How to Get Value from Twitter

I’ve been enjoying Twitter more and more over the past two months, once I made the resolution to participate and understand it. Here’s my recommendation for getting value from Twitter:

  • Use TweetDeck or a similar tool to participate
  • Add searches in TweetDeck,  or use, to monitor your company name, product names, community issues, etc as well as follow people that are talking about things you care about
  • Don’t try to read everything everyone says that you follow — jump in and join the conversation when you have time
  • Think of Twitter as an asynchronous instant messaging conversation with the world (never default to making all tweets private)

Good luck with Twitter and try it for a full month to fully appreciate it.

The Buzz of Daily Check-ins

For 2009 we started a new strategy of daily check-ins from the bottom up every day in the office. This means that every department does a scrum-like daily check-in answering the following questions while standing in under 10 minutes:

  • What did you accomplish yesterday?
  • What are you going to do today?
  • Do you have any roadblocks?

Then, the department leader asks if there are any ideas for improvements as well as any heroes to recognize for outstanding work. We do this every single day! People that telecommute (we have a one day a week telecommute policy for everyone) dial in to a conference number.

This is a bottom up daily check-in as everyone does at least one and up to three of these in a row in the morning. It works as follows:

  • 9:30 – Managers with direct reports
  • 9:40 – Managers of managers
  • 9:50 – Leadership team

This way, any issues are immediately propagated across the organization and can be worked through by the leadership team within 20 minutes of finding it out.

There’s an awesome buzz of noise every morning when this takes place. I’m a big fan of it.

Webapp Sign-in Security Re: Twitter Happiness-gate

Last week’s Twitter snafu involving the hacking of several celebrity Twitter accounts and posting commercial and lewd remarks was found to come from an individual hacking into a Twitter support person’s account. The gist of the story is that an individual wrote a script to automatically try every word in the dictionary to break into an online account. It turns out that the password was ‘happiness’ and was found relatively quickly. 

For programmers and online entrepreneurs, the moral of the story is to only allow a few login attempts before the account is automatically locked. How is the account unlocked? The account can be unlocked by contacting support, if applicable, or by going through a forgot password sequence that involves answering a question or having a link emailed and clicked.

Frameworks for Fast Growing Companies

One of the hardest things to do for a fast growing company is to get everyone aligned and on the same page. One business guru said successful businesses are 1% vision and 99% alignment. Here are some good books for entrepreneurs once they get past $1 million in revenue:

What are your thoughts? What books do you recommend?