Should IKE Twitter?

General conversation and discussion about the IKE Club.
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Jeff
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Should IKE Twitter?

Postby Jeff » Mon, Mar 31 2008, 12:40 PM

I was thinking about ways to get club information to people. In another thread, I had brought up the topic of an email list. Some have said that it would be nice to be alerted to information that they might miss if they don't come to the forum every day. So, I had another crazy idea...Twitter.

Some of you may already know what Twitter is. If so, you can skip the next couple paragraphs. It has become quite popular, but mostly within a pretty techy demographic.

Twitter is an online service that allows you to broadcast short messages to the world...well, at least to those people who are interested enough to follow you. On your Twitter page, you can type and "send" a message of up to 140 characters. Who sees it? Anybody who is "following" you. What you do is select other users in the interface to "follow." When they send a message, you will see it on your Twitter home page. You can follow 1 person, or 1,000 people. You only see messages from those you follow. And only people that follow you see your messages.

People are using it with friends, families, acquaintances...most use it kind of like a mini-blog. An on-the-fly way to tell people what's going on here and now. But of course, when you set up a large network like that, you start to generate and receive a lot of noise. And that's why I personally have never been all that interested in Twitter. Who can keep up with all the random stuff that you'll get from all these people?

But lots of people do use it, and like to interact that way. And even if you don't, it seems that it is a technology that can be used effectively for constructive purposes as well.

Imagine a Twitter feed for IKE. (I've already grabbed the ikeclub user ID, just in case) You can tell people if they're interested in receiving club information, they can follow ikeclub on Twitter. So, periodically we can post what the next event is, or if there is any club information to be aware of. All the Twitter followers will get it.

Now, one of the neat ways to make this work even better...lots of folks get (and send) their Twitter updates on their mobile phones. You can set up your profile to deliver messages to your cellphone. You can do it for all messages, or just messages from specific users. More and more people are using text messaging on their phones. So if you get your ikeclub messages sent to your mobile phone, what easier way is there to stay informed on club happenings?

Now what I am suggesting here is not a constant stream of messages that will eat up your allotment of text messages in your phone's plan, but a periodic, as-needed update to broadcast relevant information. How often is that? I'm not sure. Once a week? Twice a month? Once a month? Whatever works.

A nice thing about Twitter is that it is ultimately under the control of the user. A person can follow someone, and choose to stop at any time. It's all up to them, totally opt-in. And with more and more people using it, it may be an easy way to have prospective fliers get info, and keep members from missing information.

So, any thoughts? Anyone want to give it a try? Might be worth a try. If so, go ahead and try it, follow Twitter user "ikeclub."

If you want to have it send messages to your phone, you have to turn that on in your Twitter settings.
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Babbman
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Re: Should IKE Twitter?

Postby Babbman » Mon, Mar 31 2008, 02:03 PM

For myself, I've never been much into social networking which is what this feels like. I guess I like e-mail and anyone tech savvy enough to fool with twitter is going to be setup with e-mail already.

I believe we should use the some of the tools we have a little more before abandoning them or adding another method of communication. e-mail is a good start and is something that virtually everyone on the net already has. Of course, we have to feed the e-mail for it to be useful..lol

Chris (aka Babbman)

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety...
Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

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Jeff
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Re: Should IKE Twitter?

Postby Jeff » Mon, Mar 31 2008, 04:49 PM

Well, I'm all about options. Email is good, no doubt, but will require just a tad more management to keep a list and add and delete people from it.

It's just that the effort involved in sending out a message via something like Twitter is practically zero, and might be a useful option to some. People seem to use it differently than they do email. It's good for a nudge, a "heads up" note.

We old fuddy duddies should be careful not to eschew the technologies of the younger crowd. They will use their technology to confuse and conquer us. ;-) There are just shy of 1 million people using it. I've also avoided it because I didn't know if the concept was going to last, but it has, and is still growing fast. And lots of people, including businesses and social networks are starting to leverage the unique functionality for useful purposes.

By the way, what's wrong with social networking anyway...that's what this forum is. :P

I would invite people to give it a try, at least as a test case. Find out if it's useful through a hands-on experiment.
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Babbman
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Re: Should IKE Twitter?

Postby Babbman » Mon, Mar 31 2008, 06:10 PM

Jeff wrote:Well, I'm all about options. Email is good, no doubt, but will require just a tad more management to keep a list and add and delete people from it.

It's just that the effort involved in sending out a message via something like Twitter is practically zero, and might be a useful option to some. People seem to use it differently than they do email. It's good for a nudge, a "heads up" note.

We old fuddy duddies should be careful not to eschew the technologies of the younger crowd. They will use their technology to confuse and conquer us. ;-) There are just shy of 1 million people using it. I've also avoided it because I didn't know if the concept was going to last, but it has, and is still growing fast. And lots of people, including businesses and social networks are starting to leverage the unique functionality for useful purposes.

By the way, what's wrong with social networking anyway...that's what this forum is. :P

I would invite people to give it a try, at least as a test case. Find out if it's useful through a hands-on experiment.


I'm all about options also... have to be in my line of work... and I'm not poopooing the idea of twitter nor am in any way at all a fuddy duddy when it comes to using the internet and the capabilities it gives us.

But I look at it this way....

