> to tweet or not to tweet….

to tweet or not to tweet….

Posted on Saturday, February 7, 2009 | No Comments


I fear it may be over…

My days are numbered….

It was good whilst it lasted…

Ever since I read a Paul Carr (@paulcarr) article on the virtues of Twitter and decided it was worth giving it a twirl, ever since I have become obsessed.  Every waking hour of the day I’m thinking about my next tweet or what I’m potentially missing from those I follow.

For those, uninitiated or unversed in the ways of Twitter, think of it as a text message to the internet.  You are given 140 characters to write your “status” or “message” and post it to the world.  The contents of the message are entirely up to you – it can be what you are up to at that exact moment in time, it can be a question or it could be a reply to an open forum discussion.  You are in control of which users you “follow” and therefore the messages ‘tweeted’ are customised to your own tastes or interests, and equally others who find you interesting can ‘follow’ your “tweets” or posts.

Twitter has a huge celebrity element too – Stephen Fry (@stephenfry), Jonathan Ross (@wossy), Russell Brand (@rustyrockets), Britney Spears and many more all ‘tweet’, and can be followed.  News articles can be followed (@BBCNews), and events can be followed closely; the biggest so far has been Barack Obama’s race for the presidency.

Whenever I talk to people i know about Twitter though, I get one of two responses – either they have never heard of it or they just don’t get it.  Yet these people always seem to get “Facebook” or are unaware of the “Web 2.0” movement and what it all means.  Personally, I never got Facebook – there always seemed to be so much to it that I could do with other sites or services, for example why would I send them a note via Facebook when I can send them an email?  I find Twitter different though – perhaps it’s because it takes absolutely no time what so ever and some how makes me more efficient. 

Let me give you an example, I follow the BBC News feed, which means the headlines appear in my Twitter feed and I can briefly glance at that and decide if I either need to read that article or skip over it and carry on working.  It’s also a great source of information too – last week, whilst trying to set up a Juniper Firewall for the first time and running into trouble, I tweeted for assistance – looking for anyone who may be able to help – a short while later I received a reply from a networking firm probing for more information and offering assistance to my problem (fortunately I managed to solve the problem).

I now have the popular “Tweetdeck” application installed on each of the PCs I own, I also have a Twitter application installed on my mobile phone and I have a Google ‘sidebar’ gadget installed on my PC at work to keep me abreast of all of the latest tweets.  It beats surfing the BBC News website every five minutes for the latest going-on’s or reading endless RSS feeds.  And what I love is that my tweets automatically update my Facebook status, making it appear as it I’m still spending time on the ever popular social networking site.

But now it seems that part of my tweeting is about to come to an end – and what’s worse, it may be my own doing.  My latest project at work is to redesign the web filtering rules and implement a new version of “WebSense”.  In the process, my boss has discovered my ‘polling’ of the Twitter site every minute or so for updates and has decided to block the site completely, grouping the ‘social tweeting’ site into the same category as Facebook and other social networking sites, much to my disappointment.  The problem is, my boss doesn’t understand the difference and being of the age where ‘social networking’ is a distraction and holds no interest, it seems there is no reasoning with him.

Therefore I’m left with two options – I can either accept that my tweeting at work is doomed or being the IT admin installing the new web filter, I can  bend the rules and exempt Twitter for myself and hope that I don’t get caught out by some nosy HR bod or another IT guy interfering with the rule base.  Highly risky, as if I’m found out then it could be “P45 collection time” or a disciplinary or at best a slap on the wrist (again).  I’m conflicted as to what to do next.

The worst bit is, if I hadn’t of started tweeting, I would certainly be agreeing with my boss about a block without thinking twice – is it wrong to have one rule for one and one for another?  I hate my work PC and I hate that I have to stoop low to break rules and my creativity and innovation is restricted by rules and regulations to make me conform to the standards of other ‘lesser-being’ employees. 

…..Ideas? …..advice?….anyone?

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