My vital statistics are @ilk21, 171 followers, 123 following, and 11 listed, and, (at time of blogging) 472 tweets.
I use it to
- follow people I find interesting (both professionally and personally) – I probably follow their blogs too, but this feels like I’m a little more inside their head;
- communicate with colleagues in Cambridge and beyond (even just to say hi);
- keep up with conferences that I’m attending (what are other people thinking of this persent??) and conferences I’m not atttending (if I can’t be there, then listening to a commentary from someone I trust is as close as I’ll get)
- keep up with (and even contribute to) public debates and discussions (#cam23 or #cilipfuture)
- share things I find useful – pass them on to the world in case anyone else finds them useful, and as a way of showing the originator that I value what they say.
it can be for whatever I want it to be for.
I use it in a way that I’ve never, ever used the status update thingy on facebook.
The Medical Library doesn’t have a twitter account yet , but I can feel it coming. But just like library facebook pages, I think this has to be handled carefully, as well as enthusiastically – keeping content fresh, and ensuring that any followers know there’s a face behind the eventual @medical-library account.
I’m not a great fan of accounts of organisations or groups where it’s not clear who is actually sending out the tweets – ideally I’d like to see that it’s usually Jim or Mary from this organisation who tweet on its behalf. (so when @libatcam suddenly outed herself as being @marshables I suddenly realised why I had found the faceless @libatcam tweets so interesting and engaging – but I wonder who’s taken over? should I continue to follow @libatcam ? will @libatcam ever tweet again?)
I’m also not a fan of people who protect their tweets – why should I show you mine, if you’re not prepared to show me yours? I’m forced into following you, but can’t actually even control that, since you can refuse me. What’s so special about you, eh?
For all the hundreds of ways you can see tweets (thanks niamh for the heads up about journotwit, and there’s tweetdeck and hootsuite) but call me old fashioned, I’m happy with it in it’s original (retro?) clothing.
What’s astounded me is the myriad ways in which it’s been used:
- in education: eg study about where students study was used to inform design and delivery of new library space),
- in disaster relief – used in Haiti fund raising and bushfires in Australia
- in campaigning of all sorts – political, and otherwise
what does it say about the world that the Library of Congress is archiving all tweets now (and guardian take on that) (and what does it say that it wasn’t something that I was given the choice of opting into or out of??)
Can certainly say, this thing isn’t going away anytime soon, or if it does disappear I wonder what even more addictive and useful tool will pop up in its place!