If you read this blog, you’re probably already following me on Twitter (@JasonBarile), and you probably already know that I really love Twitter.  I stumbled upon a new reason for loving it today – real time crowd sourcing of data for a bug triage session.  We were discussing some bugs in meeting today when the conversation turned to speculation about whether or a specific feature was “commonly used”.  Of course, that’s a subjective measure, so I decided to take a very subjective temperature check via Twitter.  Within 5 minutes, I got replies from 5 users who told me they never used the feature.

Granted, this isn’t a scientific approach at all.  I’m positive some users have used this particular feature in the past.  Some may even depend on it for critical business needs.  That said, the fact that everyone who responded said they haven’t used it tells me it’s not critical for a majority of our users, which was exactly the data point we needed at the time.

This was so much more efficient than saying “I’ll get back to you with some data in a couple of weeks”.  It helped us come to a quick decision and move on.  We’ll probably still follow up on this by talking with some of our customers to validate the decision, but the urgency of doing that is lower now because we already have a good idea of what the responses will be like.

Twitter brings you closer to more customers more faster.