The microblogging service Twitter is experiencing monster growth. It’s great for keeping in touch with your friends and fans, but does it have any use in tech writing? Paul Pehrson discusses this in his recent blog post, “Twitter and Tech Communication“:
I’ve seen several Flare users get product support from MadCap employees using Twitter, and I think that is nice for a quick question with an easy solution. Twitter, however, is not a great format for a detailed question that required specific examples and detailed answers. In such cases, the best solution is probably to go to a related email list or forum where you can ask the question in enough detail that experienced users can provide helpful results.
Twitter can be a great tool, and can help people get answers quickly. However, when you have a question and need an answer, you probably ought to consider your question, and determine what channel is best suited for the type of answer you need. That may or may not be Twitter.
Pehrson focusses on Twitter in a customer support role. While complex answers won’t fit in Twitter’s 140-character limit, a tweet is an excellent “RTFM” vehicle. Just like the live chat some support sites offer, Twitter lets a support rep send the customer a link to the information they can read on their own.