Whoever said Twitter was boring? Yes, the “I’m bored” or “I’m having porridge for dinner” is boring. And three mentions of the word Boring (or variations of the word Boring) in the first two lines of this post is boring.
Before you lose interest, Twitter is really useful source of interesting resources. Here’s what I’ve found in just three minutes of flicking through the musings of my followings:
- First up: 100 ways to teach with Twitter: but I’m still not convinced. For example: “Twitter promotes a sense of community through its sharing of personal information” – but does it really do this?
- Another Twitter resources list: a work-in-progress showing that Twitter itself is a work-in-progress and it’s place in education is still evolving
- A teacher’s guide to using audio and podcasting in the classroom: I’m really surprised at the number of these tools that don’t let you edit your clips. Embedded youtube vids of the various techs also.
- Free edtech papers: on a variety of topics, covers some non-tech ed items also. It’s nice to know that others have difficulties getting students to read. I am not alone.
- An adventuress in elearning tells of her experiences in LMS: yes, a LMS that incorporates all the quality features that you want just isn’t out there – yet!
- 100 mobile tools for teachers: the first line reads “teaching is a labor of love for most educators”. I don’t need to say more.
- Institution and Agency in the Age of Social Networks: There are some interesting content items in here, for example; “Communities form when individual agency is applied to the creation of institutional structure”. What happens when multiple individual agencies clash in the pursuit of a common institutional structure?
- http://www.dataliberation.org/home: an important site for Google users who aren’t entirely comfortable with Google’s mountain on personal information that we leave behind on Google sites every day.
Now I’ve a huge list of tabs open on the screen – and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that anymore.
Twitter is just too good.
My curiosity is piqued when I see a list of comments that takes up 8 times the length of the blog post they relate to. For one blog post, there were 80 comments. This mean that for one opinion, there were 80 other corresponding opinions. The power of the blog is alive and well in all its glory as a 2-way stream of opinions.
To be more specific, the power of Twitter is alive and well, at least with some.
The blog posting referred to Twitter’s low audience retention rate. Statistics given demonstrate that, even with a boost from the highly influential Oprah Winfrey, 6 out of 10 twits “do not return the following month”. This puts Twitter well below Face book and MySpace in this regard.
But the real power, and the most interesting reactions came from the comments and their authors. I’m honestly not sure what I’m more impressed with – the ability of a blog post to generate 8 times its own volume in comments thereby saying something very interesting about the blog as a medium of communication, or the contents of those comments.
Starting with the contents, here’s what I learned (with apologies if I have mis-interpeted anything) –
- Twitter is all about narcissism
- Once certain celebs emphasise it, its coolness quotient drops dramatically among other people
- Twitter users get out what twitter users put in
- Those who use it seems happy with it and will likely remain so until something better comes along
- Becoming a twit requires times and investment
- Random babble, or questionable facts and opinions or discovery of new people and facts and views, or/and keeping up to date
- Trivialises the meaning of ‘friends’.
- Emphasises society’s pressure for more – more friends, more followers, more brownie points, etc
- Twitter is useful for following those you don’t know, as opposed to Facebook’s “friends” concept
- Facebook is a richer app than Twitter for talking to customers
- Twitter might just do one thing, but it does it very very well
- Twitter is about only one thing “Status Updates”, a feature that is merely one of many in MySpace and Facebook. Has twitter taken a step back in this regard?
- Updates on Facebook may or may not be read by friends, Twitter is much better at reaching out
- Twitter is the opposite of Facebook in that it is high frequency but short bursts of engagement
- Comparing Twitter and Myspace is like comparing apples and oranges
- Re-tweets on Twitter get the ball rolling in a way limited by Facebook – the viral effect
- Twit searches are real-time, not indexed like in Google
- A form of social currency
- Being “followed” is oddly amusing but meaningless
- There is no manual for Twitter because it is different for everyone
- Blogging is a way of sharing short and well formed thoughts, Twitter is a way of sharing tiny ill-formed thoughts
- Interface that’s easy to use, but the value behind it is more challenging to figure out
- Posting for posting sake
- and finally, and arguably the one that brings it all together…. Twitter is merely a shift in how we gather and share what we know, think and wonder about
Nielsen were so impressed with the reaction they were quick to satisfy many commenter’s curiosity, and pointed out that they included both traffic directly on twitters website and 30 sites that feed to twitter.
Look how much I’ve learned about twits and their opinions (good, bad, and indifferent) about twitter from one short blog post. If that doesn’t demonstrate the power of the blog I don’t know what would.
