Social Networking Archive


Principles Behind The Twitter Manifesto

Twitter ManifestoWe follow these principles:

Our highest priority is to satisfy the follower through early and continuous delivery of valuable tweets.

Welcome a changing Twitter stream, even late in the day. Twitter processes harness change for the follower’s informative advantage.

Deliver working links frequently, from a couple of hours to a couple of days, with a preference to the shorter timescale.

Tweeters and followers must work together continuously throughout the day.

Write tweets around motivated followers.  Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the retweet done.

The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within the Twitter community is continuous conversation.

Reading informative tweets is the primary measure of progress.

Twitter processes promote sustainable tweeting and retweeting. The tweeters, followers, and twibes should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.

Continuous attention to tweet excellence and good spelling enhances retweeting.

Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of letters not used–is essential.

The best blog posts, pics, and links emerge from self-organizing twibes.

At regular intervals, the twibe reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.

Thank you to the authors of the Agile Manifesto.  Without it, my life would have less direction and this post would have even less value.

Graphic: Pictofigo


5 Twitter Retweet Rules

Share Youre IdeaI spend a lot of time online, perhaps too much.  I read blogs and tweets and engage people wherever and whenever I can.  Using all of these methods of communications is not necessarily for me to just spout project management doctrine.  I look to share ideas to better myself and hopefully make life a little easier for others.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a lifehack, a web app, or discovering a blog.  There is a lot of cool stuff out there and every day I find and learn something new.

Once in a while something does rub me the wrong way.  It might be someone trying to pick a fight in the blog comments or maybe it’s someone flooding my Twitter stream with noise.  This weekend it was too little sleep in combination with too much Twitter noise.

As many Twitter users know, the more followers you get, the louder your megaphone.  To counter that, the more people you follow, the louder the noise.  The noise can sometimes be deafening.

I usually see the same topic cycle through my Twitter stream 4 or 5 times before I finally click on it.  What I like about this process is that it’s organic.  The link seems to increase in value the more people I listen to tweet about it.  Once it hits critical mass in my head, I check it out.

So, what’s the rub?

This weekend, I had over half a dozen people tweet the exact same thing at the same time.  My Twitter feed was momentarily flooded by people who subscribed to a website.  Rather than having people I follow retweeting the link organically, the site sent out the tweet.  That feature deprecated the value rather than increasing it.  Though we all may be fighting for positions in the stream, hoping someone will hear us, I like to follow a few simple rules.

My Twitter Retweet Rules

  1. If you read something notable and it provides value, retweet it
  2. If you read something that is not notable or does not provide value, do not retweet it
  3. If someone I trust and respect tweets something, I see value
  4. If more people I trust and respect retweet the link, I see even more value
  5. If several people tweet the exact same thing at the exact same time, all value is deprecated

Graphic: Pictofigo


The Impact Of Social Networking On Project Management

A few years back, while studying for the PMP exam, I committed the formula for calculating communications paths to memory.


So, what’s the big deal? Why is it so important? If you’re in the Project Management (or leadership) field, you know all too well how important communications is. I used to call myself a project manager. I now prefer to use the term project leader. What’s the difference? According to Warren Bennis and Dan Goldsmith (1997) there are 12 distinctions between managers and leaders.

  • Managers administer; leaders innovate.
  • Managers ask how and when; leaders ask what and why.
  • Managers focus on systems; leaders focus on people.
  • Managers do things right; leaders do the right things.
  • Managers maintain; leaders develop.
  • Managers rely on control; leaders inspire trust.
  • Managers have short-term perspective; leaders have long-term perspective.
  • Managers accept the status-quo; leaders challenge the status-quo.[*]
  • Managers have an eye on the bottom line; leaders have an eye on the horizon.
  • Managers imitate; leaders originate.
  • Managers emulate the classic good soldier; leaders are their own person.
  • Managers copy; leaders show originality.

In order to both innovate and do the right things, I listen and listen a LOT. (Some people listen; some wait to talk) I’ve watched executives and managers, who knew absolutely nothing about a subject, make uneducated decisions because they were too stubborn or proud to consult a subject matter expert (SME). Good leaders do not operate in a vacuum. They exchange ideas and information with people. Offer free information and it will come back to you tenfold. Listen to knowledgeable people and then make a more educated leadership decision.

Social Media CampaignWhere does social media fit into the grand scheme of things? Old-school managers and executives who believe in the bureaucratic organization and status quo, tend to lean toward command-and-control or top-down management. That group is operating under the assumption people higher in the organizational chart know more. New-school leaders believe in social media. Why? It strips away all of the nonsense and connects people to people. They have real conversations as human beings. They educate and they listen with a freedom to connect at an exponential rate. They are not confined to the notion of an hierarchical organization.

My example is my current engagement, which I have been at for 13 months: Within my direct cross-functional organization chart, I have 28 contacts to interface with. There are no plans to increase the size of this group. [28(28-1)]/2 is 378 communication paths. Not too bad.

TwitterTurn now to option number two, social media like Twitter and Facebook. For arguments sake, I’ll say I have 200 followers on Twitter with a growth rate of 10% a month. (I’m actually have 450+ and counting)  Each Twitter Follower is a communications path.

