At Joint Contact we’ve heard from a lot of people interested our use and adoption of Twitter. While many speculate if Twitter can actually be used for something useful, we are having no problems seeing how it can be used in our service. This includes the ability to communicate project status, as well as the ability to organize Tweets.
With our latest release, Joint Contact now includes the ability to send automated Tweets when users add documents, images or tasks. A function usually reserved for email, now team members can receive these messages through Twitter and its many tools.
Why do this? As written in a recent article from ReadWriteWeb, communication with team members can now extend beyond the desktop because Twitter supports native text messaging (SMS). This means that a manager can receive project updates using just their cell phone, even without internet access. Also Twitter is just plain fun – many professionals already use the platform for quick messages and basic communications (2 million users and counting at the time of this posting).
One question you may have is “Isn’t that insecure? Using Twitter for business doesn’t make any sense unless I can secure it like email.” We’ve also thought of this and would like to show how you can start using Twitter for business using Joint Contact and protected updates.
Twitter Notification Using Protected Updates
In this example we are updating an existing Joint Contact task. At the bottom of the interface we’ve set the option for “Send to Twitter”. Once saved, our changes are updated in Joint Contact and a summary of the event is sent to Twitter.
The Twitter account used is a special account type known as a protected profile. Protected Twitter profiles have the following properties:
1. Protected updates are not searchable or viewable by the general public. This means that people cannot access these Twitter updates by simply typing in a URL. Each user who views your updates must be authenticated by Twitter. Here’s an example of someone trying to access our protected account without the proper authentication. As we can see access to the account is blocked.
2. Protected profile owners must approve “follow requests” to allow new people to view their updates. This means you are in direct control over who views your messages. It also means spammers cannot read your updates or send you unsolicited messages. Here’s an example of what the approval window looks like.
If you are looking to establish Twitter for business communication we suggest configuring each team member’s account to support protected updates. This way your group can gain all of the service advantages without sacrificing security.