Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Thing 4 - Current awareness: Twitter

I've been using Twitter (I'm @joeyanne) since Dec 2007, though at first not many people were on there so I didn't use it much for the first few months. In the last 2-3 years it has become a very popular way for librarians and information professionals to communicate. I use it mainly to:

  • follow events (and share information from events I attend)
  • find out about new developments in tech, education and libraries
  • share good practice 
  • inform my work
I also use it to ask questions (my professional network are far more reliable than Google!), and just to get general advice (I find it particularly useful when travelling to different cities which I now do quite a lot of through work).

I currently follow over 1100 people, but I don't read every single tweet from every single person. I treat it more like a conversation tool - when I'm around I follow the conversation, when I'm not I don't. I do however make use of the list features to help me filter my tweets. The main way I do this is by having a private favourites list which I check when I'm busy. This includes my close friends and family, as well as tweets from key people within my network whose tweets I don't want to miss. My favourites list isn't static, it changes all the time so I like to use Twitter apps that support lists and editing lists (my current favourite apps are Tweetdeck for Chrome and Osfoora for iPad and iPhone).

I also usually set up public Twitter lists for events so that people can follow those attending an event without having to individually follow everyone, and I have lists of people I'd like to meet and people I have met (for example, I recently set up a list of all people I met at the American Library Association Annual Conference).

I also use text messages with Twitter - I have it set up to receive messages when certain people tweet (mainly family) so that I get those even on those rare occasions when I don't have internet connection, and I did use it to send a couple of tweets recently whilst I was in New Orleans and had no internet access outside my hotel and the conference centre. 

One thing I stopped doing (which I've started again as part of this thing) is receiving email notifications when people follow me. I was getting overloaded with them but now my email is more under control I've turned these back on as I'm finding that I forget to check my account for new followers to follow back. I've also been through my recent followers and followed some back.

Now for some other tools I played with as part of this digital tidy...

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