We have alluded several times on this blog as to our company's continued interest in Twitter as a listening channel. While a lot more informal and lightweight than blogs, the channel is a great way to listen to what's going on over the web.  As part of my continued Autodidacticism (I know it sounds dirty, but look it up... it means self educating), I am constantly perusing the Twitterverse to see if I can learn any interesting tidbit, technique or insights into how I can improve my skillset.

As part of my daily monitoring, I subscribe to searches for Twitter hash tags (basically words with a # before them) for several people, industries, events, etc.  One of my favorite hash tags is the Web Analytics channel #measure.  In addition, I love the stream provided by the newly minted #ganalytics hash tag (those of you who have been on Twitter for a while  know that these are much better than the deprecated #wa and #ga tags, which were polluted by SPAM for Washington and Georgia state related tweets).  These two streams keep me up to date with any new developments in these areas, and also allow for some new techniques.

In fact, over the past two days, I used Twitter to gain some incredible insight into Web Analytics through a few definitive Tweets:

Learned About a New Book Being Released from Favorite Author

I learned that Avinash Kaushik, Web Analytics deity, is going to be releasing a new book about Web Analytics.  I am EXCITED for it!

Avinash Kaushik Web Analytics 2.0

Discovered a Useful Regular Expression (regex) for Google Analytics

I am by no means an expert on Regular Expressions, but as I learn their usefulness, I have found that it is really useful to follow the tweets of smart people.  One of these smart people/companies is Robbin and LunaMetrics.  Three Deep has been following LunaMetrics for years, and I had the honor of talking with Robbin last week.  Now I can keep up to date as she tweets some very useful information.

Luna Metrics Regex Tip

Learned that Adobe is Acquiring Omniture, Hours Before it Went Mainstream

Sure, I would have read about it a few hours later on a blog... but getting "0 second" news off Twitter is pretty awesome!  This particular piece of news is a huge development in the Web Analytics industry, as Omniture has a very powerful software that is cheapened by a customer unfriendly approach.  With Adobe's support, they may start to understand that the industry is about much more than squeezing money out of customers.

Adobe Omniture Acquisition

Read an Excellent Article I Normally Wouldn't have Seen

Scan the updates on a particular hash tag, and you'll see some excellent articles from authors who seem to come completely out of nowhere. Case in point, I clicked on the link in the tweet below, and was taken to an article that already had 80+ ratings from peers; apparently a well trafficked blog that I may start following as a result.

I copied and pasted this article and sent to several team members so that we can all share in these great insights.

Great Analytics Tip

As you can see, there is a lot to learn from following your industry on Twitter... and if you do it right (I use TweetDeck for monitoring), you can do it in a few minutes a day.