Undergrad Courses

Twitter Troubles

At the beginning of my ECMP 455 class I was really unsure about why I had bothered to sign up for Twitter. I would check it as much as I would check our class Ning, Facebook and my email. Every time I logged on I got really overwhelmed and gave up for a little bit. I thought there was no way I would be able to offer what some of the people I was following did. It seemed everyone I was following had something to share with each tweet and anything I shared was more of a what I am doing at the moment kind of statement. From conversations I have had with avid Twitter users I don’t believe that tweeting about what you are doing at a specific moment is the point behind using Twitter.

However, as time went on I started to see the benefits of using Twitter to develop my personal learning network and as a way to develop a ‘support network’ of pre-service teachers like myself. I see how Twitter can be used as a great way to interact with other educators and learn from those who are very involved in using technology in the classroom. I do believe the best way to learn is from experience and what better way to learn than from others who have worked through what I will experience in my future classroom. I have learned about many tools such as Flavors.Me where I created my own flavors.me/nicolejreeve page and received help from people almost instantly through inserting a couple of #hashtags into my tweets. This was where I started to see all that Twitter has to offer.

Even though I see the benefits of Twitter I still struggle with wanting to continue using it. I find it very overwhelming to see how often people tweet. I  feel like I have learned to embrace technology both in my personal life and educational practices but I struggle with feeling like I need to tweet all the time or need to always have something to share. To be honest I feel like why bother tweeting if I am not tweeting several times a day or every day at all for that matter. Maybe this is just me not fully embracing Twitter, I really don’t know but I still have this uneasy feeling about it. I feel like if I truly embrace it as I see others doing I will have my cellphone attached to me at all times and I really don’t see this as something I want. Does this mean I should not use Twitter at all? Is it alright if I only tweet every once in awhile? I would find it interesting to hear what others have to say about this. I am kind of at a stand still with Twitter right now but don’t really want to give up on it either. Help me out if you can!

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18 thoughts on “Twitter Troubles

  1. I think its fine to tweet just once in a while. I too don’t use twitter to often, its not something that I have got a strong grasp on using but I am trying. I also think its crazy how people can tweet so often, but they do it through other ways of technolgy then just computers, thats the only thing I have that will allow me to, so for now my once in a while tweets are good enough.

  2. TweetDeck will definitely make you tweet more, if that’s what you want. It opens up a lot more doors too for finding resources, as it’s easier to find searchs and terms, half the reason you hash tag terms in your posts.

    But, I’m assuming your profs would have covered TweetDeck with you so I won’t get into that.

    That’s the only reason I can throw down ~100 tweets/day easily. TweetDeck makes it super easy to come across information, and then for you to pass it on.

    1. I will have to check out TweetDeck, I have heard of it but never looked into it. My problem still though is that I don’t know that I want to be tweeting 100 times per day. Does it ever get to be just too much?

      1. No, no. You are not celebrity. We don’t want to know what flavor coffee you had this morning so please don’t send out 100 tweets. Tell the people who follow you what you learned today because we might all benefit from that. Send out links to cool, useful, educational stuff you discover. 1 or 2 tweets per day is plenty at first. When you become an educational rock star, I’ll want to know what flavor you coffee is, K?

  3. I completely know what you’re going through. There are many days where I will go through hundreds of others’ tweets, and not tweet a single thing out myself. The large reason why I don’t have anything to tweet is because I haven’t found anything worthwhile to share. I think this will come when I start exploring resources on my own when I get more into teaching. Don’t feel compelled to tweet 24/7. If you can, great. If you can’t, definitely don’t feel the need to stop using it. I find so many incredible resources just from reading others’ tweets. The best thing you can do for yourself on Twitter is find more people to follow and they will likely follow you back.

    tarynrom is bang on with Tweetdeck. It will make your life as a tweeter much simpler and easier (if you haven’t already discovered it).

  4. You don’t have to tweet often, but try to do it at the same time of day when you do. Makes it easier for people to follow you.

    And I also say try tweetdeck

  5. I agree about Tweetdeck. Being able to filter your tweets by search terms or friends lists is very useful.

    And I don’t tweet everyday…I go in spurts, when I have time. I learn something almost every time I open it up, and I’ll RT useful things, or throw in things I find or learn.

    Twitter is a tool, just like anything else you’ll use. Make it work for you…however that looks in your life.

    Tina

  6. It is completely ok to just share once in a while. I have found that there are times when I am sharing all of the time then other times I feel so unproductive I wonder why anyone follows me at all. You need to find what works for you. There is no right or wrong amount of time to spend on Twitter and there is no rule saying you have to send out a certain number of tweets. You might not want to share very much now, but that might change down the road. Don’t feel guilty about not sharing.

  7. I too have a love hate relationship with twitter……It seems that most of the time it can be filled with useless information….however I have come to look at it like fishing……every once in a while you catch a real beauty, either a link or a quote…….one that makes you realize why you’re out there! Like Shareski………. It was really easy to skip his last 5 tweets, but then he puts a pearler (that’s good, by the way) out there, and now I get a new blog to read!!!

