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How many real project managers follow #PMOT?

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 17th August 2010

I have been following the project managers on twitter group for about 12 and I am being to ask myself if any real project managers use #PMOT. This is not to say that some of the tweets aren’t interesting and relevant. But you do tend to see the same names over and over again. Many of them like me are project management consultants, trainers, bloggers or PM software providers. The question is how many of the followers are practicing project managers?

Let start with the difficult question of how many people use #PMOT?

This is not an easy question to answer as I can’t find a tool that tells me. All suggestions welcome. We have a couple of ways of finding out

  1. The #PMOT Linked in group #PMOT has 81 members, very small.
  2. The #PMOT Scores Page on the “plan is” site lists 361 users of the PMOT hash tag http://theplanis.com/pmotscores/
  3. A search using Twitter Adder gives me 1001 users of the #PMOT tag and this seems to grow by about 80 users a week.

So it looks like the number of active members is quite small somewhere between 300 and 1000, given the millions of project managers in the world a very small population. I am sure someone clever has written an app the measure the trend in the use of #tags. @APMProjectMgmt tells me that for every contributor another 100 are following. So that would mean between 800 and 100,000 follow #PMOT. I tend to think is more towards the 800.

It’s interesting stuff guys but are the real project managers listening?

Personally I love #PMOT, I get some real hints and tips. To me #PMOT is a small family with the same names popping up now and then. Some of them have real personality. However in my job, as a project management training consultant, I get to travel the country meeting hundreds of project managers in a month. Generally, given the economic climate, they are all stressed over worked, struggling with increasingly demanding customers in an increasingly competitive market. Not one has seen or heard of #PMOT. So are the real project managers following #PMOT or is it just consultants and bloggers? I suspect that very few practicing PMs are live on #PMOT, they are too busy with the pressures of communicating in the project to communicate with the world.

So is #PMOT a valuable contribution to the development of Project Management, or just a bit of fun?

This is the $64,000 question. As it grows it may become a forum to learn real skills on project management. Personally I use it as a way to find out what is going on the “Blogosphere”, but really it’s just a bit of fun. See you at #pmottweetup and let’s have a face to face debate.

  1. Owain Wilson says:

    Hi Paul,
    Just a clarification on the @apmprojectmgmt estimate; The guideline I follow is that out of 100 users, 1 will contribute regularly (hourly/daily), 9 contribute occasionally(weekly) and 90 will read (follow) but not contribute.
    As discussed on the Social Media for Project Management group on the APM site I consider the 361 #pmot twitterers to make up 10% of the community, making an estimate of 3610 people who make use of #pmot.
    Getting the right number though is no easy task, and I put that number out for discussion.
    Owain

  2. Jake Gordon says:

    FYI I am a real-life project manager and I follow #PMOT and read articles at home and during my lunch–although I don’t think I’ve posted anything to #PMOT myself yet. I’m relatively new to the profession (I was a development lead prior to my position as a project manager). Keep the tweets coming!

  3. Robert says:

    Good post, thought provoking, I liked it. As an active member of the #pmot string I would definitely agree that there are the same dozen or so names that come up on a regular basis…maybe another dozen that have ‘sprints’, which I assume coincides with their workload.
    I learned about #pmot a few months back, during a virtual trade show and have been participating ever since. For me, a project manager needs to be a life long student and constantly looking for techniques and best practices to add to their repertoire. Being a practicing PM in a Global Services division, I am almost always on the clock…teams in North Carolina, Argentina, Bratislava, Singapore, and Beijing keep going. I don’t have a lot of time to take off for classes and conferences, so I have to get creative in my ongoing education…#pmot does that for me.
    Additionally, a large portion of project managers are consultants and building a reputation in the community can help a great deal…blogging, #pmot, etc are some of the ways to assist in that goal.
    I do hope to get some time off soon, but until then it is social networks and virtual conferences.

  4. Lindsay says:

    Good post Paul and yes it is difficult to get a definite figure of who is following #pmot, but that’s the fun of it too! I still think the entry into using Twitter is too baffling – you sign up, it’s hard to work out who to “follow”, the Twitter website itself is rubbish to use (who would know Tweetdeck is out there??), then there’s the RTs, this # stuff and trends. Arrgghh! I’m not surprised there aren’t more PMs on there.
    However the #PMOT Daily Paper is a good introduction for PMs not on twitter (is that a #PMNOT??) as its web based and gives a flavour of what’s going on – I love it!
    http://paper.li/tag/pmot

  5. Emma says:

    Interesting post! I’m new to Twitter (having 18 months ago declared it as a pointless fad), and now somewhat sheepishly have discovered that the value for me is not tweeting snippets of mundanity about my personal life but to learn about all of the great stuff that’s relevant to me professionally.
    I stumbled across #pmot accidentally having seen it appear regularly on the tweets of people I follow. Personally, I’ve found it invaluable. It’s opened up a door to many blogs, articles, websites, people and products that I never knew existed. It’s also helped me to get more organised so that each morning I spend an hour searching the list, reading the daily newspaper and catching up on blogs.
    I have to admit I’m not a project manager; my role is the manager of a project office. Currently I’m not even sure if my project manager colleagues use Twitter let alone #pmot however one of my roles is to share best practice with them and #pmot is high on the list!

  6. Jeff says:

    Very good question. I am one of the sprint names you mention. I agree same several names always popping up. PMOT has led me to many resources I otherwise didn’t know of. Also agree the threshold to getting comfortable with Twitter is a bit of a barrier, but well worth it. I’m a real PM and a consultant.

  7. Robert says:

    Lindsay, I use Hootsuite vs. Tweetdeck but both are so much better then Twitter itself. There is another interesting onecalled Twitterfall. I run it on a second screen and let it run like a waterfall of tweets.
    #pmot newspaper is great! An online newspaper for the #pmot twitter feed. Kind of a clash of an RSS feed and Twitter.

  8. Dr. Edward Wallington says:

    Great post! Exactly the sort of views/comments that run through my head daily… I use twitter, but is there value in it? Should I be using it? Is it a waste of time?
    In my opinion, along the same lines as Robert, I use Twitter (via TweetDeck) to communicate with fellow PM’s (and those in project management), to see current trends in thinking, find out the latest news and developments in the profession, to gain access to training courses, products, software etc. It is like a little news feed right to me – I can customise it to see what I want, who to follow etc. The #PMOT daily paper is a great idea, as it allows a quick glimpse at tweets without having to scroll thorugh hundreds, it is also a great way for non-tweeters (#PMNOT as Lindsay suggests) to engage.
    I am suprised by the lack of users of #pmot, but hey at least there are a few of us using it, and that is a benefit!

  9. Matt Tucker says:

    Paul, do you think this has changed much over the past six year? Are more Project Managers using #PMOT?

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