Twitter

Can someone please explain to me what the point of Twitter is?  I am clearly not getting it.  For one thing, the cacophony just sounds scary to me, and for another, it sounds like a time leech.  So what am I missing?

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9 thoughts on “Twitter

  1. I am probably not the best person to chime in here—I am on Twitter, but I am not a frequent "tweeter."

    I wondered about Twitter for a long time, too. It seemed too much like Piaget's concept of "parallel play" in toddlers: people talking, but not necessarily together.

    I have to say that Twitter has really grown on me. What I like is the collective stream of consciousness that emerges. It's this constant snapshot of what others are thinking and experiencing. On one hand, you could think "Who cares?" and be right. And on the other, you can think about it as a different kind of way to be connected to the world.

    I may be more lurker than participant, but the links and ideas that have come through Twitter (vs. blogs or other sources) have been enriching. I really recommend it.

  2. I'm with you. I've tried it–twice, and I still don't get it. It seems like a lazy-man's blog. Admittedly, there are some benefits to getting out a quick message or asking a question to your network, but–for the most part–it seems to me one wastes too much time reading what-I-ate-for-breakfast-twitts. Why not just use the blog?

  3. I've also had the same questions about Twitter. I've talked with a number of people and done a lot of thinking simply because of its popularity with the tech elite. Simply put, I can think of very few good, learning-enhancing ideas for using Twitter in the classroom.

    And honestly, I'm not too worried about it, if only because there are so many other sites and tools out there that do have obvious, beneficial results in a classroom.

  4. Hurt, I am with you on the classroom part. I was thinking more along the lines of "why do so many edubloggers seem to be so excited about Twitter?"

  5. Twitter is an ecosystem. Each person in it has a lens that they use to look at their personal, unique interests in any given educational discourse. Some love podcasts, some are advocates for change, some love Second Life, some love Warcraft etc., Its like have 300 people that you've selected to bring to you 'all the time' – snippets of information, ideas, stories and resorces that might help you. Each time you drop into twitter – 200 people drop off ideas and links. Unlike social bookmarking – Twitter allows you to form connections with real people, that lead to real conversations – perhaps in bursts on Twitter – but also in virtual worlds – Skype etc.,

    So it is learning spinal cord. Its also an ecosystem as people come, go – add or not add information that interests you. Your interests might change or be influenced, so people in the ecosystem are always in flux and always adjusting their lens'. Sure you can tell me what you ate for dinner – but most of the time in Edu people are sharing stories, links and information – so in Twitter I get a daily dose of new things to think about – or not – depending on my mood and time. But – everyone is like that, and the ecosystem adapts to events – people being prolific or people who 'watch'. I used to read my peers social bookmarks , I used to Digg – but now I just Twitter – its just so easy to connect to people to expand your potential for learning.

    Personally I follow about 120 people. I have regualar f2f with 2% of them. I have online/virtual conversations with half of them all the time – and the rest really are not 'in my zone' – but on the edge of what I'm doing – so I get to keep up with innovation that I might want – some other time.

    I used to email, then I used to Facebook – now I want to talk and listen in Twitter – because its just so damn easy and effective. – via my desktop/laptop or mobile phone.

    Twitter supercharges your capacity to inform and be informed by your peers instantly and consistently. One day it will even be stable – but given its massive growth – the jitters it has do in no way outweigh its value.

    Twitter: deangroom

  6. I guess if I wanted Twitter to be more useful or interesting for me, I'd look at it more than once or twice a week. But right now, it seems like a waste of time. To find something useful in the "conversation" requires paying attention to way too many things at once and following everyone involved.

    I'll stick to phone calls and texts with people I actually know, and get my edu-blog fix via my RSS reader. What can I say? I'm old-fashioned.

  7. Jeff, that was my feeling, too, though I've never tried it. I have so much on my plate already that I just don't know how I'd keep up with Twitter.

  8. Dana, I really enjoy reading your blog – when I have time. For me, Twitter is often an instant energizer. Someone posts a link to a relevant article, a great YouTube, or just a humorous comment. Hey, it only takes a second to read 140 characters. I probably pop in three-five times a day. Even if I don't have time to daily visit your blog, if I followed you on Twitter, good chance I would be redirected to your blog, based on your Tweet.

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