Tag Archives: twitter

Goodbye Posterous

I started my Pair-a-Dimes for Your Thoughts blog on Elgg, because a friend invited me there to try out this think called ‘Blogging’. Elgg moved to Eduspaces killing all of my back-links. Frustrating. Eduspaces was being bought out and so I had enough and moved my blog to DavidTruss.com. Once there, and while in China, I decided to move my little-used Posterous site to this address, as a place to easily upload photos of what I thought would be a daily hand-written journal. That didn’t last long.


But Posterous was nice and simple. Put a link to a video in an email, or email a photo, add a few comments in the body of the email, then put the title in the subject line, and even add some tags in brackets if you wanted. Then send the email… instant post.

But then Twitter bought Posterous. Instead of slick integration, like post a Twitter Thread or Storify… Twitter killed Posterous. Sad. Really Sad.

This is why I moved my blog to my own domain. This is why I suggest everyone do the same. Spend some hosting money, and claim your own part of the internet. Use wordpress, it’s free and you can even set up posting by email, although in the ipad/iphone app era, even that isn’t really needed.

I’ve lost archives of student blogs on Elgg, and also on Ning sites after they went from free to fee. I still have links to ‘retagr’ and ‘explode.us’ which were identity pages that are now defunct. But I’ve paid for DavidTruss.com until 2018, and I pay yearly or bi-yearly for web hosting and now I don’t have to worry about big company x buying out cool company y and making it go away because x and y don’t want to create happy formulas together.

Goodbye Posterous. You’ll be missed. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to tweet about this post.

DigiFoot12, Twitter, lurking and drinking from a fire hose.

This was Week 2 – “Tweet Me” in Digifoot12. It was all about Twitter and Kim Gill @Gill_Ville was a great host!

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.

Which brings me to another graphic by Alan Levine @cogdog, check out his wiki page on the Twitter Life Cycle.
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)

And now, a great quote by Craig Nansen @cnansen, which came to me via Miguel Guhlin @MGuhlin‘s post Gongs and Cymbals – Twitter Tinnitus.

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.

Balance and a river of information

Almost 2 years ago now, I had to seriously shift my attitude around online information. I was gullibly trying to read every tweet in my ’stream’ and diligently trying to keep my unread items on Google Reader at a handful. I saw these as pools of information and I wanted to hold on to the information that came into the pool. It was too much. The shift for me was seeing information as a river. Now, I’ll paddle along the stream, but when I get out, I don’t feel the need to pay attention to the stream of information that goes by. It has been liberating.

The key is finding balance rather than being inefficient as I tried to demonstrate in this 4 slide presentation I did for a Connectivism course:

That was the first assignment for the course and it helped me decide to drop out of the course as I tried to seek balance.

I think I’ve made a few points, but if I could make one more it would be that my life still lacks balance and I still spend too much time online… but 3 years ago I would have ‘wasted’ that same amount of time, or more, watching TV. In the wise words of the Comedy Network’s tag-line… to me my online life is ‘Time well wasted’.

~ The idea behind a post I’ve written in my head about 50 times… some day I’ll really expand on this idea on my Pairadimes blog.

The original post for the slide presentation is here: Connectivism, Relationships and Balance. But it is in the comments that the ideas behind the presentation really came out. 

Will Richardson ‘Almost Live’

So it didn’t quite work as planned, but then things seldom do.

I started to watch a recorded Will Richardson presentation and he had a backchannel going. I went to the link, but it had expired. I thought to myself, ‘wouldn’t it be great to start a new chat with some people and have our own backchannel conversation while we watched!’

 I decided to go on Twitter and invite others to join in and watch Will ‘Almost Live’ (#WillAlmostLive) with me. Patrick Larkin in Burlington, MA, USA joined me, Beth RG popped in, and Shannon Smith from Ottawa tried to join us. It was bad timing since although it was 8:30pm here in China, it was the start of a work day back in North/South America, and 11:30pm in Australia, where I seem to have most of my connections. 

Will Richardson said on Twitter: “@bhsprincipal @datruss Let me know what I say. ;)” – It would have been great to actually have him join the back-channel though I’m not sure I’d want to relive my own presentations in that way. 

Problems arose: Although I pre-loaded the video, (my connection here is painfully slow), it still stopped at about the 11 minute mark with over an hour to go. I couldn’t get the video to reload, and Patrick couldn’t get the slide show on Google documents. 

Solutions: Patrick Skyped me in and I copy-pasted quotes and points into the backchannel chat. I listened to Will Richardson’s Minnesota presentation from China, via a Skype call from Massachusetts, while Patrick in Massachusetts was getting the content of the presentation from China. 

We typed rather than talked so that we could listen to Will. We still had a good backchannel conversation. Although it wasn’t quite as planned, it was enjoyable to share in the learning. 

I still think this is a good idea. Why not run a conference session after the conference session? It’s far more engaging to have the backchannel running and sharing thoughts and ideas with digital colleagues. 

Asynchronous to the actual event, but synchronized to other learners. An ‘Almost Live’ presentation. 

Twitter EDU

UPDATE: This post has been vastly improved on, and made into an ebook.

Click here to access a free copy of Twitter EDU.

Below, you’ll find the material that just one chapter of this ebook is based on. The ebook is much more comprehensive, just as easy to read, and engages you with Twitter while you read.

Pick up your copy here. 

Update: January 8, 2017


Some simple advice to set yourself up for success on Twitter– BEFORE you start following people:

1. Add a (tasteful) image.
2. Put something in your bio that says you are an educator.
3. Add a link. Don’t have a blog, use your district/school website, (this is the most optional of these 5 points).
4. Actually tweet a few times. Find a resource or two and share them.
5. Before following other people, add a tweet saying, “I’m an educator from (Country/City/State/University/Course/choose 1) trying to get started on Twitter.”


Do that and you’ll get WAY more follow-backs than if you follow someone with no details and a rookie egg image that Twitter gives you.


Follow me: @datruss (Do the 5 things above and you have a guaranteed follow-back from me!)


And follow some of these great people… I do!


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Related: The complete guide to building a digital footprint.