Bazilah A. Talip
Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Background. Twitter is widely used as a communication medium, and an electronic word-of-mouth. A literature search found no previous empirical study of microblogging platforms as “places”, and how they are used for professional communication and networking.
Objectives. This study aimed to understand information technology (IT) professionals’ information behaviour in microblogging on Twitter.
Methods. The data were collected using online observation and interviews, and analysed using constructivist grounded theory.
Results. Twitter is used by IT professionals mainly for professional networking, professional work and professional development. The data highlighted the inter-relatedness of information-sharing and professional networking. Information acts as a trigger to create human networks, as information sharing and information encountering lead to serendipitous discovery of useful IT experts. Twitter is an information ground (Fisher, 2005) where IT professionals encounter not only information but also experts and even work and project opportunities. The more IT professionals share information that is related to his or her expertise, the greater the chance to be noticed and acknowledged as an IT expert.
Significance. The study has shed some light on how Twitter is used for professional networking in a strategic manner to advance professional goals. The findings can assist organisations to better understand and provide for this emerging channel of professional information-sharing for their staff and stakeholders.
Cite: Talip, B. A. (2015). IT professional’s information behaviour on Twitter. LIBRES, 25(2), 86-102.