Can This Fool Get Shorty?
I'm all a-jitter for Twitter lately because I've come to believe that it can be a terrific tool for a writer and investor like me. And for you, too.
If you're not yet familiar with Twitter, it's a micro-blogging service whereby messages of 140 characters or less are broadcast to your followers, people who read your "tweets."
Alltop.com co-founder Guy Kawasaki made a strong case for Twitter as a business builder -- a way to add network effects to a business that doesn't produce them naturally -- when a few of us members of the Rule Breakers team interviewed him during our October tour of Silicon Valley. Read these two articles for more about how Guy uses Twitter:
Looking for Mr. Goodtweet: How to Pick Up Followers on Twitter
How to Use Twitter as a Twool
And here are links to other Twitterific posts I've found useful:
5 Ways I Benefit from Twitter (Darren Rowse, @ProBlogger)
19 Handy Twitter Mashups and Tools (Thomson Chemmanoor)
Community givers I particularly like (and therefore follow) are Guy, Chris Brogan, John Battelle, Tim O'Reilly, and, well, too many others to name. (I almost always enjoy reading the posts of those I'm connected with.)
Can these folks help you as an investor? If you're a tech investor, yes, I think they can, especially O'Reilly and Paul Saffo, a Fool friend that I've interviewed a few times. I also follow Sarah Wood because she's funny, Mary Smaragdis at Sun because she's an old friend, and Joe Quesada at Marvel because, well, I like comic books. (As if that's a surprise.)
Now, here are two tips for gathering investor intelligence via Twitter:
1. Targeted searches. Go to Twitter. Scroll to the bottom of the page. Click "search." Now, enter "Akamai." Page 2 of the results includes a post from analyst Dana Gardner asking why Google hasn't yet bought the company. You can also search by tags (try #iPhone if you're an Apple investor) or users (try @TechCrunch to see reactions to that blog's postings).
2. StockTwits. Though it appears to be more for traders than long-term investors, StockTwits is like CAPS in that it captures a snapshot of investor sentiment as expressed in tweets. You can view data at StockTwits even if you aren't on Twitter. (Here's the data page for Apple.) But if you are, logging in with your Twitter username and password allows you to join the conversation.
Finally, I've a favor to ask. If you like what we do here in Fooldom and what we're doing at Twitter (@TheMotleyFool), would you consider nominating us for a Shorty Award in finance or business?
Find the links here and here. Voting continues through Dec. 31.
I still think of The Motley Fool as the world's greatest investment community. But I've come to view Twitter as a powerful enhancement. If you agree, and you're on Twitter, find me at @milehighfool. And if you're not, why not give it a try? You've at least one Foolish friend waiting to show you around ...