Another view on Twitter

August 12, 2008, 11:09 PM UTC

Padmasree Warrior, the chief technology officer of Cisco (CSCO), is an avid user of Twitter. I had asked her by e-mail to tell me why she likes it and she sent me the following. I’ve got some thoughts about what she writes here, but rather than prejudice readers, I’ll ask for your opinions first. Please use the comment box on this blog (which allows for far more than 140 characters) or feel free to reply to me @adamlashinsky on Twitter.

On Twitter

How to tweet and not shriek!

I started to Twitter around early June after resisting for a long time! As it turned out, “resistance was futile.”  I don’t know yet if I will become a long term user or if the novelty will fade after a few months.

So far, I like it because it is quick, easy to use and allows multiple input modalities (web, mobile web, SMS).

It is always fun to let fly a few words every now and then about what you are doing, there is no denying that. But if it happens every few seconds and from hundreds you are following, the tweets amplify to screams and shrieks – a time waster.

What I use Twitter most for is to share “What I am thinking” rather than “What I am doing.” I am less interested in informing my virtual community about lunch every day. But, I am very interested in hearing feedback about my thoughts on various techno-social topics; like the future firm or internet transformation. It is intellectually stimulating to think out aloud virtually and hear the thoughts of others.

I ponder a lot about the Future of Innovation. In the next decade innovation cycles will compress dramatically driven by the web and the mobile. We will move from a serial, long, inadequate “brainstorming” process to an instantaneous, simultaneous, enriching approach. I coined the term “Brainforming” to describe this new phenomenon.

Brainforming is characterized by the fact that ideas get stronger when shared. If we have the ability to select as we collect ideas, then solutions are formulated concurrent with ideation. Twitter can be a powerful tool to enable this! How can this aspect of Twitter be used more effectively for Enterprise and Consumer applications? This is something I would like the Twitter team and the user community to think about.

This may not be the intended use of Twitter. However, it is often the inadvertent application of an innovation that has the most profound impact on productivity and society.