Channel Watch

Bekker Gets All a-Twitter

At times more burdensome than helpful, Twitter becomes a business driver in these challenging times. So, how are partners using it?

So I told Ken Thoreson that it's surely a sign of the End Times.

Ken, who writes RCP's Selling Microsoft column and blogs on, had e-mailed me that he was going to start twittering.

Fortunately, Ken took my comment in the lighthearted way I intended it, always a risk with e-mail. To be fair to Ken, his twittering plans were part of a contract he has with Microsoft for his Acumen Management Group business.

Ken's e-mail was actually just the kick in the pants I needed to figure out how to subscribe to Twitter and get a handle on it.

I had my first flicker of Twitter envy a month ago when I'd seen that Lance Armstrong was using the micro-blogging, social-networking technology. Armstrong tweeted his fans during the Tour of California about his up-to-the-minute decisions on whether he would risk riding his time trial bike, which had been stolen and then returned.

Until then, I had the same reaction to Twitter as I have to Facebook-status updates. I like my friends and all, but I don't care if they're "at the grocery store," "playing Monopoly with my kids," "going out for a sled ride," "feeling ennui" or "accepting bribes." (Actually I do like that last one. It's courtesy of the Colbert Report: a fake Facebook status update for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.)

Twitter seems mostly like more of that useless same. Am I giving it short shrift? Obviously, Ken's using Twitter for professional reasons, and there's some business logic behind it. Ken's set up his Twitter feed to discuss the contents of 30 live Microsoft partner workshops he ran on building business in challenging times and to promote the next round of six webcasts, called "Business Builder Sales Clinics."

His feed is called MsoftBusBuilder and you can find it by searching on for Acumen Management.

I suspect it's business that keeps celebrities tweeting, too. The constant updates keep the "brand" in front of the adoring public, making it a good use of time for celebrities who depend on popularity for their paychecks.

Which brings me to the channel. This goes back to the Web site 101 article we ran last month, focusing on search engine optimization and feedback mechanisms (see "Web 2.0 Series: Web Wise"). Is there a place for Twitter in a partner's business model? Are you using Twitter to communicate with customers or other partners? How do you handle the fine line between being informatively in touch and being annoying with this new medium? Is there another social-networking tool that you're incorporating into your business? Let's discuss -- I'm at

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.


  • 2019 Microsoft Conference Calendar: For Partners, IT Pros and Developers

    Here's your guide to all the IT training sessions, partner meet-ups and annual Microsoft conferences you won't want to miss this year.

  • Microsoft Rolls Out SQL Server 2019 RC1

    The first release candidate of the forthcoming SQL Server 2019 product can now be downloaded from Microsoft's Evaluation Center page.

  • The 2019 Microsoft Product Roadmap

    From the next major update to Windows 10 to the next generation of HoloLens, here's what's on tap from Microsoft this year.

  • Microsoft, Tech Leaders Back Confidential Computing Consortium

    The Linux Foundation on Wednesday announced the formation of a new group that aims to ensure the security of processed data.

RCP Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.