About Me

Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Entering the world of "Twitter"

As many of my loyal readers know, I don't do "twitter". This, however, is about to change as I prepare to teach a course in computer mediated communication next semester. In fact, I don't think I can teach CMC without looking at the type of communication used in twitter and facebook. So for the next few weeks, I will be setting up a twitter account and blog about my journey in trying to figure out 1) how to use twitter; 2) communication strategies for twitter; and 3) how to incorporate it into my class.

What I've learned so far

In preparation for using twitter, I went to the website. I was impressed at the amount of information and support in setting up twitter there was. This may be a reason why it has taken off in the last couple of years.

I know that when I set up my twitter account, I should not only be interested in getting people to follow my account, but also I should begin by following other people based on my interest.

I also know that twitter consists of short messages which I assume means little context in the tweets. This is why so many who use twitter connect to a webpage or blog. The webpages and blogs can give context that short messages cannot. I relate this to the difference between telegrams and letters in the 19th and early 20th century. Telegrams gave basic information that without context made very little sense. A follow up letter would give the details that would give a telegram context or there needed to be personal/shared experience that would give a telegram meaning.

Twitter works well with mobile technology. However, twitter users tend to be older or professionals (corporations). I also read a report that said that twitter was used more by African Americans than facebook. Little is known why there is that preference except that twitter works well with cell phones.

What I don't know

In the next few weeks, I will need to identify some people to follow.
The twitter site gives some ideas on how to do this. However, I'm interested in knowing how others set up their twitter followers.

The site also gives advise on how to follow twitter sites. I am going to need to figure out how to do this without overfilling my email. Do others use a separate email account? What about something similar to RSS feeds? Are there RSS feeds or readers for twitter like with blogs?

How are tweets different than other forms of online communication? Can they be stored and accessed later? Nancy White recently had a post in which tweets were pieced together to create a story/dialog. Can this be done in a central location (i.e. facebook's wall to wall which shows discussions between two people)?

I'd appreciate any help you can give me and I will continue to post my progress.


Anne Marie said...

Yours is one of the first blogs that I started following! At the same time I started tweeing so I have been learning in tandem.
If you want some people to follow have a look at this list of people who I have labled as 'learning' http://twitter.com/#/list/amcunningham/learning
I'm not sure what you mean by 'follow twitter sites'. You follow accounts not sites (for example I am @amcunningham).
It's not necessary to get any notifications my email. But I still allow notifications to my usual email address of DMs (direct messages).
How to access twitter? I think the best way is to download a desktop application such as tweetdeck. It's easiest to see everything that is happening then. But the main webpage is still manageable.

With regards to Storift, the tool that Nancy White used, the best place to keep this kind of content centrally is a blog. It's not possoble to embed on FB, although you can link to it.

I'd love to answer any other questions for you. Perhaps we could have a chat by Skype sometime.


V Yonkers said...

Thanks Anne Marie. You give me some good pointers. I was testing twitter out today (I actually tweeted something...I'm @comprof1-that's number one at the end) and so some of the things you suggest actually make sense!

Do you have a separate email account that you use for all direct messages (twitter, AIM, etc...)?

BTW: Skype is the next thing I'm going to try out. My kids do it all the time and my son is going away to college. I want to wait until I get a new laptop the middle of the summer which has an embedded camera. Our desktop doesn't seem to like audio or visual streaming.

You can be my guinea pig-I'll let you know.

Nancy White said...

regarding tools that capture tweets - there are a ton of them, and of course, at the moment, my brain can't call them up (Twapperkeeper? http://twapperkeeper.com/ and there is a new one and I think it has the world "wall" in it but darn, I can't remember. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/twitter-tools/ http://twistory.net/) Post the question on Twitter and you will get answers! This article is old, so some of the links may be bad https://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/10_ways_to_archive_your_tweets.php(I hate that my brain won't pull all this up on demand any more!)The site 140.com has reviews of tons of twitter tools.

V Yonkers said...

Thanks Nancy. I'll try them out when I get a chance.