So what is the best piece of internet technology invented in the 21st Century? There's been some pretty amazing stuff but for me Twitter beats them all. The only problem is its probably the least understood and the most derided. A recent conversation with a colleague is an example:
Me: I'm thinking of starting a Twitter feed for Environmental Health professionals.
Them: What? That things just used so celebrities can tell us what they had for breakfast!
Well yes that is half right there is a number of A B C D list celebrities (i think even Andy warhol's 15 minutes of fame is being pushed at the present rate!) who think their loyal followers are interested in their wonderful lives but Twitter is about so much more than that! As a current news source its unbeatable want to know what the traffics like want to catch the latest news headlines or sports results its all there and its all free.
Now at this point you're probably wondering if I've taken up a new position as a Twitter salesman. Well no it just drives me mad that we have such a brilliant resource but as usual parts of Local Government generally have no idea how to use it. Obviously the first way to discover how useful it can be is to gain access which probably rules out anyone who's at work at the moment. Now surely if employees are going to sit on Twitter all day telling their mates about last night its pretty easy to spot, isn't that what effective management is all about? At the moment fear of those people is stopping professionals working more efficiently. That also goes for You Tube and to a lesser extent Facebook.
Of course I'm not the only one extolling the virtues of Twitter take a look at this http://tiny.cc/apdyow it appears the LSE take it very seriously and I'm sure a whole lot of other academic institutions do as well.
So go take a look its all free, if you just want to follow what other people, government departments, universities, prominent professionals etc are up to then you can, even the Queen now has an account so if its good enough for Her Majesty...
For any of you interested in Public Health why not start with https://twitter.com/JigsawPSPH its a site we've set up to help Environmental Health professionals engage with Public Health. I promise you will never be told what I had for breakfast and you might even grow to like a bit of Tweeting!
@JigsawPSPH is an independent resource set up by EHP's for EHP's