Sunday, November 1, 2009

Why Twitter Is Much More Useful Than You Think

Even if you could care less about micro-blogging, Twitter is an excellent tool for finding out what is happening in the world as it may immediately pertain to you. It is an observation/technique I picked up from one of the network engineers at work. We were observing what appeared to be a lower transaction rate in England. So a conference call was setup to find out what was going on and yet no one could find anything wrong within the network or backend services servicing England. Then, one of the network engineers searched on Twitter for Broadband England and found many people complaining that they had spotty broadband access by way of one of the equivalents of Comcast over there, i.e. a major ISP. The implications were immediately obvious - we stood a reasonable chance of seeing our transactions affected, i.e. a lower transactions/minute.

So at that point we knew to stop trying to find something wrong within the network as the problem lay externally.

Likewise this evening I was trying to load a game (I recently moved to Windows 7 so I've had to re-download titles) and the Valve Steam client was complaining that the Steam servers were too busy to service my request. This has been the case for a while this evening so I did a Twitter search. And sure enough, I'm not the only one. Click on the image above.

The point being that Twitter can be an excellent tool to feel the pulse of whatever topic you have immediately in mind.

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