tweetmeme_url = ‘http://gadgetgurl.edublogs.org/2009/07/03/twitter-is-it-really-worth-it/’;
To tweet or not to tweet. That is the question – or is it?
I signed up for a Twitter accout nearly 3 months ago, initially so I could have a look around the backend aspect of the site, but quickly gave it up as a time waster – never even tweeted! My immediate thoughts centred around the idea of ‘what’s the point’? I mean, Twitter’s tag line says it all – “What are you doing?”. Good grief! How superficial!!
Some call Twitter an example of microblogging – a Web 2.0 way to express one’s thoughts – albeit in 140 characters or less. My gut answer to Twitter’s question is who cares? Who even wants to know what you had for breakfast this morning or whether you forgot to buy eggs on the way home? Are people that insecure? Or sad?! Hence, no progress was made on my account.
I find it intriguing that Twitter has been around for a couple of years, but at least in New Zealand it’s only been at the forefront of IT news headlines for the past 6 months or so. After talking to a colleague recently, I decided to appoach Twitter with a more open mind. I mean, how could I condemn it if I hadn’t even sent a tweet?! Drumroll please…
1. After a recommendation to avoid tracking tweets through the Twitter website, I downloaded the free version of ‘Twitter Fon’ on my iPhone.
2. I then started to search people to follow. So far I’m up to following 49 and being followed by 24. I’ve heard that the more people you follow, the more benefits you’ll get from Twitter. I suppose the law of averages applies in this case, but the jury’s still out.
3. Using the iPhone application only, I’m checking updates at least twice a day (sometimes more admittedly – Freud would have fun with this!!), morning and night at the moment. Remember though that I’m still in the early stages. It’s all a novelty for me. I’m sure that in time things will change…??
As a result of this new approach, I’ve discovered two things in particular. Firstly, there is a valid type of ‘niche potential’ for using Twitter. In this I mean that viral marketers could quickly and easily launch a new website and/or product that can be distrbuted to thousands of like-minded people at the touch of one button. And did I say it was free?? Also, Twitter has the potential to be an excellent portal for sharing information. Info about new developments in IT, pointers to useful websites or online articles are the main things I’ve found useful so far! On the flipside is the second point. Depending on who you follow, Twitter generates a heck of amount of what is essentially spam – which in this microblogging world (computers and phones) just equates to a whole lotta noise!!!! I have anti-spam filters on Outlook to deal with this, why do I need to sift through so much Twitter rubbish on my phone? Do I have to take the bad with the good? My solution so far has been to stop following people who use Twitter for completely random waste-of-time comments (e.g. “I can see blue sky out my window”, “Had a tall trim Latte extra hot for brekkie”) as I attempt to build a presence of following / being followed with the concept of exchange of educational and technological information in mind.
So far I’m sticking with it. I’m interested in knowing if Twitter has any real application in the classroom though.
And also is Twitter just a fad that’s almost had it’s day, or something that’s going to stand the test of time? An interesting comment from Tim Dean in the ‘IdeaLog’ in PC Authority mag (July 2009)
Unsure at this stage…