Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Twitter, Tweeting, and....Twits?

Twitter is a social networking site that "enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as followers" (Wikipedia). Although it seems as though everyone has heard of Twitter and is a part of the social network, "the majority of common folk surveyed still have little idea of what Twitter is" (Los Angeles Times).

I had no idea what Twitter was when people first started talking about it. I remember reading about it on Facebook because someone had posted a link to an article about it last year. I didn't understand what exactly it was, though. Gradually, I learned more about it as various newscasts and talk shows began to mention that they were on Twitter. I swore that I would never join because I didn't understand the point of it.

When I had to sign up for Twitter for this course, the actual signing up was quite easy. All you need to do is provide a valid email address and create a password. I tried to figure out how to use Twitter, but for a while, I didn't even see the point of it. I have found that I really don't like it. I find that I don't really care what other people are doing, and I rarely have anything to say on it most of the time. I had someone follow me who was posting links for resources for people over 18 years of age. I dislike the fact that random people anywhere in the world can follow me if they want. As I have mentioned previously, I am a private person, so for anyone to follow me on Twitter, it makes me uncomfortable.

I think that a lot of people on Twitter are just following people and having people follow them as a sort of popularity contest. I don't really see how people would be interested in reading about what other people they don't know are doing. Although, I will admit that the news stories on the storms that passed through Stony Plain and Camrose on August 1, 2009 had Twitter feeds and I did read through them. Most of them said the same thing though.

I also had a problem with finding people to follow. I don't really know of anyone, except for the people in this course, who are on Twitter. I eventually decided to follow Ellen deGeneres and Jimmy Fallon. But I don't feel the need to constantly check Twitter to see what they are doing.

I found a website devoted to explaining Twitter at TwitterNet. It is quite useful, especially to someone like me. It has links to information such as, "5 Ways to Use Twitter for Good" and "Top 10 Uses of Twitter and Tools."

Although, I personally dislike using Twitter for myself, there is potential for it to be used in libraries. Phil Bradley suggests using Twitter for social networking, updating, trending, and searching for information, asking questions, and promoting yourself (Phil Bradley). He suggests that libraries follow other people and he also suggests that the library's Twitter page be made public, without having to grant permission first.

If I were to use Twitter in the classroom, I would do what Phil Bradley recommends libraries not do - keep everything private. Anyone who wants to follow a student must be granted permission by the teacher, in order to avoid the wrong people becoming involved in the classroom's social network.

Bradley, Phil. "Using Twitter in Libraries." Phil Bradley's Weblog. 29 Jan 2009. 2 Aug 2009 http://philbradley.typepad.com/phil_bradleys_weblog/2009/01/using-twitter-in-libraries.html

"Twitter." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 31 Jul 2009. 31 Jul 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Twitter&oldid=305204039>

Milian, Mark. "What is Twitter? Most People Still Don't Know, Study Finds." Los Angeles Times. 27 July 2009. 2 Aug 2009 http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2009/07/what-is-twitter.html

1 comment:

  1. I had someone follow me that was posting 18+ links as well. I really don't like that anybody can see your page and follow you. There may be a way to block groups of people from viewing you but I could not figure out how. Instead I had to block each person indidually when they added me. This happened a couple of times.