Who to follow on Twitter

Engadget posted a list yesterday of “Who to follow on Twitter” for Microsoft and I’m happy today that (after a gentle reminder!), I’m on there 😊

Sitting alongside such luminaries as Mary Jo Foley, Ed Bott, Tom Warren & Todd Bishop is pretty cool! Check out the full list here:


Windows InTune V2

Windows Intune was released to General Availability (GA) today on March 23rd 2011 but already the next version is being worked on, at least according to Twitter.


I haven’t seen anyone else mention this but Maarten is a SCOM MVP and the hashtags indicate this came directly from today’s MMS2011 keynote speech, so I think it’s safe to believe it Smile Plus it is in no way unusual for Microsoft to be working on the next version of a product before they’ve even released the first edition…

If Windows Intune V2 does include Software Distribution, that will be pretty amazing. That will enable IT departments/Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) to deploy new software to users from a remote location via the web. Although it will of course be limited by internet bandwidth between the 2 points, this will make so many things so much easier for so many people! That could well be the point that sees InTune take hold in larger organizations…

Outlook 2010 Social Connector

Outlook Social Connectors have been announced for Outlook 2010; these will allow you to connect with social media sites directly from your email client.


The initial announcement is that a connector to business networking site LinkedIn will be announced early next year:

“Simply click on a message from a co-worker to discover what new connections they’ve made on LinkedIn, or click the LinkedIn badge underneath a photo to jump right to a person’s profile page on the Web.”

I have to say I’m surprised that Twitter isn’t in there from the start but perhaps that would seem a little gimmicky? However, don’t worry as:

anyone can build a provider to connect the OSC to a social network, their company’s line-of-business applications, or literally any system that can produce streams of activity about its users”

That’s right! Just as numerous 3rd parties have built some excellent apps for Twitter, people will soon be able to create connectors to give us Twitter in Outlook…which will be awesome! Plus I imagine that FaceBook will be added in pretty sharpish too, for all you FB’ers out there 🙂 You will be able to download the SDK from MSDN tomorrow (19-11-09).


This screenshot from Microsoft (which might be a mockup?) shows what it will look like further down the line…you can see emails, Live updates, Twitter updates, documents…pretty fantastic!

I’m very excited about this and will be very interested to see what connectors people start making. If you’re a dev and you’re looking for testers – let me know 😉

Go check out the Office blog here for more details.

Bing Twitter Search

Bing Twitter search is live!

Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen rumours that Twitter would be licensing data to Bing and Google, earlier today it was announced that Bing had definitely signed it up…and now it’s all up and working…for the US at least.

Head over to www.bing,com/twitter and change your location to United States (top right hand corner)…this will allow you to search live Twitter data…and it’s pretty cool. I did a search for myself (of course!) and got:


There you can see how I found out to change the location (cheers JNathan!) and some other tweets sent to me…you can also see at the bottom a tweet from me with a “top link” in it.

You’ll also notice that each tweet has a small “RT” icon, allowing you to Re-tweet it on Twitter…that’s a pretty nice feature!

A great example of Crystal Xcelsius

Crystal Xcelsius is a fantastic product and some of the things that people do with are amazing…huge data visualizations laid out on maps with automatically refreshing data and various gauges, sliders, graphs and all sorts:


Thanks to http://dashboardsbyexample.com/

I’m pretty sure that the Wall Street Journal Election Calculator was created in Xcelsius-you can find it here.

It does a great job of making boring, grey spreadsheets and reports much more engaging, interesting and effective. However, I’ve never found an example I can use on a regular basis…but now i have 🙂

Web 2.0 Presentation Tools from SAP – this set of tools from SAP’s Timo Elliott is great. They use Crystal Xcelsius to integrate Twitter into your Powerpoint presentations-how great does that sound?!

I had a little play around with it earlier and used it to show tweets about MS licensing, scrolling live across the bottom. Twitter keeps increasing in popularity as a way of interacting with presenters and of giving feedback during a talk, when it can still make a difference. These tools mean you don’t need to have separate apps running on your machine or even a separate machine used solely to receive & manage Twitter feedback.

You can download the Powerpoint with guides and the tools to integrate it yourself here:


I really like this. It’s very useful, current and a great advert for SAP’s Xcelsius technology.

