That title was a pretty big mouthful so before we get started let’s define the terms:
- Twitter – The primary micro-streaming network. You type any 140 chars. They are received by anyone subscribed to your stream.
- CMS – Content Management System. The way (tools/process/people) that organizations collect/manage all their content
- Meta-tagging – a way to describe pieces of content. “Meta” because it is content about content
OK, so starting from that foundation, what’s the big idea? One of the toughest challenges with any CMS is getting people to put stuff into it. If you have found a way to get over that hurdle, you may have been stymied by how to get people to spend time classifying their contributions so that others can find them. People just don’t want to spend the time. Their head is ready to get onto the next item on the to-do list.
But, Twitter came along and all of a sudden people have a way to promote their content and that of others. Links are flying around all over the place and people are deriving great use from that sharing. Unfortunately, if you didn’t catch something in someone’s stream it is usually gone.
Here are two ways that Twitter can be of value to an organization’s content management. They both rely on the premise that many tweets contain links to more complex content items: documents, videos, etc…
- It is a good way to find content that should be in your CMS. If your people are tweeting (or whatever micro-stream network) about something a lot, someone should make sure it is easily accessible to all in the organization (possibly through your CMS)
- The 120 chars or so used to describe why people should visit a certain link is in essence meta-tagging. If an organization could capture those words from all the people who are tweeting that content item, they would have a great auto meta-tagging tool.
Twitter is a great way to connect tacit and explicit knowledge through people’s sharing. Many people describe Twitter activity as a stream that we can dip into when we have time and shouldn’t worry about when we don’t. I think that use is not realizing Twitter’s full potential. We should have tools that are watching Twitter streams even when we aren’t and connecting us to the right content when we need it.
Seen any tools that are moving in this direction? If you notice http://bit.ly is tracking all the places where a short-URL has been posted: Twitter, Fbook, etc… That is certainly a start.