IoT and Twitter

Why the Internet of Things is as simple as Twitter

Yes, #IoT + #IIoT and #Twitter are truly birds of a feather.

Twitter is made up of people who have something to say. These people express themselves by Tweeting. Oftentimes, no one is listening. There are other people on Twitter who choose to follow those Tweeters in order to listen to what they have to say. Those people are called Followers. These folks often follow lots of Tweeters to understand the state of their collective minds. A Follower gets notified when a Tweeter they’re following says something. Through the clever use of Hashtags, followers can also choose to search for specific topics aggregated across many Tweeters in order to derive larger insights. Depending on the insight, the Follower takes action. Sometimes, a Follower wants to say something to a Tweeter. They can do this with a Direct Message (DM). Of course, a Follower can only send a DM if the Tweeter has authorized this by following the Follower back. The Follower may say something to the Tweeter that either changes her behavior or updates her state of mind.

You never know.

The Internet of Things is made up of machines that have something to say. These machines express themselves by Publishing their telemetry data to some nearby or far away computer system over a communications network. Oftentimes, no one is listening and that data just piles up. There are computers, people, apps, analytics, machine learning and automation systems who are interested in what the machines have to say. They are called Subscribers. They Subscribe to lots of Publishers in order to know the current state of their collective health or performance. A Subscriber often gets notified when a Publisher streams new data which allows them to process that information in near real-time. Subscribers can also choose to search through data swimming in a lake to derive larger insights. Depending on the insight, the Subscriber takes action. Sometimes, a Subscriber or some other endpoint wants to send data to a Publisher or group of Publishers. They can do this through a Command and Control channel. Of course, a Subscriber can only send a message if the Publisher has authorized this action. The Subscriber might send a Command that either changes the Publisher’s behavior or updates its configuration.

You never know.

I realize it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer complexity of these systems that are transforming our world. That’s why it’s important to maintain the simplest view of what these IoT systems are actually doing. Explaining it to others gets easier which allows you to focus on the specific element that drives value.

Subscribe

Enter your email address to subscribe to my blog and receive notifications of new articles by email.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.