There are tons of “Web 2.0” (or 2.1, or whatever) applications out there that I don’t really understand how to use. I know I have 154 connections on LinkedIn, but I don’t know why. I have received a flurry of Plaxo requests, but I can’t tell if that is more or less useful than LinkedIn. I’ve played with wikis and with wikipedia (before deciding I didn’t want to spend my life arguing with non-OR people about the operations research page). And, of course, I have a blog, and use lots of software to bring together various RSS feeds. But,except for the last, I am not sure if what I do is useful, or if it is just messing about to no purpose.
One system that intrigues me is Twitter. Every few months I tell myself that I should use Twitter more, and add a bunch of tweets for a day or so before lapsing back. Unlike the blog, I never found a voice for Twitter. I’m trying again, this time putting my tweets in a sidebar on the main page of this blog (the sidebar is getting far too messy but maybe one more thing can fit in!). But why? About the most I can say is that this might give some people an idea of what a university professor does and perhaps give an outlet for quicker thoughts about the OR world than the blog does. I see people like Wil Wheaton and Steve Baker and I see them using Twitter in interesting ways. Could I find a similar path?
Anyone else want to point the way on how Twitter can improve the world of operations research?