on Twitter…

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Though I have heard others lay this critique on Twitter, it actually hasnt been my experience at all (I think those people either dont actually *use* Twitter, or theyre following the wroooong people...

Though I have heard others lay this critique on Twitter, it actually hasn't been my experience at all (I think those people either don't actually *use* Twitter, or they're following the wroooong people...)

for me, Twitter…

  • provides broad access to excellent professional development, mentoring, and ever-expanding professional community.  It’s a steady stream of (mostly) useful info, about innovation, new/neat tools, what’s happening – right now –  at f2f conferences, online sessions, and in the brains and days of people in my field.  I like hearing what people in my field are doing, thinking, testing, trying, learning.  I like it when someone has a problem, tweets it, and gets help from others who aren’t on their “official” work team. I like it when people tweet, “session X starting in 40 minutes” and a give link to it.  I am fascinated that every time I do something these days (e.g., attend a f2f or online conference, talk to someone), I get more followers who I may or may not know, but who are out there in our field like me.
  • is The Backchannel – anytime/where, we can be “together” regardless of where we (physically) are or work, and regardless of any “official” channel (e.g., chat in web conference session)
  • provides an instructional design challenge – I have yet to see it meaningfully integrated into any of the online courses I work on, but would like to.

My continued happy experience with Twitter depends on:

  • following good people,  period (“good” = colleague who is doing stuff)
  • keeping it separate from  Facebook (FB is for friends, Twitter for work)
  • feeling free to unfollow, and to block/not return-follow people who follow me. When someone follows you, you are notified.  I proceed with one-sided “Twinterview”  – I review their profile. If they have a TON of updates, follow a TON of people, and have FEW followers, I block. If they don’t follow ANYONE I follow, I’m wary – likely  block. Ditto if their bio or tweets have nothing to do with education, technology, social media, etc.
  • feeling free to let the river run by and dip in when I can. I don’t feel compelled to read everything
  • using search (for hashtags or keywords) and cool apps: Twitterbar (Firefox) is great. I’m late to TweetDeck, but have started using it lately, and like it (once I removed the “recommend” and facebook columns).
  • everyone following the policy of, “if you don’t have anything useful to say, don’t say anything”. So far, so good.

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