Twitter is Collaboration Software

Meanwhile, your blackberry, phone and laptop have all become tools you use to do security better.

That’s what I mean. Things like browsers and search engines like Google and Chrome, collaboration software like Wiki and Twitter, are becoming the tools we use to make faster and more informed decisions.

Two years ago, I wrote a security industry trends piece called Guards, Guns, Gates and Google (Security Magazine, June 5, 2006) predicting this data orientation. I explained how security is information built around information technology, so you can be sure that our customers – the business unit managers and senior executives of our organizations – will want to see it, use it and critique it. Like you, your superiors and customers Google (yes, this is now a noun and a verb) information all the time. They want the most relevant information, quickly and instantly accessible – simple reports that prioritize the information of security and suggest remediation. Modifications in personal privileges will follow the IT model of self-service – individuals will use a secure transaction on the network or over the Internet to change their privileges to certain doors or buildings. Business managers, marketing managers, partners throughout the supply chain and the foreman at the loading dock all want instant access to some video images forwarded to their phones or handhelds to help them ensure supply, anticipate demand, avoid loss and increase productivity and profit.

Google is an important tool and concept, but there’s more. Google means easy access to all data. Real value comes from collaboration. And the “Google” of collaboration, sharing and connectedness is a new thing called Twitter.

Twitter is one of those Web 2.0 applications that sound completely ridiculous when you first hear of it, but after you start using it, you wonder how you lived without it. [I said the same thing about TiVo.]

With Twitter, you simply create a short mini-conversation which answers only one question: What are you doing now? That’s it. I type up to 140 characters explaining what I’m doing now: “Writing a column post on how Twitter affects the security industry”

I “follow” other people whom I respect or like and watch what they are doing now.

The other week I wrote this Tweet: Planning a trip to Boston and wondering who else to visit.

A couple of my Followers Tweeted back saying

“Call my friend at the transit authority. Here’s the email address…” and “Be sure to use the water taxi from downtown to Logan, it's much faster."

In a million years I never would have thought to ask that particular person whom I should see in Boston. And the Water taxi from downtown was actually a big time saver. Go Twitter!

Now I get useful responses to my tweets when I’m evaluating this surveillance camera, or critiquing that vendor or posting a new article.

So what are you waiting for? Taste the future of the security industry. Get involved in the future of collaboration and sharing. And “Follow Me” on Twitter.