An Overview of Microblogging

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Microblogging is taking the IT world by storm, with Twitter its (in)famous poster boy blazing the way. With the ability to post short messages and broadcast them, microblogging has possibly sparked another mode of computer-mediated communication. Twitter, the company which started it all, is seeing massive growth in the number of subscribers. Both individuals and organizations are taking to microblogging as part of an arsenal of Web 2.0 tools. This technology update will introduce microblogging and provide an overview of such services. It will compare microblogging with similar technologies and present applications for the enterprise and education. As with any new technology, issues have emerged, and these will be discussed. Possible research areas are explored too before concluding with predictions for its future. (These are edited slides from a seminar I conducted in the IS dept in NUS)

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  • Elizabeth, thanks for mentioning our work on Twitter and language learning. We now published a follow up paper that goes into more depth:
    Kerstin Borau; Carsten Ullrich; Jinjin Feng & Ruimin Shen. Microblogging for Language Learning: Using Twitter to Train Communicative and Cultural Competence. Proceedings of International Conference on Web-based Learning (ICWL) 2009, 2009
    http://www.carstenullrich.net/pubs/Borau09Microblogging.pdf
    I hope you find the article interesting.
       Reply 
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An Overview of Microblogging

  1. 1. An Overview of Microblogging Technology Update 3 April 09 Elizabeth Koh
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>General Uses </li></ul><ul><li>Technology Comparison </li></ul><ul><li>Overview of the Microsphere </li></ul><ul><li>Applications: Enterprise and Education </li></ul><ul><li>Microblogging Reflections </li></ul><ul><li>Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Research Possibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Future </li></ul><ul><li>Getting started </li></ul>
  3. 3. Microblogging??? μ -blogging? Micro-messaging? Social Messaging? Micro-sharing?
  4. 4. Microblogging???
  5. 5. Microblogging???
  6. 6. Introduction to Microblogging <ul><li>Service which allows subscribers to post short updates online and broadcast them </li></ul><ul><li>Answers the question: What are you doing now? </li></ul><ul><li>A form of social networking </li></ul><ul><li>Many services such as Twitter, Plurk, sfeed, Yammer, BlueTwit, and several International-based sites. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Popularity <ul><li>Twitter is the fastest growing social community in the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>In Singapore, Tan (2009) reports Hitwise statistics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Users and visitors to Twitter's site jumped 602% between January 08 and 09 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plurk was even more popular, with 184% more users than Twitter last month </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Many microblogging services all over the world e.g. Fanfou (China), me2day (Korea), Kronologger (Indonesia) </li></ul>
  8. 8. General Uses Means of communication
  9. 9. General Uses Means of communication
  10. 10. General Uses <ul><li>To see what is going on in the world in real-time </li></ul>
  11. 11. General Uses <ul><li>To see what is going on in the world in real-time </li></ul>
  12. 12. Technology Comparison <ul><li>Microblogging with </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instant Messaging (IM) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Short Message Service (SMS) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet Relay Chat (IRC) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Technology Comparison (1) Synchronity Text Length Asynchronous 140 characters μ-blogging Asynchronous Unlimited Blogging Asynchronous Unlimited Email Synchronous 300-500 characters IM Asynchronous 160 characters SMS Synchronous 256 characters IRC
  14. 14. Technology Comparison (2) None None None None Email Email, IM, SMS and other mobile applications Other methods to update the service Chat client IRC Mobile applications SMS Stand-alone clients, browser, mobile applications IM Email clients, Email Browser (webpages, RSS) Blogging Browser (webpages, RSS), Stand-alone clients, mobile applications μ-blogging Methods to access (read) the service
  15. 15. Technology Comparison (3) No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Friend/ Contact list N.A. Private Private Private N.A. Public to Private Visibility of Contact list Group, person (1 – 1) IRC Group, person (1 – 1) SMS Group, person (1 – 1) IM Community, group, person (1 – many) Email World, community, group, person (1 – many) Blogging World, community, group, person (1 – many) μ-blogging Audience/Reach
