The pace of change and innovation is quite brisk in the area of virtual worlds and virtual tradeshows. How does one keep up with the pace? One tool that I use is Twitter, the popular and very useful microblogging platform. As it relates to virtual worlds, my uses of Twitter are:
- Find the news of the day – I check Twitter (and FriendFeed, too) with my morning coffee, in the same way I might have walked down the driveway to pick up the morning newspaper (when I was a kid, of course!). My RSS feeds in Google Reader are good, but I often find more applicable and more timely virtual worlds news via the folks I follow on Twitter.
- Stay connected with the metaverse – I discover the influencers (and, who may soon be an influencer) and keep tabs on the chatter and commentary related to virtual worlds.
- Distribute information – Guy Kawasaki has blogged about how he leverages his Twitter network to generate interest in Alltop.com. You can find one relevant post here: http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2008/12/how-to-use-twit.html. I’ll often let my Twitter followers know about new blog posts that I’ve authored. In fact, you may notice that I’ve done just that for this blog posting!
- Source new business contacts and leads – Twitter moves in two directions – you follow (and receive benefits from) others, but you ought to “give back” and share information that the community (and your followers) may find useful. When you do that, you find that your list of followers starts growing magically (Twitter users are eager to follow others have a way of finding you), which, in turn, expands your universe of potential business partners. In fact, you may find that business opportunities will come finding you, without any action on your part (aside from being active on Twitter) – it’s happened to me, for sure.
I follow 253 people on Twitter. Among those, I’ll provide a short list of the folks I follow specifically for virtual worlds info (and why):
- @malburns: Mal Burns has made 29,696 updates on Twitter, most of which are about virtual worlds news. I don’t quite know how he can be so prodigious, but I do know that I check his tweets to get the latest news each day. For virtual worlds, he’s my Daily News and New York Times in one
- @epredator: Ian Hughes is a metaverse evangelist at IBM (based in the UK) and a blogger at eightbar – he has lots of interesting insights into the metaverse. See related interviews that I did with Ian: Part 1 and Part 2
- @NickWilson and @OnderSkall – Nick Wilson and Caleb Booker (OnderSkall) are executives at Clever Zebra, a virtual worlds business. Caleb publishes a weekly “Business in Virtual Worlds News Roundup” on his blog that’s loaded with lots of useful links and articles. Here’s a sample: http://www.calebbooker.com/blog/2009/01/11/business-in-virtual-worlds-news-roundup-jan-5-11-2009/
- @skribe – skribe Forti is a Digital Media Consultant at Skribe Productions – he has his fingers on the pulse of the (virtual) world
- @Dusanwriter – Doug Thompson is CEO of Remedy Communications who travels in the virtual world as Dusan Writer. He blogs about virtual worlds at http://dusanwriter.com/
- @reubstock – Reuben Steiger is CEO of Millions of Us (http://millionsofus.com/blog/)
- ADDED: @Consiliera – Gaby K. Benkwitz is “Futurist, consultant, educator” who links to articles and blog entries about the metaverse. I also subscribe to her excellent newsfeed on Friendfeed: http://friendfeed.com/rooms/metaversenews
I’m sure I’m missing some key people – so drop a comment below to let me know whom else I should be following for virtual worlds info – and, I’ll follow them!
Of course, if you want to follow me, I’m at @dshiao.