Saturday, February 20, 2010

Twitter Relationships and Benefits

Twitter is one of those Web 2.0 tools that some people either love or hate. It is after all microblogging (say it in 140 characters or less), which is a bit mindboggling in and of itself. But there are uses and benefits to Twitter.

I found that I didn't appreciate the value of Twitter when it was just me. It took my getting the google sidebar and a Twitter feed before I realized how much there was to learn from my Twitter peeps. If you follow interesting people who are doing fascinating things, posting information, links and photos, then you have a great Twitter feed. That is what makes Twitter a valuable resource: the people you follow.

Admittedly, there are silly people whom I follow like Justshitmydadsays: Justin is 29, living at home and tweets the crazy crap his 74 year old fother says. He's a Twitter sensation.

I also follow Postsecret, which is a very cool idea that has spawned several books. Essentially, people send in their secrets to him anonymously on postcards. He has started posting them on Twitter once a day.

I follow authors like Neil Gaiman and Laurie Halse Anderson and cool librarians who I think rock like Elizabeth. I follow comedians, Rainn Wilson, and the odd David Lynch (I don't know why I follow him, he is so very odd). And I follow people who read lots of books like Flashlight Worthy Books.

I also follow other teachers, technology gurus, dog trainers and social media types. And I follow my friends. And all of these people share a little bit of themselves with me throughout the day. Sometimes I see it, sometimes I don't. Depends on when I am looking at the Twitter feed.

So when I was giving a colleague a Twitter tutorial the other day and found a reply I had missed from one of my blog readers, I was really thrilled. It was about our adding captions to our photos in our blog about our guide dog puppy. Since she is blind, without the figure captions she has no idea what the photos are about. It made me really happy that I had added the captions, but it also made me happy that I now had this extended network where my blog readers could connect with me via Twitter and comment. It makes for a different relationship, but one that is valid nonetheless.

So, all of you Twitter detractors, find some quirky, informative people and follow them. If nothing else, you might just get a laugh every day.

1 comment:

FredCanDoIt said...

I tweeted once but nobody cared. It's a tough crowd out there...