  8. I saw a tweet with a link the other day that I followed and I’ll have to go searching for it so you can hear the entire interview, but basically it talked about Twitter as a stream or river going by and you scanning the surface to see if there was something of interest to you. The person interviewed said to make it worthwhile the more people you follow, the bigger the stream and more information you could glean. He said you should follow at least 50 people for it to be a good resource, the more the better. It’s really difficult not to just scan, but you do learn to after a while. And then you can make lists to categorize those groups that are of more importance to you.
    I hope that helps some.

  9. I hear you! Twitter is intimidating. I’ve been wading into the waters for about a year now. I do a lot more reading then I do tweeting. After I read what everyone else is doing I feel like a slug! This isn’t such a good feeling so sometimes I want to take a Twitter break. However, it’s like an accident, I don’t want to look but I can’t help myself. I keep hoping that I am getting better … but how does one know? Maybe when I start to feel comfortable with my tweets? Let’s just agree to hang in there. If we are following the leaders in what we want to learn … we must be learning! Isn’t that what we want?

  10. I totally agree with Kyle…many days go by for me between tweets…but the amount and quality of resources/information on tweeter is unbelievable…also, you have to remember that twitter is searchable so you are able to find information in real time…very useful in my line of work…

    proof positive is the fact that i learned about flavors.me and was able to setup my own site and now can add that site to my toolkit of goodies – http://flavors.me/fucci – in the same vein you might want to have a look at Protopage – http://www.protopage.com/

    also, another twitter client you might want to look at is Seesmic Desktop – http://seesmic.com/seesmic_desktop/

    cheers
    frank

  11. It’s really OK to dip your toes in and out of Twitter. It’s not a competition to see who can tweet most (although for some maybe it is). I have unfollowed people who tweet endlessly as they can clog up your twitter stream with rubbish.

    When I first started using Twitter I was determined to not follow anymore than 100 people as I thought that I couldn’t hold more conversations than that in my head.

    Now I have made a couple of Twitter lists which helps me organise things.

    I have on private list called ‘Friends’. No-one but me knows who are my ‘Friends’ but that is my ‘must read’ tweets- people whose tweets I don’t want to miss on the global timeline or people that I have really met or feel I know through Twitter.

    Maybe it’s different in New Zealand with less people being in the same time zone but I am OK with missing out on reading all the tweets of my overseas connections.

    If they’re keen to converse they will @allanahk me or DM me.

    I rarely have tweets from my phone as we in NZ have to pay, pay, pay for the privilege and I’m not keen on that.

  12. I lurk (read other peoples’ tweets) much more than I actually tweet. I don’t feel pressured to share things, and I certainly don’t always have things to share.

  13. I echo the suggestion that you sort your followees into lists by subject. On days when it seems like the full stream is overwhelming, you can just look through your can’t miss contacts, like your real-life friends.

  14. I definitely think it’s acceptable to use Twitter on an occasional basis. I don’t plan on having Twitter hooked up to my phone either… I don’t even think my 3-year-old zero-dollar phone has those capabilities. Nevertheless, perhaps it is more important to spend more time at the beginning getting yourself set-up, finding people to follow, and perhaps even getting a few “followers”. After that, I think you should post when you actually come across something useful or have a meaningful question. I don’t need to know what you’re eating for lunch, so don’t feel guilty about not tweeting it!

  15. Worried about tweeting banal things? I’m pretty sure your professor is the king of that. I’d venture to guess that 60% of his tweets are about family/neighbors-who-supply-food/food itself (in that order), 10% are pictures of stains on his clothes from said food, 20% are questions he is outsourcing, 5% class related stuff, and 5% interesting links. No offense intended, either. He is an entertaining individual. That having been said. I know where you are coming from. I joined twitter a year ago and still feel awe-struck by the content put out there by some heavy users. It makes me wonder where their knowledge-spring is? How do these people find these things? I would love to be a knowledge-spring but I can’t spend all hours skimming and scanning the net with the intent of tweeting great things. I’ve allowed myself to become satisfied by simply “taking from the buffet of knowledge.” I’ve heard that twitter is like a professional development all-you-can-eat buffet. I rather like that analogy, because while many can enjoy the food-for-thought, we can’t all be the cook!

  16. @Dan,

    I’m sure you didn’t intent to offend and you really didn’t but I would be remiss if I didn’t defend your ballpark statistics.

    This site does some type of analysis and I think it recognizes I tweet mostly about learning. http://tweetpsych.com/?q=shareski

    That said, I do use twitter as a social tool moreso than most educators. I think that’s a bit of the mistake some people make. They see the end result of a time investment where people have developed relationships, not from a single tweet but from engaging and conversing. Then they are able to leverage their network for all kinds of things, like i’ve done for Nicole on this blog. Many teachers are looking for a way to connect but relationships and networks take time to build. If you don’t invest in other people, it will never happen.

    I think it’s critical to recognize the value of the “idle chatter”. As Howard Rheingold says, it’s the social glue that builds trust and norms of reciprocity.

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