Confessions of a twitterati

April 20, 2009

It is a great honor for me to be asked to be the Cognitive Edge Guest Blogger this fortnight.

I would like to start this series of guest posts by reporting and attempting to reflect on the little personal experiment I have been conducting in micro-blogging (or micro-sharing), using Twitter, in the last 6 months. This experiment is one which I am thoroughly enjoying, which is bringing me a lot and accordingly have no intention of discontinuing any time soon. It has in many ways being an eye opener, in particular, but not only, by making me more aware of the potential of social networking.

In November 2008, I had the opportunity to listen to one of Dave Snowden’s presentation on social computing, which is available for download on the Cognitive Edge website. This encouraged me the idea to have another go at trying to use Twitter. I had already had made a first given tried to used it in the past, perhaps 18 months or so before, as a number of blogging friends were quite found of Twitter. Unfortunately, I really did not get it at the time, and like many never went beyond my first tweet, which said something like “What is this twitter thingie all about?”. As far as I can remember, I had only subscribed to follow a dozen people and really could not see the point of using Twitter. I quickly stopped the experiment and eventually deleted my account.

Having decided to try again I opened a new account @pascal_venier and started posting updates. It is of course crucial to get started in posting to engage in the conversation and to get other people to start following you. This time round I decided on a totally different strategy about the number of people I would follow. I decided to jump straight away in the deep end and within days was following over 100 people. To do this I identified a small number of people I knew, or thought it would be interesting to follow and then started also following people they were themselves following. This very soon created a network of about 100 people and gave me a good feel to what the twitter experience was about. I must say that it did feel really strange to start with. As I said in one of my first tweets, it remarkably felt like standing at the side of a busy motorway. One however can adapt quickly to the Twitter effect.

To be continued.

With best wishes.

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The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.

Cognitive Edge Ltd. & Cognitive Edge Pte. trading as The Cynefin Company and The Cynefin Centre.


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