The dreaded Tweet Machine!!

Having been introduced to blogging for both personal and educational use we were now moving onto the Big Boy in the world of Web 2.0! TWITTER, tweet tweet! We had been told that this was coming and if i’m honest, I was dreading it. I had managed to keep my social networking to a minimum on the book of faces to date and I was happy with my miniscule digital footprint. Twitter was a giant footstep into the land of giant footprints that I was very dubious about to say the least. I felt like this guy……………..

Before your time?? GOOOOOOOOOOGLEIT!!!

Anywho, I decided, against my better judgement that I would believe my Web 2.0 master when he said that twitter was the most revolutionary web 2.0 technology and that it was going to change my life. BRING IT ON!

So what is twitter? Twitter is like a blog but less detailed. The technical name given to this I believe is micro-blogging. This consists of quick updates usually containing a very limited number of characters.  In essence, micro-blogging is for people who want a blog but don’t want to blog. So you would think that twitter would suit me then;)

Although Twitter may have started as a micro-blogging service, it is grown into much more than that. With the ability to follow people and have followers, and the ability to tweet from your mobile phone, Twitter has become the perfect social messaging tool.  Twitter is a great tool for quickly communicating a message to a group of people.

Twitter is a technical auld thing when you look at the nitty gritty details of it. Here’s a list of a few techy things to know about twitter:

  • A Tweet: a message that is 140 characters long. It can include links to images, blogs, videos etc.
  • Twitter handle: this is your twitter username or ID. All twitter handles begin with @.
  • Hashtag: # this is what a hashtag looks like (for those who do not know). It is used with a keyword or an unspaced phrase following it and it is used to categorise tweets into groups. Hashtags are not the property of the creator, others can have the same hashtag.
  • Lists: are an easy way of organising your reading on Twitter. The lists allow you to categorise Twitter accounts by common subject or theme. You can have 500 accounts per list and 20 lists in total.
  • Follower: These are other accounts that are following your account.
  • Following: These are the accounts that you are following.
  • Tweetdeck: is an interface with customisable columns that can display your Twitter timeline, mentions, direct messages, lists, trends, favorites, search results, hashtags, or all tweets by or to a single user. Tweets can be sent immediately or scheduled for later delivery. The following link will show you what it looks like – tweetdeck layout
  • Trending: signifies a topic or event which is currently popular and much discussed online.

With all of this knowledge in hand, what can twitter really do that is so great? Well what I found good about twitter was the connections you can make. By simply following a few people in your industry or area of interest you can partake in some very interesting conversations. I found the #edchatie discussions on Monday nights to be very interesting. It was very insightful to see the opinions of such a wide variety of people, principals, teachers, NQT’s, unemployed teachers, teachers who have changed careers etc. Where else would you get the opportunity to converse with this group of people in a meaningful way. I also found some really interesting articles people posted on twitter. When you are following a large number of people with a common interest it is great to see what resources and tips they have.

All in all, I like twitter. I will be keeping it on after my masters is finished (not sure if the same can be said for this blog!!)

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