I’ve got Twittermentia!

From yesterday’s Twitter transcript:

09:43 am grigs: Really enjoyed the ALA Web Dev Survey http://tinyurl.com/yskc3h Well written report. Wish it has included billed rates. Any surveys on that?

09:46 am grigs: Twitter usage of tinyurl makes it difficult to track links. No way to set up a (blog)search for tinyurls that point to your site.

09:46 am grigs: There is a service there that tinyurl could provide.

09:55 am selenamarie: @grigs thanks for the pointer.

10:02 am grigs: @selenamarie what pointer? oh, the ALA report? can’t remember what i did moments ago.

10:15 am selenamarie: @grigs: twittermentia?

Selena went on to define Twittermentia as:

twittermentia: happens when you can only remember your most recent post to Twitter.

This is the first time I can recall a new term being defined to describe my behavior. I’m not sure if I should be happy or ashamed.

Betsy says to own it and given the fact that it probably won’t be the last time I can’t remember what I was just doing, I should probably do as she says. Thanks Selena. :-)

Saving the Environment–One Server at a Time

The recurrent theme at SNW this year is Green Storage. I’m extremely impressed with the fact that multiple vendors have incorporated energy efficiency as a key distinguishing characteristic of their solutions. I knew the SNIA was launching the Green Storage Initiative, but I didn’t realize how much momentum this has in the industry until I saw it for myself.

Several booths are dominated by information about energy efficiency. These companies have decided that being green is the most likely way to sell more products.

Through my conversations with people on the expo floor, I learned that several businesses are now being told that they cannot bring any more power into their data centers. The power company is simply refusing to provide them with more capacity.

In many cases, the cost of powering and cooling a data center exceed the costs of the hardware within two years.

The green momentum isn’t entirely altruistic. There is a real dollars and sense perspective driving the Green Storage Initiative. Tackling these issues will save businesses money.

But even though it may not be entirely altruistic, you can sense the pride that people have doing something that both helps their company sell more storage devices AND makes the world a better place.

5 Months Later: Twitter Rocks. Facebook Bores.

After hearing such a buzz about Twitter and Facebook at Web Visions 2007, I decided to give them both a try. Five months later, the results are completely unexpected to me: Twitter seems indispensable and Facebook completely ignorable.

My initial impressions were very different. Facebook had a clear purpose and reason. While I’ve never got much value out of MySpace or Friendster and minimal value out of LinkedIn, at least I understood why someone might find them useful. Facebook’s common features with these other social networking sites made it easy to see what Facebook was about.

Twitter on the other hand seem like a tremendous waste of time. I believe that the high interrupt nature of today’s workplace is already straining productivity. I’ve changed my email client to only check email every 30 minutes, stopped participating in IM and irc but irregularly, and generally sought ways to give myself more focus.

It was difficult to imagine that a system like Twitter with constant micro-updates would work for me.

Five months later and I’m contemplating turning off my Facebook account while I both enjoy and find utility in Twitter. How did this come to be?

Let’s start with the easy answer on why Facebook disappoints.

Dave Winer wrote recently about how Facebook sucks because it doesn’t allow users to control their data. This triggered a lot of back and forth about the value of Facebook. I’m not sure if it is control of the data or the walled garden or what, but the reality is that I never see what is going on in Facebook.

I think Facebook’s expectation is that I’m going to log into their system and refresh the news feed page. I’m not sure. I’ve tried turning on every type of notification and subscribing via RSS to no avail. I’m in several groups, but I never know that anything is happening in them.

Basically, the only time I think about Facebook is when someone writes an article about how great it is. Then I log in to look again and wonder what I’m missing.

Yes, Facebook has a wonderful development platform. I like the fact that I can syndicate my blog, twitter, delicious and flickr information to Facebook. It means I never have to log into Facebook to update anything. :-)

Maybe more of my friends need to use the platform. Maybe I need to “live” in the application to appreciate it. But for whatever reason, I’ve given Facebook five months to hook me, and I still could care less about it. And I’m actively trying to understand this system. I doubt others will take as much time.

Twitter’s purpose is much more difficult to explain. Adam C. Engst’s recent “Confessions of a Twitter Convert” mirrors my own experience. Twitter provides both a way to know what is going on in people’s lives, a conduit to breaking news, and a community that you don’t find elsewhere online.

It also provides you with a conduit to talking to people you otherwise have no connection to. My exchange with Guy Kawasaki allowed me to give something back to someone I admire. That connection would have never happened without Twitter. I don’t have Guy’s email address. He doesn’t know me at all.

Who knows? Perhaps in five months more of my friends will be on Facebook, and I’ll suddenly see why so many people swear by this service and think it can take on Google. And maybe Twitter will grow old or become crowded with spammers.

But for now, Twitter provides a difficult-to-describe joy and usefulness to my everyday. Facebook promises much more, but doesn’t deliver.

(You can follow me on Twitter here. My Facebook account is… well, I don’t think I can link to my Facebook profile. So I guess you have to search for me. How lame is that?)

Heading to Storage Networking World, SNIA at 10 years

Later this morning, I fly to Dallas for Storage Networking World (SNW). I’m going to visit the Storage Networking Industry Alliance (SNIA) who is one of the sponsors of SNW.

The SNIA is celebrating its 10 year birthday at SNW. I’ve been working with the SNIA for half of that period. I don’t think I’ve seen a period of time when the SNIA had such great sustained momentum as it does right now.

SNIA just launched a major redesign of their Website. The SNIA staff had a plan for the launch. They were organized. And they worked their tails off to make it happen. It was great to watch.

On the technology front, SNIA just announced their Green Storage Initiative. There is a lot of enthusiasm around the idea of reducing energy consumption in data centers.

The future looks very bright for the SNIA, and I couldn’t be happier for them.

On a related note, if you are going to be at SNW or live in the Dallas area, I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line or contact me via Twitter.


links for 2007-10-14