  16. 16. Overview of the Microsphere Mar 2006 Oct 2007 Jan 2008 Sep 2008 Jul 2008 Dec 2007 Oct 2008 Timeline
  17. 17. Categorizing the Microsphere Narrow focus Broad Focus Simple features Integrated/Additional features
  18. 18. Applications of Microblogging <ul><li>Enterprise </li></ul><ul><ul><li>External Communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal Communication </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Student-Teacher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student-Student </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher-Teacher </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Applications: Enterprise <ul><li>External Communications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Branding and Marketing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Networking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer Relationship Management (Social CRM) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct Traffic and Sales </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Zappos (e-commerce footwear shop) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Starbucks (coffee chain) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sweet Mandarin (restaurant) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Starhub (telecommunications provider) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>G uy Kawasaki (alltop.com founder, @guykawasaki) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kevin Ong (business coach, @drdollars) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Directory of businesses that use Twitter http://twibs.com/ </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Branding and Marketing
  21. 21. Social CRM
  22. 22. Direct Traffic and Sales
  23. 23. Applications: Enterprise <ul><li>Internal Communications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Company-wide communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IT helpdesk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>track internal IT issues </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>External stakeholder relationship management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>converse with partners, suppliers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ask questions, share resources, locate expertise </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Presence awareness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>monitor employees </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project management and collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>project team updates </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Company-wide communication
  25. 25. Knowledge Management <ul><li>NASA microblogs with Socialcast </li></ul><ul><li>“ Using an online social networking approach to capturing and sharing knowledge during the course of business by an intact NASA knowledge workforce provides knowledge in context, is reusable by others in real-time or in the future, and cost effective.” Celeste Merryman (Principal Investigator; McConnachie, 2009) </li></ul>
  26. 26. Project management and collaboration <ul><li>IBM microblogs with BlueTwit </li></ul><ul><li>Internally created service that has its own private messaging and is integrated with Twitter </li></ul>
  27. 27. s <ul><li>These tools will hopefully “provide a substitute for personal connectors that flew away with globalization – and help to build and strengthen far-flung teams.” (Baker, 2008) </li></ul>
  28. 28. Applications: Education <ul><li>Student-Teacher </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lecture backchannel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication and broadcast channel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grassroots Virtual Learning Environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online course </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Collaboration
  30. 30. Grassroots Virtual Learning Environment
  31. 31. Online Course Holotescu & Grosseck (2008)
  32. 32. Applications: Education <ul><li>Student-Student </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow the Expert </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Language Learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Teacher-Teacher </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal Learning Network </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. A Caution on Microblogging <ul><li>Privacy </li></ul><ul><li>Reliability of the service </li></ul><ul><li>Etiquette </li></ul><ul><li>Can be resource intensive </li></ul>