Tweetdeck & Bit.ly

I’ve been blogging for almost 1 year now and twittering for just over, but I’ve only just discovered the benefits of using the stat services offered by most URL shortening offerings.

I use bit.ly and it’s great-you sign into bit.ly, shorten the URL, post it in your tweet and viola-you can see how many clicks, when and where they were made, Twitter & FriendFeed conversations (retweets etc) and a bunch of graphs 🙂


The thing that caused me the biggest problem was the extra step in the middle of signing in to bit.ly to shorten the URL-which allows it to track the link. Often I forgot to do this…tweeting the link to a new blog post and then thinking “oh bugger”! I saw a few mentions that Tweetdeck (my preferred Twitter client by far) could link to bit.ly via an API key but following the directions on bit.ly’s site didn’t work. I eventually discovered that this was a feature in Tweetdeck’s latest version 0.30.04 so I downloaded the new version and hey presto I’m up and running 🙂

Once you’ve got the new version, go to Settings –> Services and then under Bit.ly, you can add in your bit.ly API key. Then you can just post your links in Tweetdeck and it automatically updates the stats tracker…an excellent new addition.

On a slight side note-another new feature in Tweetdeck is it now links to MySpace…are enough people still using it to warrant that?!

Office 2010 Movie on Twitter

This morning man people, Engadget & Gizmodo included, saw tweets from @officethemovie claiming that:

First of today's Zune tweets
First of today's Zune tweets
Second of the Zune tweets
Second of the Zune tweets

and this got people all across the internet excited, but not everyone was convinced. Gizmodo expressed their distrust here and it turns out they were right-the account is actually run by a Mac fanboy who is, in some bizarre way, trying to highlight iphone piracy…ah well…I think we all knew those tweets weren’t real…deep down!

One thing that does confuse me a little is that Gizmodo say that the offical http://www.office2010themovie.com/ page was linking to the afore mentioned twitter account, but I don’t see how that could be the case. MS do link to the official @office2010movie account…is it just people confusing the 2 similar account names…or were MS somehow fooled too?!


I know every man and his dog has blogged about Twitter by now but I just want to do a quick post with my thoughts on the hottest Web 2.0 topic of the moment.

I took a while to get in to Twitter. I’d tried  a few times but thought it was boring, pointless and vain and then around November 2008 I finally got it 🙂 I saw the potential within Twitter for increasing/creating business contacts as well as discovering and learning about new things-and that’s how I use it.

You may have seen my “Windows 7 Diary” on the MS Technet letter a few weeks back…I found out about that through Twitter. I’ve got the Royal Institute Xmas Lectures on DVD…got that through Twitter. Got an early invite to Spotify…through Twitter. There are plenty more. too. It’s also great for connecting with people for work (I follow, and am followed by, a number of MS people) and strengthening relationships etc. For things like this I think Twitter is great and invaluable but there are 2 things I don’t get at all:

1) Following “celebs” for the sake of it. These can be media celebs such as Stephen Fry, Wossy, Russell Brand, Lily Allen and the 100’s others and/or “web celebs” such as Scobelizer, Loic etc. I follow Mr Fry as his tweets are for the most part interesting and pertinent while most, if not all, other celebs are amazingly bland and boring; however they still have 1000’s/10,000’s of followers for no real reason. I found particularly “Wossy” was very boiring and irritating!

2) Tweeting about what you’re doing: doesn’t that mean you’re not doing it?! I often see tweets such as “Am having lovely meal with family-great night”…really? If it’s that good why have you got your phone out and started Tweeting? Surely if it was that good, you’d be too busy enjoying yourself?! Another one you see is “Am really enjoying being with the kids”…do the kids really enjoy watching you type?!

I don’t want to sound too militant about it but certainly number 2 really strikes me as being odd! That said it’s each to their own and Twitter is great 😉

Flutter-The New Twitter?

Are Tweets too long for you? Do Twitters 140 characters weigh you down? Would you rather Flap than Tweet?

If so-Flutter could be the hot new thing for you:


Although just a joke, this does say something about the way things are going…and certainly how people not “with it” perceive sites like Twitter.

The big question is-how long until this becomes real?!

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