Are You Taking Advantage of Twitter for SQL Server?

One thing I always do lately, whenever I give a presentation is ask the audience how many of them use Twitter. In most cases, less than half of the audience is on Twitter, and it is often much lower than that.

This gives me an opportunity to spend a few minutes to talk up the benefits of Twitter. I used to be a serious skeptic about Twitter. It seemed like a frivolous waste of time when I first heard of it. After all, did I really care what someone had for lunch?

Well, it turns out that there is a very active and helpful SQL Server community on Twitter. People like Brent Ozar (@BrentO), Thomas LaRock (@SQLRockStar), Paul Randal (@PaulRandal), Jonathan Keyhayias (@SQLSarg), Denny Cherry (@mrdenny), and Buck Woody (@buckwoody), to just name a few of the most popular and influential ones.

It is likely than most of your favorite bloggers, authors and speakers are on Twitter, and if you follow them, you will know when they have posted something new, and what they are doing. More importantly, you will get to know people, and they will get to know you, if you choose to participate in the community.

All you have to do is open a free account on Twitter, and start following people. I advise you to upload a picture of yourself (or some other image you really like), and then leave it alone, since people will recognize you by your avatar image if you don’t change it very often.  I think it is better to use your name for a Twitter handle rather than some cute tag, but that is just my opinion.

I also advise you to try to steer clear of political subjects, no matter how passionately you may feel about something, because you are bound to annoy people if you talk about politics in the SQL Server Twitter world. If you are interested in politics (which I am) you are much better off to create a separate Twitter account that you use for that purpose.

You should also use one of the better Twitter clients, such as TweetDeck (which is also free), so it is easier for you to periodically see what has been happening with the people that you follow, whether you have been mentioned, etc.

One place you can find people that you might want to follow in the SQL Server world is WeFollow.com. One specific list you might start with is the sqlserver list.

But wait, I have saved the best part for last! How would you like to get free consulting from someone like Paul Randal or Denny Cherry? Well, you can (as long as you don’t abuse it) by using the #sqlhelp hash tag. All you have to do is ask a question on Twitter and use the #sqlhelp hash tag, and you will get a wealth of world class, free assistance, often in seconds. Lots of very well-respected, heavy hitters in the SQL Server world monitor that hash tag, and will respond as long as you are reasonable and polite.

Of course, I am on Twitter as @GlennAlanBerry.

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9 Responses to Are You Taking Advantage of Twitter for SQL Server?

  1. erikdisparti says:

    I can vouch for Glenn (Not that he needs it) as I was at his last presentation on SQL Server Hardware at the Boulder SQL Users Group meeting. He did ask everyone if they used Twitter. I, as another skeptic rolled my eyes and said to myself “really, Twitter how can that help me”. Since I’m new to SQL Server I figured I should probably listen to the experts like Glenn Berry. As of last Wednesday I now Tweet and I use TweetDeck.

    I started by following Glenn and then Paul Randell. I have also added Brad McGehee. Glenn I can’t agree with you more. I have been on Tweeter for three days now I and I cant believe how active the SQL community is. I’m looking forward to following Brent, Thaomas and Denny, to name just a few.

    On a lighter note if the Boss comes over “What are you doing in Tweeter!” Dude I’m following Gleen Berry and Paul Randell I think they may have just answered our problems. Also, you may read how to make people laugh at presentations. Paul if your reading this, when you tweeted how to make KimTripp laugh during a presentation…I about fell out of my chair.

    I’m a Twitter @ErikDisparti

  2. Pingback: Weekly Challenges – 3/20/11 « SQL Feather and Quill

  3. Dan Shargel says:

    If you don’t want to follow SQL people directly (sometimes it’s just too much) you can instead subscribe to groups/lists of people that tweet about SQL a lot.

    Some of the lists I subscribe to are below:

    https://twitter.com/#!/list/BigE54/sql-server-21
    https://twitter.com/#!/list/BigE54/sqlserver-twibe
    https://twitter.com/#!/list/SQLChicken/sql-user-groups

  4. Karen says:

    I’m going to be talking about this in my SQLRally professional development presentation. I think Twitter is a very important part of career management.

  5. Doug Lane says:

    Thanks, Glenn. Twitter has been great for me, both for getting help with SQL problems and for keeping in touch with people I’ve met at events like user group meetings and SQL Saturdays. Now that I’m on Twitter, I can’t imagine going without it.

    Great advice too about talking politics. If you throw out or respond to political chum in the water, you’re jeopardizing the connections you’ve made, and it comes across as a little unprofessional. I’ve done that a few times and each time I’ve regretted it.

  6. Pingback: Twitter – a Swiss Army Knife for the SQL Server Professional « SQL Feather and Quill

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