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Twitter over the firewall

Not a day goes by when I don’t see something in the media about Twitter. Even though I have a Twit – or whatever it’s called – of my own, I don’t really understand it. Recently, I got semi-excited about one of my latest followers after I saw her picture. But when I clicked on her link, I discovered she was touting what can only be described as a semi-pornographic website. So it’s not surprising that most financial institutions won’t let Twitter through their firewalls.

So, would – or more pertinently, could – traders connect to Twitter in the search for robust information? Admittedly a couple of my recent posts have been extremely informative. “Wondering if EUR/GBP is doing a Monica Lewinsky? It certainly looks like it's going down,” was one I posted just before the currency pair came off a couple of big figs. “Choking in my coffee – BofA/Merrill has hired someone senior. HR will be very confused,” was another. But even I wouldn’t claim these make it worth the hassle of signing up.

Complex event processing technology provider StreamBase Systems however seems to think people can and will want to get Twitter at their desks. “We’re seeing business applications that ingest Twitter message content, frequency, patterns, hashtag use, and so on, and then transmit Twitter messages. For example, trading systems or operations support can use Twitter direct messaging to alert users of trading opportunities or system problems,” claims StreamBase’s chief executive Mark Palmer. Really? I think they’re going to hit a (company IT) firewall.

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