An unexpected value gained from Twitter.

March 3, 2010

Using social media is all the rage as of late, and for good reasons. In a previous blog entry, I mentioned several of the risks that are inherent to the use of social media, so it is not my intent to rehash this information here.

At a party I attended recently, I was asked why I use social media. I explained what can be gained from it from a business perspective, from brand awareness to brand management, and used pertinent and impressive explanations to back up the points I was making.

In truth, I wish I could claim that those “pertinent and impressive explanations” were mine, but credit must be given where credit is due: those pearls of wisdom were directly lifted from the likes of Rich Brooks from Flyte Media, Lynnelle Wilson from Bold Business Consulting, Chrystie Corns from Thirteen Thirty Marketing, David Washburn from David Washburn Marketing, Fred Abaroa, the Marketing Imagineer, and Jaica Kinsman from Guiding Stars to name but a few. My thanks to those talented individuals for making me sound smarter and hipper than I am!

One positive aspect of Twitter in particular that I recently discovered may take you by surprise. It is not related to being online – it’s about real life. That’s right, real life. What a concept!

Here’s what I noticed: people whose tweets I follow tend to be people for whom I have a lot of respect in real life.

It gets more interesting: most of those people I had never met before.

In other words, whatever qualities they displayed in their tweets were qualities that they actually have in person, and the reasons why I enjoyed following them on Twitter translated into our real life interaction and why I enjoy being around them so much.

I wonder if part of the reason for that is the fact that Twitter limits us at 140 characters per tweet, and that one has to focus on the essence of the message. I believe that the way in which one achieves that is to also, in many ways, express the essence of who they are as a person in the process.

As much as I enjoy following tweets online, I have far more enjoyed the live, in-person interaction I have shared with many people with whom I probably would never have connected hadn’t it been for the interface that Twitter provided.

The risk? Hey, I am an information security pro, so I have to consider risk… the risk is that a talented social engineer could use this as a way to tweet his/her way into conning unsuspecting targets.

Remain vigilant, and make sure that your security policies and procedures are up-to-date and successfully transmitted to your users!

Oh yeah, and remember to hug your ISO today!

David M. Jacquet, CEH, CEI, CCE, CISSP
The InfoSec Group
(207) 749-7436

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