Thursday, July 17, 2008

What I Love About Twitter

I first learned about Twitter last summer. Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that utilizes instant messaging, SMS or a web interface. You can only send out messages with a 140 character limit at one time. So what people on Twitter end up getting are short snippits of messages, not whole conversations. Frankly, when I began to explore it last summer I didn't "get it." Then it was reintroduced to me during a PLP workshop last fall by Will Richardson and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach. At that point, I said, "ok, I'll give it another try."

Since finding the key in who to follow, etc., I've had a tremendous experience using Twitter. Many resources have come my way because I first learned about them on Twitter. There are web 2.0 apps that I wouldn't know about today if it weren't for Twitter. Twitter helps me to keep a forward eye to what is out there and what teachers from around the world are doing with their classes.

Will Richardson recently wrote a blog post entitled What I Hate About Twitter. In his post, Will states that it feels like the “conversation” is evolving into pieces instead of wholes, that the connections and the threads are unraveling, almost literally. Wow. I guess I never expected Twitter to be a "deep" conversation, rather a quick here's what's going on and providing links to the "deeper" conversations.

My children are 17 and 20 and if I want to communicate with them on a regular basis I had better get into texting. Of course, nothing can take the place of those face to face deeper conversations that we have. However, a more consistent touch-base occurs via phone texting these days. If I didn't text, well I just wouldn't be talking with them as much. They live in the world of texting. They don't "call" their friends like I did when I was a teenager (of course then it was using landlines). They text their friends quick messages to keep up to date with each other.

I think part of Will's angst may be a generational thing. Maybe if he lived in my world of communicating with teenagers on a regular basis he would get the whole texting thing and be less annoyed with Twitter.



Anonymous una raimondo said...

Having just joined Twitter, I found your post enlightening. With more use I will begin to form an opinion and will probably be able to vote your way or Will's. Incidently, having been taught by him, you might want to know that he has children your age or younger:)
Thanks for commenting on my blogging efforts and desire to get teachers involved in the process of revamping how we teach in schools.

July 19, 2008 at 10:49 AM  
Anonymous lottascales said...

I am, admittedly, still trying to wrangle Twitter -- I only follow 25 people and still it seems like a lot to manage... perhaps because I do feel compelled to track back when something provocative aimed "@someoneIdon'tfollow" catches my eye. Scattered and a time-suck -- I need to develop my "twitteracy," I guess.

I read Will's post after reading yours and I thought your comment "I guess I never expected Twitter to be a "deep" conversation, rather a quick here's what's going on and providing links to the "deeper" conversations" basically echoed his point -- I think he was saying that people are using twitter for conversations but it's not really equipped for that, so things get very disjointed.

Then again, I have a close friend who regularly sends me phone texts that are so long they split across 3-4 messages. At that moment I wonder if SMS is the best tool for the job ;)

July 20, 2008 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Julia Osteen said...

Have you tried using Twhirl or another twitter client? I found that using something that can be "in the background" as I'm working on other things and catching those messages that pique my interest as they come across works better.

July 20, 2008 at 2:09 PM  
Anonymous lottascales said...

Playing with Tweetdeck as we speak. Still feels like a distraction, but it's very pretty. I do like the search feature a lot. We'll see...

July 20, 2008 at 4:52 PM  

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