What I learned from Twitter this Weekend... 140 Characters at a Time

On my desktop sits a small app called Twitterrific. It's a small window, about 4"x5", that gives me a condensed view of the world by feeding in tweets from people around the world I have chosen to follow. This weekend I decided to select a few of the tweets for those of you who are still wondering what Twitter is all about with the hope of giving you a better understanding. They range from news, to articles, to life in general that caught my attention.

Relevant Articles

The first tweet that really caught my eye was a link by iThinkMedia to a Business Week article on Tufte, who is one of the masters of visualization design.

About 10 years ago, The New York Times crowned Tufte the "da Vinci of data." A more fitting title might be the "Galileo of graphics."

This is perhaps the number one reason I like Twitter, it is always rich with information that is quite relevant to my work. The original tweet that brought me that tidbit looked like this:

ithinkmedia RT @Mary_a_Myers RT @ibmdesign :Interesting BusWeek article @ Edward Tufte, master of visualization design http://is.gd/ZpNb

The message reads:

  • ithinkmedia: the person sending the tweet
  • RT: Return Tweet - the original senders of the tweet (clicking on the manes will take you to their Twitter page and if you think they are a person of interest you can choose to follow them)
  • http://is.gd/ZpNb: the link to the business Week article (the link is shortened in order to fit the character limit - another popular link shortener is http://tinyurl.com

Another informative tweet is from Marcia Conner on the Four-Quadrant Model:

It is a helpful reminder that there are other forms of learning besides formal and informal. We also have "nonformal" - learning, such as OJT, that is directed and led by someone other than the training department, such as a manager.

Amit Gautam tweets a link to Jane Hart's Slideshare presentation on Social Learning:

Of course not all of them are links, but rather pithy comments, such as this one from Teach Paperless that causes one to stop and reflect:

"Coming Clash: Social media is formative. High-stakes tests are summative. You see the problem coming down the pike, no?"

Of course some are not really relevant but quite interesting nevertheless, such as this one from Sahana Chattopadhyay that she makes 100 TWITTERS!

Other ones flow in, such as this one from Tony Karrer titled Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive and another one from Mick Yates on the 5 Habits of Successful Executives on Twitter:

  • They are their brand's conscience
  • They don't sell - They share
  • They are real human beings
  • They write well
  • They commit

I get three tweets in a row that Annalie Killian, Sharlyn Lauby, and Vanessa Haakenson are now on Facebook (@#%&*, I never got the memo we were supposed to join! Whateeever...). Via Annalie Killian, Sharlyn Lauby, and Vanessa

Update - via gsiemens on Twitter: "...and the facebook vanity urls start rolling in :)." (now it makes sense why I got the above three tweets all in a row... DUH!)

And more Facebooks are tweeted! Ed Shepherd via Ed Shepherd on twitter, Matthew Bibby via mfubib on Twitter, Sahana Chattopadhyay via sahana2802 on Twitter, Clark Quinn via Clark Quinn on Twitter, Guy Wallace via Guy W Wallace on Twitter, & Mick Yates via mickyates on Twitter.

Life Continues...

Many of the tweets give you a small glimpse into their daily lives...

". o O time for less ranting, more stats homework. And perhaps #bacon" - She Semper (the # is a hashtag for search)
"Just had two slices of pizza - 70 16" pizzas just delivered... yum..." - Peter Jones
On Lake James for the weekend. Escaping Lake Norman's weekend crowds and ocean sized waves. Ahhh. - Guy Wallace
Cool, Bug is really restless as our storm os coming up - everything is still and she's ancy - amazing what babies can sense Raj Boora

Conversation Happens

And finally, real conversations happen, such as this one:

  • sahana2802, "Am finding that it's becoming just as imp to point out source of critical info/content as to be the creator of the content itself."
  • shantarohse RT (Retweets) the original tweet
  • sahana2802, "@shantarohse all of us are editing the web in real time...a kind of impromptu learning management is happening that is working beautifully."
  • shantarohse, "@sahana2802 In that case, I think I would also add that while source is impt, so is the notion that all content is transient."
  • sahana2802, "@shantarohse yes, I agree. Perceptions and views are rapidly changing...especially so today."

Hints Roll In

"[#Captivate Tip] To paste an object on all slides, copy it; in Storyboard view, select All and Paste. Credit @rickzanotti (via @rjacquez)" - via mfubib on Twitter

Final Thoughts

I hope this post has been helpful for those who have not yet begun to tweet. As sahana2802 paraphrased/tweeted, "Twitter is about "Being in the NOW of Information Exchange" (via sahana2802 on Twitter).

Teach Paperless tweets "Yet another example -- and a big one -- of why we need to include Twitter in education: http://tinyurl.com/kwmh7g." (the URL he is pointing to is an article from the "Atlantic" -- The Revolution Will Be Twittered)

Of course like any media you have to be careful. While Twitter does have its bright spots ('#CNNFail': Twitterverse slams network's Iran absence), it does have its rough spots: Hey, Just a Minute (or Why Google Isn't Twitter)

And if you are tweeting, what are you learning?


Sarah Stewart said...

This weekend I learned how to get my vanity Facebook url and what web 3.0 is. But more important, I felt the friendly presence of people keeping me company while I was 'home alone' slaving away over a paper I was trying to write.

Donald Clark said...

Sarah, yes the "friendly presence" is always great. I work mostly from home and its like having a water cooler next to my desk.