Thing 10 : Twitter – “Is there anybody out there?”

Posted: February 15, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,


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:

  1. Where do I start?
  2. What does everything mean (especially that # symbol)?
  3. 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”

  1. barbrooara says:

    Hi Nick,

    Good to read about your experience on twitter. I imagine you could be a very happy tweeter.

  2. oldsaintnick23 says:

    Yes once you’ve got a handle on who you want to follow very good for keeping up to date with what’s happening in the world

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