When it comes to following people on Twitter, there is a common misconception to which we all are victims of (so to speak), including myself. Common logic says, follow the people of your kind or vertical. So, for example, I follow mostly people in the payments, banking, money-transfer and fintech space. Lots of such people. I do so because I feel it will connect me with the right people and I will gain a lot of intelligence from the tweets that the people I follow, put out.
Turns out, that’s the wrong approach. If I follow people within my own field, chances are we are all following each other and the idea generation becomes stale and stagnant. Fresh ideas cannot cultivate inside such an ecosystem.
A new paper by Salvatore Parise (associate professor of information systems at Babson College), Eoin Whelan (lecturer in business information systems at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at the National University of Ireland, Galway) and Steve Todd (vice president of strategy and innovation at EMC Corporation) titled “How Twitter Users Can Generate Better Ideas” studies how your following and followers can aid your idea generation.
The article is published in MIT Sloan Management Review magazine online: “How Twitter Users Can Generate Better Ideas“
The article is a great read, and I could not help but share the following two diagrams of how people connect:
More diversified network and a rich environment for fresh new ideas
Less diversified network, where ideas are the same and increased stagnation.