  34. 34. Emerging Research Areas <ul><li>Network Use and Effects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. Java et al. (2007), Krishnamurthy et al.(2008) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Type of knowledge shared in microblogging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. Zhao & Rosson (2008) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Enterprise Applications and Effects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. information, social and emotional effects (Zhao & Rosson, 2008) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Educational Applications and Effects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Preliminary reports by H olotescu & Grosseck (2008), Paul (2008) and Ullrich et al. (2008). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Virtual Community and Effects </li></ul><ul><li>Adoption – Individual and Organization Factors </li></ul>
  35. 35. Future (1) <ul><li>The end of personal privacy? </li></ul><ul><li>The challenge of Facebook and other social networking sites? </li></ul><ul><li>More innovative mash-ups? </li></ul><ul><li>Business intelligence tool? </li></ul>
  36. 36. Future (2) <ul><li>Part of business solutions? </li></ul><ul><li>Part of the enterprise? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Companies without a microblogging system will seem as silly and disadvantaged in the future as companies do today that say &quot;we don't need Instant Messaging, we have email,&quot; or &quot;we don't need email, we have a fax machine.&quot;” (Kirkpatrick, 2009) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The email of the future? </li></ul>
  37. 38. How to get started? <ul><li>Join one of the microblogging services e.g. Twitter (first mover, most number of users) or Yammer (self-serve private network for companies) </li></ul><ul><li>Start posting </li></ul><ul><li>Start following others </li></ul><ul><li>Start replying to others </li></ul><ul><li>Useful link to help you get started </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// howtwitterworks.com / </li></ul></ul>
  38. 39. References (Images) <ul><li>Slide background: http://limeshot.com/2008/twitter-backgrounds </li></ul><ul><li>Comic: Geek & Poke (2009) Bad Weeds Grow Tall http:// geekandpoke.typepad.com/geekandpoke/twitter / </li></ul><ul><li>Tweet bird image: http:// www.hongkiat.com /blog/twitter-wallpapers-the-blue-bird/ </li></ul><ul><li>Mumbai attack image: Minxuan Lee (2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Failwhale image: Yiying Lu http:// yiyinglu.com /sc/illustration </li></ul><ul><li>Bluetwit interface images: http://davanum.wordpress.com/2008/12/14/bluetwit-firefox-sidebar-supports-twitter-too/ </li></ul><ul><li>Bluetwit users image: http://manyeyes.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/visualizations/bluetwit-user-distribution-by-countr-2 </li></ul><ul><li>OraTweet image: http://pistachioconsulting.com/oratweet-oracles-enterprise-microsharing-application/ </li></ul>
  39. 40. References (Papers) <ul><li>Baker, S. (2008). Big Blue Embraces Social Media. Business Week, May 22, 2008. Retrieved 29 Mar 09, from http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_22/b4086056643442.htm?chan=technology_technology+index+page_top+stories </li></ul><ul><li>Holotescu, C. & Grosseck, G. (2008 ) SERIOUS FUN IN EDUCATION: USING MICROBLOGGING. International Conference on Knowledge Based Organization </li></ul><ul><li>Java, A., Song, X., Finin, T., and Tseng, B. (2007). Why we twitter: understanding microblogging usage and communities. In Proceedings of the 9th WebKDD and 1st SNA-KDD 2007 Workshop on Web Mining and Social Network Analysis (San Jose, California, August 12 - 12, 2007). WebKDD/SNA-KDD '07. ACM, New York, NY, 56-65 </li></ul><ul><li>Krishnamurthy, B., Gill, P., and Arlitt, M. (2008). A few chirps about twitter. In Proceedings of the First Workshop on online Social Networks (Seattle, WA, USA, August 18 - 18, 2008). WOSP '08. ACM, New York, NY, 19-24 </li></ul><ul><li>Kirkpatrick, M. (March 30, 2009) Status.net Could Point to the Future of Business Intelligence. Read Write Web. Retrieved 29 Mar 09, from http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/statusnet_could_point_to_the_future_of_business_intelligence.php </li></ul>
  40. 41. References (Papers) <ul><li>McConnachie, D. (2009). NASA delves deeper into cyber-space. Technology & Business. Retrieved 29 Mar 09, from http://www.technologyandbusiness.com.au/broadband-business/Features/NASA-delves-deeper-into-cyber-space.aspx </li></ul><ul><li>Paul, R. (2008). Twitter breaks down barriers in the classroom http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2008/03/twitter-breaks-down-barriers-in-the-classroom.ars </li></ul><ul><li>Tan, W. (2009). Blogging is so dated - now you twitter. The Straits Times (Singapore), February 5. </li></ul><ul><li>Ullrich, C., Borau, K., Luo, H., Tan, X., Shen, L., and Shen, R. (2008). Why web 2.0 is good for learning and for research: principles and prototypes. In Proceeding of the 17th international Conference on World Wide Web (Beijing, China, April 21 - 25, 2008). WWW '08. ACM, New York, NY, 705-714. </li></ul><ul><li>Zhao, D. and Rosson, M. B. (2008). How Might Microblogs Support Collaborative Work? Computer Supported Cooperative Work Workshop 2008 </li></ul>

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