All a flutter about Twitter!

In STT on March 18, 2009 at 3:32 pm

So what’s up with this Twitter thing!?  Seems like it is suddenly all the media can talk about and attempt to explain.

It’s only taken me two years to catch on to it myself.  Like many librarians I know, I created a Twitter account in a Linda Braun workshop where she got us all excited about all these web 2.0 and social networking applicationsand then I promptly forgot about it … until this past Fall when I got a few emails from member librarians requesting that they follow the NMRLS feed, which was, and is, currently dead … “hmmm NMRLS has a Twitter!? What was that again?”

But I decided to give it a try again after I heard an NPR Weekend Edition story on it (find here).  And because I realized that it didn’t sound as time-consuming (or as personal) as FaceBook. And I own an iPhone and you are morally obligated to have every cool social networking app on your iPhone or they take it away!

So for my personal / psuedo-professional life I created an account and I love it!  It can be as interactive or as passive as you want.  There are famous people on it like Linda Braun (on it 24/7), Shaq (basketball star), and Tina Fey (hardly posts, very busy).   And lots of great informative really useful post-ers too like: NASA (latest on space shuttle and Mars rovers); FDA recalls (kinda scary); Boston Red Sox (via Boston Globe);  News, News, News (NPR, NY Times, Starbucks, etc.) .  As well as library news:  Library of Congress; Library Journal; DC Public Library (interesting just to get an idea what a public library could do with it).

I was just at a conference, NERCOMP 2009, where they had volunteers tweeting in each workshop and it was a delight to check the Twitter feed on your phone and read what you were missing (or weren’t) in real-time!  And it also helped you decide whether you should you cut & run or stick with the presentation you’re in (I made both good and bad decisions based on this Twitter method). They had bloggers too, but who wants to read all that when Twitter is short (it can only be 14o character, counting spaces, after all), and you can read on a cell phone as well as on a laptop or PC.

Maybe it’s my choice of feeds, but there seems to be a lot less of the inane posts like “I just ate a grilled cheese sandwich …”  I see those kinds of earth-shattering missives on FaceBook all the time, so it is a welcome relief to read useful and humorous posts online whether on the web or a phone.  Plus nearly everyone posts links to all this interesting informative stuff they’re talking about via Tiny URL (because you only got those 140 characters!).

Find a nice video introduction/tips & tricks by one of my favorite C|Net reporters, Tom Merrit. He does a weekly program called Insider Secrets on C|Net TV, here’s the link his a recent episode on Twitter (time: 4:41).

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