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.