Twitter – (probably) the final update

The first few days I used twitter I had a hard time liking it.  I felt like the contact it provided with other people was pretty superficial and that it was difficult to do anything that had any real meaning.  It seemed to be the kind of technology that would suck up a lot of time and not provide much in the way of a return.  Thursday night’s class discussion changed that.

I realized first that I had not bothered to find out what twitter was designed to do.  I had, in essence, picked up a hammer and tried to write a symphony with it.  Not my most brilliant idea to date.  I liked Robin’s party analogy: twitter is a way to wander about a room full of strangers, eavesdropping on conversations until you find one you like.  You can then jump in and take the conversation elsewhere.  Like facebook, chat, or the local pub.  This makes sense, and made me wonder further: why was it that our discussion of the value of twitter seemed to center so much on evaluating it in a vacuum?  When used by itself I am not sure that twitter is all that powerful, but when integrated with other technologies it seems to be incredibly useful for finding and building community.

I am not sure I’d say yet that I love twitter, but I can say that I am now beginning to understand the role it could play in my life.  As for using it in class: it seems like there are quite a few interesting and/or powerful people who twitter.  It might be interesting to have students create an account to follow some of these folks.  For example, I am a fan of Neil Gaiman and follow him on twitter.  He talks about his daily life, even about his being nervous when turning a new work into an editor.  I think that it would be very powerful for a young person to see that even very famous and successful people suffer from the same fears as everyone else, and what better way to learn that than directly from the people they admire?  Twitter could be a way to essentially life-shadow people worthy of emulation.

After a week, I have decided to keep going with twitter and see if it will manifest the potential I now see in it.

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2 Comments

  1. Robin said,

    October 11, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Way to keep an open mind!!!! I like it.

  2. Collin said,

    October 14, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Twitter is for people (like myself) who have nothing better to do. It’s sad but true.


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