[200(200-1)]/2 = 19,900 communication paths

After one month it would be projected to increase to 21,945 communication paths

Every Friday, people I follow on Twitter recommend others in the industry who I should consider following (#followfriday). Every week, I learn more about my craft and more importantly I get to form relationships with people all over the world. By bypassing the organizational structure to get my information, inbound communications is at a much higher velocity and is now flowing up through the organization.

Social Media helps you be a project leader.

12 distinctions between managers and leaders by Bennis, Warren and Dan Goldsmith. Learning to Lead. Massachusetts: Persus Book, 1997.
Thank you Laurel Papworth for the use of the Social Media Campaign image

* I recommend reading Fighting Status Quo by Pawel Brodzinski


How To Solve A Personal Branding Paradox

Paradox LoopI’m Derek, a project manager and technology geek who lives and breaths general project management, Agile, Scrum, Kanban, and technology.  You can follow me on Twitter @derekhuether or if you really liked this article, subscribe to the RSS Feed.

Over the course of the last 15 years, I’ve really expanded my personal brand.  I started out as a full on Tech Geek.  I launched my first startup in October of 1996.  Yes, when the Pentium 133 was the latest thing.  It was a good ride.  Sure, the company died off after 10 years of business but I got my exit and I learned a lot.  Two things I learned.  One, I like to interact with people.  Two, I don’t like to interact with people when they don’t want to interact with me.  Let’s not waste our time here, people.  Who would you rather have a conversation with?  [1] That guy or gal who walks around the room pushing his business card into everyone’s face.  Or [2], that guy or gal who you know has similar interests or passions as you.

After leaving the hardware-and-software-geek world for the application development world, I found a niche with project management.  I loved the idea I could help solve a problem (deliver on time, on budget, within scope) when given the opportunity to do so.  I could identify a need and provide a solution.  The need to talk project management when dealing with Businesses, Government Agencies and Educational Institutions led me to get my PMP® Certification.  The need to empower my development teams led me to get my Certified Scrum Master Certification.  The need to optimize my work throughput led me to champion the use of a Personal Kanban.

All of these are all mere tools in my toolbox.  But, when you put them all together, they start to describe my personal brand.  I’m a guy who believes in transparency, technology, and information dissemination.  I deliver products with passion, commitment, and skill.

So, what’s the paradox?  I’ve been writing The Critical Path for a while now.  Since it’s launch, I’ve grown more and more passionate about things other then just project management.  I really have two options.  [1] Launch another blog with my personal perspective and focus The Critical Path on my professional perspective. [2] Expand The Critical Path to include more about my other passions.

I love going on Twitter and finding a thousand personal brand experts or social media experts. (That’s kind of a joke)  But, what I believe in most is the wisdom of the crowd.  I would love to see what you have to say.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them below.


Real Time Reputation Scores On Twitter

When Twitter launched their list feature recently, I immediately wondered if #FollowFriday was going to go the way of the dinosaur.

For those out there not using Twitter, you have the power to “follow” people of interest and see what they are saying.  By following people of similar personal or professional interests, you get an idea of what is happening in real time.

As you begin to follow people, you are exposed to more and more who can really offer interesting things to say.

Because I wanted to read about what’s new in Tech, I followed Leo Laporte, founder of the TWiT® Netcast Network. Because I wanted to read about entrepreneurs and start-ups, I followed Jason Calacanis, founder of  Because I wanted to read about Project Management, I followed Dave Garrett, CEO of  Granted, I didn’t just go out and follow them at random.  I followed others and patiently waited for Friday to arrive to see who they would recommend to Follow.  Though I enjoy this organic process of discovery, it is not particularly efficient.  Though the introduction of lists has allowed me to see similar people in large numbers, there is no guarantee it is nothing more then a popularity contest.

Who shall I follow and who shall I recommend to follow?  Alas, I am but one person.  Who am I to suggest who you should follow and who you should not? I will yield my recommendation to one I consider superior in the decision making process.  I yield to what James Surowiecki termed the Wisdom of the Crowd and a nice webapp created by The Plan Is.

It appears The Plan Is tracks all tweets tagged with #pmot and uses them to update a list of the most influential project managers on Twitter. Updates are calculated continuously and new results are displayed every 5 minutes. They won’t tell you how the scores are calculated, as that would make it too easy to game the system.  It appears ranking is based on the number of followers, volume of tweets being retweeted, and the number of lists appeared on.  I may be wrong.  But, the list appears pretty accurate.  Go on Twitter and look at the hashtag #pmot.  If you say (tweet) something interesting, it gets retweeted.  If people like to read what you’re tweeting, you’ll get followed.  What I like about this dynamic reputation score is there are NOT people out there tweeting “vote for me, vote for me”.  It just seems to work.

So, you’re a new Project Manager, Scrum Master, Agile aficionado, or Kanban practitioner on Twitter.  Who do you follow?  Who has the best reputation, from the crowd point of view?  Follow the links below and find out.

Project Managers on Twitter

  1. DaveG253: 2175 points
  2. francisojsaez: 1800 points
  3. projectmgmt: 1685 points
  4. ProjectShrink: 1400 points
  5. Qtask: 1400 points
  6. JohnEstrella: 1135 points
  7. pmstudent: 1100 points
  8. franciscojsaez: 980 points
  9. thesambarnes: 915 points
  10. PM_StrayDogg: 835 points

If you would like to see a list from an Agile perspective, there’s a list for that as well.

Note:  The 10 Project Managers in the list above were dynamically generating at the time of this post.