I created the image above for my blog post: “Drinking from a fire hose
”. In this post, I shared my personal Twitter user-experience timeline:
Why would I want to tell people that I’m brushing my teeth? This is like facebook updates without Facebook -> But Claudia seems to think there is something to this -> Wow, these teachers are sharing great links -> I can’t miss a tweet, need to read them all -> I’m drinking from a fire hose, this is too much -> hey, I can narrow this by following a list in Tweetdeck -> and hey, I can follow a hashtag to focus this even more -> I can go away and when I come back, my network will still be there -> This is better than my RSS feed -> If I miss something in my RSS feed, and it is good, it will probably get back to me via twitter.
I went through the cycle, and now I’m here: ???
I still share and try to help people on Twitter, but now I’m also a lurker/spammer/moocher, and I mean that in the most positive way!?!
Lurker – I keep Twitter on in the background, and when I do look at it I tend to follow links and do some quiet reading, without Tweeting. I’m not ‘on’ twitter nearly as much as I have been in the past. But I love that my network shares great links and resources, and that this network reduces the fire-hose-like flow of information that I get from many different ‘streams’.
Spammer – When I do go on twitter I power-share. I throw out a bunch of the links I’ve read, I retweet, and I have conversations with people. I’ve been told by a couple people, new to twitter, that I ‘spam’ them: Since they only have about 20-30 followers they can end up getting about 25-40 messages from me in a row before getting something from one of their other followers. (If I do this to you, feel free to unfollow me, I won’t be offended… just remember to come back when your network has grown!) J
Moocher – Google isn’t the only place to find information on the web. Often, my social network, and Twitter users in general, do a much better job than search engines! Example: I have a question about Moodle so I ask it on Twitter with the hashtag #Moodle and I get an answer I couldn’t find on Google.
BUT… I do still share a lot, comment a lot on blogs and help others on Twitter. One way that I help people on Twitter, especially educators new to Twitter, is that I will often DM them this link after they have started following me: Twitter EDU
– Follow these steps and you will grow your twitter network much faster.
I deliberately ‘flipped’ the negative connotation to the terms above, and chose ‘spammer’ and ‘moocher’ as terms to go with ‘lurker’ because I think for many, lurking is a big part of what they do on Twitter, and that word tends to have a creepy/negative emotional connection for people. However, it is important to know that in Twitter, lurking is a natural thing, (everybody does it! J)
I use a different approach to get teachers and administrators using Twitter. I have them explore Twitter before they get an account, searching for hashtags that I provide them. More info here –http://tinyurl.com/7shqn6m
More evidence that lurking is good!
When joining a social network like Twitter, it is easy to either:
a) Get frustrated with it before you build a network that will help you more than you could ever reciprocate; or,
b) Get fully turned on to Twitter and have it become a fire hose of information coming at you too fast and too furious to feel that you can handle it.
Somewhere between these two points there is the balance that I’ve found which has placed Twitter as the second best Pro-D I’ve ever done! Twitter is second only to blogging… but that’s a whole other story
ps. For those that are in the #Digifoot12 course, I’ve had a lot of feedback that suggests my Netvibes page helps to narrow the fire hose a little by putting all the links you’ll need in one spot. Hope it helps and let me know if you think of anything I should add to it.