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Thing One: Twitter

I’ve been using Twitter since October 2008. Seems like a long time now but at the time I felt like a late-adopter. Earlier in 2008 I’d completed SLAV’s original 23 things course and started this amazing personal/professional learning roller coaster that hasn’t shown signs of slowing yet. At that time Twitter wasn’t part of 23 Things. I know, hard to believe now! But it was definitely growing in use and was being written about regularly in the blogs I was reading voraciously at the time. I wrote about my reluctance to join in and the adventure I had when I finally jumped here and here. Safe to say I’ve been a convert ever since.
I love Twitter for lots of reasons: keeping in touch with colleagues and friends, learning about new resources, finding great stuff to read, sharing resources I’ve found, getting help, keeping up with the latest news, and having a laugh. I’m by no means a prolific twitterer, my 5700 tweets in 4 1/2 years is modest compared to many. I find I go in fits and starts of actually tweeting. That said, I check my twitter feed several times most days. I’m following about 1200 people and I have1600 followers. My Twitter ‘claim to fame’ is that @stephenfry follows me!
I use the Tweetdeck app on Chrome on my laptop although for some reason that doesn’t work on the school network so when I’m there I use the Hootsuite website.
Like Facebook, Twitter really becomes useful and fun on a mobile device, I haven’t found anything better than the native Twitter app on my phone but on my iPad I’ve just started using Twitterific after Osfoora stopped working properly for search and lists. I also use Flipboard, it’s great for #tag searches and the presentation is really nice.
I mostly follow # tags related to conferences and events – they are a great way of finding like-minded people to follow. I’ve only set up one list of my own, to follow emergency management agencies as part of my current job. I follow a few lists, a great way to keep up with a group, especially if you follow a lot of people. On that, whenever someone new follows me I check out their profile and make a decision whether or not to follow back. I almost always follow teachers and librarians or anyone with an interest in ICT. I’ll follow anyone from Melbourne and anyone I know in real life. I never follow back people who protect their updates – I’m not sure why they are on Twitter in the first place.
I have set up a Twitter account for my library. Initially it was just to use to set up a paper.li daily to embed on our website. It also tweets a link to anything we put on our Facebook page. If I was at school this year, developing the library’s social media presence would have been a focus. As it is that will have to wait till next year.
Right now I’m involved in applying to set up a Twitter account for the project I’m working on. That is far more involved than I would have thought necessary and just drives home the difference between this job and working in a school (not that that is necessarily a bad thing).
So that’s me and Twitter – to anyone out there who hasn’t had a go I say just do it, get into the conversation. Don’t think you have to read every tweet – someone likened it to the radio, it’s broadcasting 24/7 but you only listen when you choose and you only listen closely when it really interests you. You’ll learn to express yourself very concisely and you’ll find all kinds of things that you never even knew existed.

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Heather

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