I’ve decided not to follow a strictly linear path to my 23 things, jumping 9 (browsers) to dive into all things Twitter and the live discussions that have been taking place this week. I’ve thought about setting up a twitter account before, but have always been slightly daunted on a number of levels:
- Where do I start?
- What does everything mean (especially that # symbol)?
- What clever insightful thing can I say in 140 characters?
Well thanks to Ric’s excellent instructions – more than instructions, an interactive guide giving you a real flavour of what Twitter is all about – I feel I’ve overcome points 1 & 2: not sure 3 is ever going to happen!
Biggest initial decision you have to make when setting up your account: who to follow? Despite Ric’s reassurance that you can change these choices after you’ve signed in, I just couldn’t bring myself to select the choices Twitter were suggesting for me – so a big NO to Wossy, Moyles, Carr and so many other celebrities staring back at me. My choices were largely influenced by my interests in politics, current affairs and sport, with a sprinkling of helpful suggestions from Alison (wife). So a thumping big YES to Owen Jones, Michael Rosen, Billy Bragg, Jonathan Legard and Caitlin Moran.
Once in, you can then seek the safe haven @UoS23 (set up by Ric) to follow and discover some “real” people to follow: your Library colleagues. In some of the lively discussions that have taken place (particularly favourite film) it’s felt a bit like being on a school trip with your classroom friends: a first time visit to an alien city where we’ve all stuck close together under Ric’s (our teacher) guidance, gawping at the inhabitants of this strange new world – very enjoyable.
It’s easy to recognize the addictive nature of Twitter, after a couple of days interacting on @UoS23 I found myself (egged on by Alison) following the twitter feed of BBC’s questiontime #bbcqt. Anyway, instead of my usual ranting at the screen Twitter offered me the opportunity for some instant gratification – my comments out there for everyone to see…or so I like to believe.
From a work perspective, Twitter is another complimentary medium (an additional channel) from which to communicate to the student community : if they’re using Twitter then we should be too. A good example of how it can work is the Library hash tag #findmeaseat: find me a seat in the Hartley Library. Students tweeting this hash tag can communicate with each other and locate areas where there is available seating in the Hartley Library – extremely useful during busy periods. Ultimately there’s always a limit (both ways) to how much can be communicated in a tweet of less than 140 characters. Unless you are really “clever” and “insightful” like Michael Rosen
@MichaelRosenYes; my favourite tweet of the week retweeted:
“Gove says he’s lost the bus ticket that he was writing the maths curriculum on. Urgent if you find it, please return to DfE”