Cloud experts on Twitter, enough already! Or not?

Is the glut of cloudy accounts a help or a hindrance? Or are 140 characters too few to get a serious message across?

Far be it from me to denigrate or defame the worth of cloud computing focused commentary, analysis and industry opinion. Whether it is delivered via interview format, in the form of news coverage, blogs or video -- I like it all.

After all, the dissection and disentangling of the service-based computing industry’s still-emerging form and structure is what keeps us going. But when it comes to social media (and probably Twitter as the foremost channel of note here) the ‘white noise’ of chitter chatter seems to have spiralled upwards in ways which we few us could have predicted.

The trouble (if indeed it is a trouble) is that all manner of cloud-themed Tweet-bots seems have sprung up offering advice on how to gain, “…comprehensive and forward thinking information related to progressive and flexible cost saving cloud hosting efficiencies in your business today.” It all sounds enticing doesn’t it? Sadly though, a click through or even a potential Twitter follow rarely leads to cloud computing nirvana.

Instead we find, logically I suppose, sales consultancies offering what may be quite often white labelled cloud services and/or hosting solutions. With names like Cloud Force SuperAction 3000, Hosting Frog News Addict and The CloudZoneDoctor Foundry, these feeds serve, arguably, as not much more than a front-of-house for sales and consultancy operations ready to spin off a list of “recommended vendors” and solutions counsel and advice - all of which comes at a price of course.

Note: Those Twitter names are entirely fabricated and not related to any existing or future Twitter names.

Now of course the web is about freedom of speech and openness of all forms of communication should be championed at all levels. So do these cloudy Tweet-bots have any part to play in helping us bring cloud computing down to Earth or are they merely adding to the confusion that has tainted the early stages of the cloud’s rapid growth.

Principal analyst for communication, collaboration and convergence at Quocirca Rob Bamforth argues that there are some potential positives to come from this hubbub of online industry discussion in terms of general cloud technology awareness. He says that it’s easy, it doesn’t cost much and companies have a massive potential audience, so in a sense this is just free market economics in motion.

“It’s not all positive though and in fact it’s too easy to be glib. Let’s remember that cloud is a huge shift for any business, despite the apparent simplicity of it all. So strategy, security and management policies need more than 140 characters of thought to be expressed properly,” said Bamforth.

So do we have a “situation” here where over simplified social media-based comments fail to demonstrate the true cost or complexity of a shift towards the cloud model? Quocirca’s Bamforth is definite on this subject, “The audience isn't segmented – different people need to hear different things about the cloud – there is a total value proposition but again the wrong 140 characters in the wrong place spells #disaster & #fail.”

So the cloud model is flexible, but is it flexible enough for a 140 character Tweet? Maybe not always.

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