Twitter Groups: Bringing communities together

Following agile talk on Twitter using Tweetdeck (click image for larger view)
Following agile talk on Twitter using Tweetdeck (click image for larger view)

I like Twitter. A lot. Twitter has helped me connect with a diverse group of people, particularly in the Agile community. I consider myself fortunate to chat and learn from people like Lisa Crispin (@lisacrispin), Brian Marick (@marick), Esther Derby (@estherderby), as well as lesser knowns like myself. For instance, I learned about Lisa’s upcoming book on Agile Testing (pre-ordered), Esther’s love of gardening and good food and have a ring-side seat between the always colourful Ron Jeffries (@RonJeffries) and Bob Martin (@unclebobmartin). I also discovered some great articles, including Cory Ladas’ Scrumban.

There is a lot of Agile-related chatter on Twitter, and it isn’t always easy to find. To help myself and others join in, I created the Agile Twitter group as an experiment, using

How to join the conversation

  1. Sign up to the Agile Twitter group.
  2. The Agile Twitter group official tag is the highly original #agile. Just type #agile somewhere in your post, likeLooking for an #agile pm tool, anyone have suggestions?and your tweet will end up in the Agile group’s Twitter stream (or is that tweet stream?).

How to follow the conversation

Unfortunately, Twitter has no built-in mechanism for following keywords so that those tweets appear in your Twitter stream. Here, then are the options I know of:

  1. Use a desktop tool like TweetDeck which has built-in support for Twitter searches. I have a search for everything with the word agile, which captures both Agile group tweets and anything else Agile on Twitter, including agile kids hiding behind couches to avoid their parents.
  2. Monitter is a real-time web-based keyword tracking tool, with support for RSS feeds if you prefer to receive updates that way.
  3. Add [email protected] to your list of IM contacts, then send twitterspy the message “track agile” (without quotes). You’ll get IM replies with linked Twitter ids.

    Track #agile conversation using IM via
    Track #agile conversation using IM via [email protected] (click image for larger view)
  4. Visit the Agile Twitter group page occasionally and see what activity is happening by clicking on the Agile group’s Twitter stream.

Quick reference of Agilistas on Twitter

At the bottom of the group page is a list of all the members, with links to their Twitter page and personal web site. This is another easy way to follow people who have an interest in Agile like you. In less than a day, almost 100 people have registered. Now we just have to get people joining and following #agile, or this whole experiment is a bust.

What else do Groups offer?

These groups allow members to share links to related blogs, articles, forums, events, photos and wikis. You have to go to the group page to post and see them. I doubt this will get much use, but hey now you can’t say I didn’t tell you.

If you are a member of the group, let me know what you think, either as a comment here or on Twitter. Just don’t forget your #agile. 🙂

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