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Micro blog(Twitter) in Enterprise #1 September 28, 2009

Posted by Terry.Cho in Enterprise 2.0, Micro blog.
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Micro blog in enterprise – #1

(Analyze common micro blog system)

Terry.Cho (byungwook.cho AT ORACLE DOT COM)

Most famous micro blog Twitter.com started service from 2006. And now number of monthly visitors exceeds 182 billion people. It impacted 2008 US election and Iran election. This article analyzes micro blog service in WEB 2.0 sphere and suggests strategy to adopt micro blog to enterprise.

Micro blog


Micro blog is very simple 1:N communication system. Microblogging allows people to send brief text updates to stay abreast of activities within a group by receiving frequent published updates, typically of 140 characters or less. Basic mechanism of micro blog is author post short message and other user subscribe the message by “Following” the author. This is difference with other messaging system. In case of email and IM, author choice subscriber. But in micro blog,  subscriber choice author. So message written by author is not for specific people but for anonymous. It also has filtering mechanism. For example micro blog commonly use “Hashtag”. Author post message with this hashtag. So the other user can search message which he has interest in with this hash tag like keyword.

What do people do with micro blog?

Why people use micro blog. We have to consider this. Followed by report from “Consumer Internet Barometer” (TNS and The conference Board. 2009/Q2) 41.6% of user uses micro blog for communicating with friend. 29.1% users for updating current status. 25.8% users for searching news and information.


Figure 1.Why people use twitter? (Source:“Consumer Internet Barometer” from TNS and The Conference Board”)

This means 70% of users are using twitter for managing personal network. Human network management and communication are main purpose. It is emotional perspective object not a reasonable perspective.

Here are some scenario about effect of micro blog.

Message in twitter has the other value. It is about “What I am thinking about? What is my status?” It can be a information to others. For example a user has interest in WEB2.0. He will write a message with external link for the information with hash tag. He will gather the information If another user want to get a WEB2.0 information. He will search WEB2.0 in twitter. The search results provides external link about WEB2.0. One of interest thing is if some information is useful (external link) many other user saved link. It shows quality of search result.

If a user wants to find expert ,he can search people who wrote message related in the issue. And then review his history. “What he did”, “What his interest” by doing this the user can find expert. Finally send message to the expert and can make a relationship with the expert.

The other usage of micro blog is by analyzing hash tag or re-tweet we can aware trend. Many announce tags and re-tweeted message means many people have interest in the issue.

Twitter is very simple communication tool. Just posting message and subscribe. But as I mentioned above its potential is very high. It is a reason why people is raving in twitter.

Success factor of twitter

Even though we already have alternative messaging solution like email, phone, IM, why micro blog is getting popular? Here are reasons.

Easy to use

In emai,l to send a message “start email client” à “Log in” à “Write button” à “Select receiver” à “Write title” à “Write mail” à “Press send”

In micro blog “launch micro blog client” à “automatically login” à “write message” & enter or in your mobile phone “write message” à “press send”. It is very simple and very easy to use.

Can use anywhere anytime

One reason of popularity of micro blog is free from place and time. Mobile device enables this. User can post and read status anywhere anytime by using mobile device. Furthermore smart phone provides rich user interface like desktop application. User posts status with photo with smart phone. It enriches quality of message. Message length constraint of mobile device and asynchronous messaging of mobile text message goes well to micro blog.

Near real time

Message of micro blog is 140 text characters and with mobile support it is free from place and time. So user can update the status frequently and the content is real time. For example airplane crash news in Hudson River in US was happened in 2009. User takes photo with mobile phone and post a message on Twitter. The other user re tweet this message. The news is spread very quickly. Formal medias (Newspaper, TV) news are beyond twitter.


Photo posted in Twitter with Hudson plane crash news by citizen

Support Open API

As I mentioned above, micro blog is very simple system but has a lot of potential. Open API exposes this potential to outside and makes a value. By mashing up micro blog with other WEB2.0 applications new value is generated.

By using Twitter Open API TweetStats.com and HashTags.com analyze RT & HashTag and make a trend report. It is a case of re-use of information in Twitter with Open API.


We have reviewed success factors of micro blog. Even if it is very simple system it has a little difference in communication. Basically it is 1:N asynchronous communication with short message. That is free from place and time restriction. It expresses current status and emotions with near real time. Sometimes it doesn’t have any specific objectives. But the twit message can be useful information to others.

Here is summary table about difference with other communication tools.


Common Micro blog architecture

Commonly micro blog system has 6 components.


(1)   Authentication

It handles user authentication for logging.

It also provides integrity with other authentication system like Open Id. And support Open API authentication and id mapping. For example user can change status of Facebook with Twitter message. It needs integration between facebook and twitter.

(2)   Search Engine

Find user. Find message with hash tag etc.

(3)   Posting System

Manage messages in micro blog system. Micro blog system is not complex. But it has a lot of transaction. User posts short message frequently. And search message often. So performance and capacity is important

(4)   Link (Shorten)

Micro blog has message length restriction to support SMS. So it is hard to use original HTML link in the message. (It can be very long..) So micro blog system supports “Shorten” . It is alias of URL. It shorten the long URL to aliased short URL.

(5)   Mobile Gateway

To integrate with mobile device. Mobile gateway is required. Depends on mobile phone ,mobile gateway supports Text based SMS, Image based MMS, and custom protocol(Like REST and WebService) with TCP/IP for smart phone application.

In addition mobile career vendor provide different integration interface. So micro blog system has mediation layer for converting internal protocol to career supported protocol.

(6)   Open API

Expose micro blog functionalities to external applications.

Architecture of micro blog system is not complex. But because it has a lot of transaction and provide connectivity for integration(OpenAPI) the system should have high performance requirement and capabilities & scalability.