Now, you’ll have to excuse me. I’m off to a rugby match that I will be watching and enjoying i.e. not distracting myself from it by tweeting about it
Time was to call someone a twit was a grave insult indeed. Some examples –
- Someone who is regarded as contemptible
- A foolish or annoying person
- A foolishly annoying person
- A silly annoying person
- An unpleasant or annoying person
But life changes. Now, to be referred to as a twit is most flattering indeed. It indicates that you are a member of Twitter – a social networking / micro blogging service that enables members to ‘tweet’ i.e. send and read short message updates from each other.
So, are you a twit?
John Collins in yesterdays Irish Times suggests that tweeting has moved into mainstream. I’m not so sure. I’ve got a twitter account but very few of my friends / acquaintances tweet. The alternative is to start ‘following’ new people. The problem with that is simple lack of time.My loss!
Yet, I can see the advantage of live tweeting providing live commentary about a particular event as it’s unfolding. Apparently, the Israeli government have done a live q & a using twitter. Much of the recent Mumbai bombings were gathered through tweets from people on the ground. Politicians and celebrities seem to be effective twits. But do I care if @jane is heading off to the hairdressers for an hour? It’s just too micro. Ok, if I was supposed to be meeting Jane and she was held up at the hairdressers…….. On the other hand, she could just send me a quick text. Yes, I’m aware that this type of thinking could have branded with the original definition of ‘twit’ by modern twitters everywhere.
Apparently, the commercial organisation behind twitter has yet to make a profit, despite having an approximate 6 million members. The twitter management team seem content to let its community of users dictate where the service and the technology should go. From a business perspective that is particularly interesting and I for one am curious as to how it unfolds. The technology is not much more than 2 years old and already has numerous spinoffs. An interesting one (that’s free!) for those interested in internet marketing, allows organisations to monitor what their customers are saying about them. Can twitter feasibly continue to evolve like this? Will the big guns (i.e. Google!) not be interested in a buy-out at some point in the near future?
Whatever happens, one thing is sure. To be labelled a twit has changed all meaning. Next time, someone talks about tweeting, just remember that they might not be referring to our feathered friends and the coming of spring.
… are usually cringe-inducing. Think Andie McDowell telling you about cream to make your skin look younger, a whole range of sports personalities telling you that Nike are the biz, James Bond sporting a designer wristwatch, perfect-skinned actresses and models telling you on behalf of L’oreal that you’re worth it, etc, etc.
A possible reason is the lack of authenticity. I’m not a hairdresser and I struggle to do the vanity thing. Result, all the L’oreal in the world isn’t going to turn my hair into that of a Desperate Housewife (or equivalent).
But every now and again, a celebrity endorsement comes along that the celebrity isn’t paid a penny for. They are barely aware of their endorsement. They are doing what comes naturally, using products because they want to and because those products are useful to them in aome way.
A perfect example is Stephen Fry’s use of the more social of web 2.0 social technology. Read all about it here. The interview is informative and worth a read. Here are a few insights that struck me –
- He tweets because he wants to. He has 103,000 followers. On the one hand this makes him one of the worlds more popular twits (have I got the lingo correct?). But on the other hand, the personal touch is lost. How can he keep in touch with everyone. What depth of communication is taking place. Or have I got it all wrong? I should be taking it for what it is – a micro low level of conversation but yet allows much to be said between participants.
- Journalists don’t have as powerful a role any more. Celebrities can get in more direct contact with their fans and cut out the intermediary as it were.
- To be truly real, the internet needs its red light district or equivalent. It has to have the good and bad and everything in between. Without them it is a poorer experience.
- The absurdity of snobbishness gets a look in. E.g. if your email address is hotmail as opposed to a customised domain then you might not be taken so seriously. Yet, the “on the internet, no-one knows you’re a dog” idea comes into being. On line no-one knows if you are black or white, young or old, tall or short, male or female, etc.
- Very interesting take on the disemvowelment of texting. Its nothing new. Back in the olden times when paper and ink were precious, abbreviations were common. Every part of that expensive page had to be used, and so ‘yours’ became ‘yrs’.
- No-one is chucking their books in the bin just because they’ve invested in a computer. The 2 can exist side-by-side. Ok, I’m not so sure of this one. What about that electronic book reader that I keep talking about? Of course, the fact that I don’t have one (as yet) speaks volumes.
- I love his idea of half-expecting to see wavy red and green lines under words mis-spelt in printed text. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to take the head out of the computer for a little while.
- Time is truly moving on. The average web surfer now has more information and power at their fingertips than legions of kings and queens in previous centuries. Of course, what we do with and how we use this easily obtained wealth of information is another questions altogether.
- The web and its treasure-trove of information can be archived for the enjoyment of future generations.
Stephen Fry – what a guy. Much more than an actor and a quiz-show host.