Monday, January 16, 2012

January #Meme15 Assignment

<*Cough* *Cough*> It’s awfully dusty here, isn’t it? Yeah, I’ve been neglecting my blog. Terribly sorry about that…. Well, nothing like trying to get things going again at the start of a new year. Hopefully this year I’ll be more consistent about posting (and not quit half-way through the year)

#Meme15 Assignment #2

The #Meme15 is a meme started by a group of people in the #SQLFamily who wanted tomeme15new discuss how they use Social Networks to enhance their careers and professional development.
The assignment for this month was posted on Jason Strate’s blog – talk about Twitter, answering “Why should average Jane or Joe professional consider using Twitter?” and “What benefit have you seen in your career because of Twitter?“
Let’s get started.

Why should average Jane or Joe professional consider using Twitter?

From the Oatmeal - click photo to go to sourceThat’s exactly what I wondered when I first heard about Twitter – why bother slogging through countless random postings about useless things written by strangers who have too much spare time on their hands? I really don’t need to know that you’re taking your goat for a walk or that you ate sushi last night. Besides, I likely already saw your post on Facebook, Linked In and Google+ on exactly the same thing. Sounds like a major time waster, right?
If that’s all there was to it, then it would probably have gone the way of the 8-track tape within a few months. But thankfully, following people on Twitter can offer far greater benefits, as I discovered at the 2009 SQL PASS Summit conference. About halfway though the first day, I found out that the majority of the SQL people I really admired were all using Twitter as their main means of keeping in touch with other SQL professionals. And they weren’t tweeting useless stuff – they were posting announcements of new blog posts, links to articles about SQL, free online training, and other SQL-related items.
For SQL server professionals, Twitter definitely has benefits – just follow all of the awesome SQL gurus and the #SQLHelp and #SQLPass hashtags. For other professionals, it may or may not be helpful – it all depends upon whether other professions have a significant number of people tweeting about their profession.

What benefit have you seen in your career because of Twitter?

I’ve used the #SQLHelp hashtag several times to ask SQL-related questions and have received answers so quickly from SQL experts that it felt like they were right there with me helping me along.
From Twitter, I’ve also been able to find out about free online webinars and more SQL articles and blogs than what I have time to read in a day. Without Twitter, it would likely have taken me far longer to find the same information – or I would’ve completely missed seeing the information at all.
Finally, the most important benefit of chatting on Twitter with all of these SQL professionals is that when I attend a SQL conference these people actually know me by name – which has made networking so much easier.

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