recommind. And no fewer than 80 people have “knowledge management” in their Twitter profiles.

After you search Twitter and find out what people are saying, you might identify some “experts” related to that topic. You can contact them directly by starting your tweet with “@twittername” (e.g., @LawyerKM). Or you can send a private message via the “message” link on a users profile (see the image on the right).

I recently was looking for opinions about external batteries for my iPhone. I already searched the web and Amazon.com, but I wanted another perspective. So I checked Twitter. As you can imagine, a lot of people had a lot to say about it. (By the way, you can follow Apple, Inc. on Twitter, too).

As an added bonus, if you have a Twitter Google Gadget (such as Be Twittered), on your iGoogle page, like I do, you can catch a glimpse of recent tweets without signing in at Twitter.com. This is especially handy if you follow some of the popular “breaking news” services like BreakingNewsOn and MSNBC and the dozens of others. These services often break news on Twitter long before other websites get the word out.

Finally, for up to the minute happenings on the campaign trail, you can follow Obama (he has the most Twitter followers – 58,345), but I couldn’t find McCain. TechCrunch couldn’t find him either.

LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management & Technology for Lawyers and Law Firms

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