A Great Idea – #SQLHelp hashtag on Twitter

I was following a conversation today between Brent Ozar, who is @BrentO on twitter and Aaron Nelson, who is @SQLVariant on twitter.

A great idea was discussed: A twitter hashtag that, as Jorge Segarra (or @SQLChicken on twitter) describes it in his blog post, can act like a bat signal.

Brent blogs about using the #sqlhelp hashtag to get help to an immediate concern and lists other options for help that require more than 140 characters.

Check out both blogs. In fact, Brent describes in great detail how to ask for help and I won’t recreate that here. You can tweet me any questions you may have. I’m @Mike_Walsh on twitter.

So that’s reason 1 for writing – To tell you about it.

What’s reason 2?

An add-on idea, or a bad idea?

So there are lots of ways to get help. Serverfault, Stackoverflow, Twitter’s #sqlhelp tag, MSDN Forums, SQL Server Central, Newsgroups (I go there just to watch the Aaron Bertrand/Joe Celko show and answer the occasional question) and even sometime in LinkedIn answers.

Most of these all have something in common: RSS FEEDS.

Why not get them all together and tweet new questions?

So that’s the idea. I am too busy to take it on right now but maybe, if anyone thinks it’s a good idea, someone can take it and run with it. The dream in my head looks something like this:

  • A Twitter Account “MSSQLHelp” or something
  • That twitter account simply tweets out from an aggregated feed comprised of all of the above feeds new question posts (including the #sqlhelp hashtag)
  • Want to get notified of question? Follow that twitter account and put it in it’s own list/group and watch the list/group.
  • When a question comes in that someone happens to catch on twitter and knows something about – they can click the link and help the person in whichever forum they asked the question.

Short of the idea?

So if that idea is really bad because I missed all of the finer points and details (or it just falls on it’s face) that’s fine. You can at least sign up the RSS feeds of your favorite locations to get and give help and see the questions as they come in. I need to be a little better at this. I am not the highest degree SQL Server guru-belt out there but I do enjoy helping with questions when I can.
That’s it.. Like the idea? Steal it, claim it and do it. Don’t like it, well like Brent and I said in the first part of our video interview on blogging (on Brent’s site), even negative comments can be better than no comments 🙂

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