People sign up here on the forum and as part of that, we ask for an e-mail address. Once signed up, there is no real effort in sending out an e-mail other than just getting up the gumption to actually send one out. We've done it on rare occasion... and that's the point, it's been a rare occasion. Obviously, there is some interest in people wanting to be informed and I say yes, we should be more diligent in sending out e-mails to let people know what's going on.

But this in itself is slightly telling... While I love all the fun stuff we can do on the internet, if we need to go beyond the networking we already have in place, then there is either something possibly wrong with the forum we are providing, or people are not as interested as some of us are in checking in on an hourly or daily or even weekly basis. This is not at all to belittle anyone for their internet habits, whether they be obsessive or not when it comes to their interests. But it's simply pointing out the reality of everyday life and the general attitude of most.

I always hesitate when it comes to giving options. Obviously some options are necessary, but my hesitation is in spreading these options out among a lot of different services and hosts. At some point, it starts to become confusing and obtuse and difficult to follow for the majority of people as well as for those who have to manage it. I don't believe that adding yet another choice of contact will make it easier for our members to receive information, it will add just another thing to setup and another thing to be checked.

I guess I am of the opinion that we should use the tools we have before introducing another service that does a similar job. E-mail is pretty universal and I have to believe that if e-mails are not being checked, adding another service really isn't going to make much of a difference. Another consideration at this point is that most of our events are planned well in advance rather than something that people are looking for on a moments notice.

Of course, should there be interest in this by more than just a few people, then it is something that we should look at implementing.

Just my 2 cents..


Chris (aka Babbman)



They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety...
Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759


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Mike
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Re: Should IKE Twitter?

Postby Mike » Mon, Mar 31 2008, 07:44 PM

If people follow twitter on a mobile device they might like getting live updates from a club fly or festival.
It seems like it could be fun, but I don't have a texting plan on my phone--I'd have to do it all from my computer. Not as much fun.

So, anyone here interested? Or are there too many old fuddy duddies here? :lol:
Does anyone already use the service?

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Jeff
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Re: Should IKE Twitter?

Postby Jeff » Mon, Mar 31 2008, 08:15 PM

I don't really see a down side that would keep me from wanting to try it. The worst case is, people don't like it and don't use it. No big deal. The best case is, somebody finds it useful.

Either way, there's really virtually no effort, and nothing to maintain. The followers decide to follow you, and if and when to drop you.

It's basically marketing. A way to reach out to more people. I'm looking beyond the dedicated core of our membership. There is no one way that all people like to communicate, and this is one way that's picking up steam. It's not totally mainstream yet, but I like to try some stuff on the cutting edge. I don't know how useful it will be...all I know is that I want to try it. 8)
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Babbman
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Re: Should IKE Twitter?

Postby Babbman » Mon, Mar 31 2008, 08:55 PM

Jeff wrote:I don't really see a down side that would keep me from wanting to try it. The worst case is, people don't like it and don't use it. No big deal. The best case is, somebody finds it useful.

Either way, there's really virtually no effort, and nothing to maintain. The followers decide to follow you, and if and when to drop you.

It's basically marketing. A way to reach out to more people. I'm looking beyond the dedicated core of our membership. There is no one way that all people like to communicate, and this is one way that's picking up steam. It's not totally mainstream yet, but I like to try some stuff on the cutting edge. I don't know how useful it will be...all I know is that I want to try it. 8)


Have at it!


Chris (aka Babbman)



They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety...
Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759


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Mike
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Re: Should IKE Twitter?

Postby Mike » Tue, Apr 01 2008, 08:37 AM

maybe posting a short tutorial on how to use the service to get IKE info would be a good addition to the IKElopedia...

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Jeff
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Re: Should IKE Twitter?

Postby Jeff » Tue, Apr 01 2008, 09:16 AM

Might not be a bad idea...It's an IKE Labs program. For experimental stuff, like Google Labs. :lol:

Mike, when you said you don't have a texting plan on your phone, do you mean just for sending? You've received the few SMS messages that I've sent you, I think.

I never really used the texting feature at all myself until I got the plan with unlimited messages. Susan and I use it all the time now for quick messages, like "Be home about 6:30," or some quick item that doesn't really require a call, and would actually take more time and effort to retrieve as a voice mail. Of course, the qwerty keyboard on the Treo makes it a whole lot easier to use for sending.

But I still can't get on board with the texting shorthand that kids use today... r u there? gr8. c u l8tr. :P Nah...I like to write in real English.


BTW, I had also thought about ways to send little update messages right from festivals and events for the benefit of folks who can't be there...That's a little hard to do the way I'm envisioning it with the tools that exist now. With Twitter, you could be following any member that has an account, and then see whatever they send out separately. What I was hoping to be able to do is embed a window on the webpage that anybody could browse to and see the latest messages posted from the service. But with Twitter, as far as I know at this point, that shows you the stream from one user, not a group.
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Mike
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Re: Should IKE Twitter?

Postby Mike » Tue, Apr 01 2008, 11:11 AM

Jeff wrote:Mike, when you said you don't have a texting plan on your phone, do you mean just for sending? You've received the few SMS messages that I've sent you, I think.

yeah, I can send and receive, I just pay per message. No worries, your messages were worth the 15 cents :-D


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