I was introduced to the requirement of creating a Twitter account for INN333 Information Programs back in 2011 when I first started studying the MIT(LIS) degree. This module had made use of the Twitter social networking platform as part of the module’s learning experience. From how I understand it, engagement of Twitter as part of core learnings for the module was to ensure students participation in discussion, along with knowing how to engage with this social environment professionally. It was also forming a basis to engage with our very own personal learning network (PLN) as students, commenting upon student blogging activities.
My first ever tweet was Now tweeting for inn333…!, which dates back to July 29, 2011.
The most recent tweet of late was commenting upon the International Library Network’s (ILN) welcoming online seminar for participants in the Peer Mentoring Program they conduct on September 13, 2014 was…
“Great connections with the #ILNwelcome… many thanks to those coordinators of @InterLibNet !”
What an improvement!
I recall during the course of this module, that I had found the 140 character restriction very hard to deal with as I am rather verbose in writing style and soon learned that I’d tweet 2-3 times before I could properly convey my message – be it a question, a comment or answer. As time elapsed, I followed, I was followed, I checked tweet links, I tweeted back and even once or twice did a ‘retweet’! At one point during an INN333 gamification activity moment, I was locked neck to neck in winning a prize for the most tweets to a student’s blogged post …I had become totally entrenched within the need of knowing if that ‘next tweet’ and been twittered!
Scary is that not? Let alone (perhaps) slightly addictive….?!
Most definitely (I say), especially when engaged (with) for specific reason’s sake.
In hindsight, I allowed myself to be competitive where I’m normally not, as I am not a competitive by nature but can bring out a competitive streak in me, if need (want) be.
Over the last 3 years, I’ve only tweeted a mere 755 tweets, I follow 82 people/organisations and have 51 followers to date. Out of the those that I follow, I have kept tabs on organisations such as InterLibNet, Library Jobs, MetLib Conference 14, Banned Library, QUT Media, World Digital Library, Library of Congress, Ancient Wisdoms, Creative Commons to name a few.
When considering using Twitter to engage with, one has to remember that there is many pros and cons that come with it. I also believe reasoning behind why a person would use it would depend on what was driving that person to engage with it professionally or personally.
For instance, a teen would adore reading tweets from their favourite celebrity, let alone be able to tweet them directly. An organisation may promote products or events via tweet and has the potential to reach a large number of people. Whereas in the negative light, I’ve seen Twitter used by some to victimize, bully, harass, threaten and incite people.
In saying that, I do understand why an organisation would engage Twitter on a professional level, though surely they would find the 140 character restriction annoying, would they not?
Today, I don’t really tweet much at all…
Perhaps one day I may use it as an information professional, though I would need to adhere to my employer’s code of conduct, much like with any other social networking platform.