Tweetstorms, Hashtags, and Why User-Invented “Features” Keep Me Long on Twitter

Full Disclosure: I bought Twitter stock in the company’s IPO and I will not be selling it anytime soon.

Each year around the holidays I head North to Washington State to hibernate for a few weeks with my parents at their house, reflect on what I’ve been doing with my life, read, gamble at the reservation casino, drink and snuggle by the fire. This past winter I decided, after a few glasses of wine, to drive my Twitter followers a little crazy. I had a lot of ideas I wanted to share, 140 characters weren’t enough to express what I wanted to say and I was too lazy to blog.

Soon, Marc Andreessen and I crossed paths (he had just gotten active on Twitter)… and he started tweetstorming too!

I got some positive feedback, and kept going:

There were questions of ettiquette for kicking off a new tweetstorm:

And some tweetstorms inspired response storms, which was really cool:

Other cool things happened, including talking to the Twitter team about their timelines feature (something you can only use through the API right now)…

And other things… mostly just new friendships started and great conversations…

It even resulted in an offer to turn one tweetstorm into a book (TBD)!

I am pretty sure I did *not* invent tweetstorming (it actually has a different meaning, primarily used by activists in the past to harass brands online) but the tweetstorm — much like the hashtag, which was created by my friend Chris — is why Twitter is awesome.

On Twitter, users figure out the features and the interface for their conversations.

  • Yes! I went ahead and made to provide a better way of making/creating tweetstorms. I made sure that it detects #hashtag based tweetstorms because of #ifiwasaVC

  • 5 ultimate reasons for remote employees to use a time tracker

    It can be hard for a manager of remote employees to guarantee that their staff in the field works to their full potential. Without a method for controlling their performance, managers do a lot of guessing about what employees do during their work day. Fortunately, there is a lot of affordable software solutions which enables project managers to monitor their remote employees’ doings, as well as time spent visiting customers and on the road. Let’s explore some of the profits that come from using a time tracker.

    Bill Clients Correctly

    When your team has to rely only on memories for recording their time spent with customers, their reporting is the object to human error that can lead to billing mistakes. It can be problematic for your company’s bottom line, as well as for your team’s correlation with customers. If customers sees that their bill does not reflect the attention and work they received from your company, a dispute may arise that can cause the customer to stop doing business with you. Not only does this cripple a company’s income stream, but an angry former customer can hurt its reputation. If the company uses a time tracker, they’d have accurate information to show how many hours an employee worked for a client. With this data, the customer will be happy knowing that their bill was correct and your company will save money because employees’ work hours were recorded properly.

    Improve Staff Efficiency

    In his article “8 Compelling Reasons Why Businesses Should Track Their Employees’ Time”, expert Jimmy Rodela says that employees tend to be more sensible of how they spend their work time if they know their jobs are being monitored. This knowledge translates to increased efficiency. Also, tracking employees helps managers attend to any problems that arise in the field and handle it in time. This opportunity leads to a rise in productivity because of less time is wasted dealing with errors after the fact.

    Handle Budgets Better

    In certain cases it’s hard to judge how much time, employees, and resources will be needed to finish a project. A manager can guess that projects for a high-priority customer will need more attention than those for a client who brings in less profit, but such theorizing isn’t the best way to go about distributing a company’s funds. With an employee time tracker, managers and CEOs will know how much time a worker typically spends with a given customer and the types of tasks he or she does for that customer. This information gives administrators a better sense of every single client’s needs and lets them allot funds and human resources accordingly. The more data managers have on client-employee relationships, the better able they are to allocate company’s resources appropriately.

    Assess Employees’ Output

    The next benefit of using a time tracker for employees is the opportunity to measure the output of their concrete work as it’s happening. By doing that, managers can see if the right employees are being assigned to the right works or projects. Really, if an individual employee’s output for a given task is below average, he or she may not be the best candidate for this task. This sign can lead managers to purposefully coach that employee or possibly appoint another person to the project.

    Feedback for Managers

    With a time tracker in place, managers can more easily deliver feedback to employees about their performance at work. This is a priceless advantage, because of many remote employees cite a lack of feedback from management as being among their top pain points. An automatic time tracker enables managers to provide feedback based on actual work activities an employee performs, instead of just speaking about his or her work in general words. Having such skills lets managers coach those employees who are not performing up to par and recognize those who exceed.

    Manage Project Deadlines Effectively

    It is probable that managers will set deadlines for a project before assigning tasks. With the right time tracker at hand, managers can track the time of staff who work on projects and the types of activities they carry out. They’ll see if it aligns with the proposed deadline. The information gained can lead managers either to coach employees as needed to guarantee their efficient work or set a new deadline in advance. Either way, a time tracker will prevent works from being delayed because of inefficiencies in the field.

    Tracking remote employees’ work day helps managers understand which business processes are working right and which need help. It also lets managers give relevant feedback to their team, whether it be good or bad. Overall, companies that use a time tracker can experience enhanced business growth and employees’ professionalism rising.