On Twitter

Okay I’ve been meaning to write on this for a few days but I’ve been out and I’ve been tired and I’ve been out and I’ve been sick.

I’m not doing the 23 Mobile Things per se, but ‘Thing One’ was Twitter so I thought I’d write a bit about my thoughts around Twitter.

I’ve been using Twitter since February 2009. In the scheme of things that’s quite a while, but I know when I first joined for ages I felt like a newbie compared with those who had joined in 2006/2007. When I signed up it was after some pestering from a few fronts. Up until recently I still followed and was followed by all those people. I liked it almost straight away, although I had no idea what I was doing. It was like a little community and I would talk about all sorts of crap (I still do, yes yes I know) and I got to know a whole heap of people.

Oddly, a lot of the people I got to know were based in Melbourne. Over time I got to meet most of them in person, and I’d still consider most of them friends even if we don’t talk much. I met a lot of Sydney people too. I remember the first tweetup I went to here – at the Australia Hotel in the Rocks. I was absolutely terrified but decided to go on my own and I had a great time. Later I started going to events like #SHTBOX that was every Friday at the Clock Hotel in Surry Hills, until my liver couldn’t take it anymore.

My Twitter relationships with people have changed over time. I don’t always follow the people I know “IRL”, and the people I talk with online I don’t always want to meet. I have some long-term online chats going with people I have never met and possibly never will. Friendship circles have changed, some because of circumstance, some because of me, some because of others. As my Twitter followers have grown I’ve used Twitter in different ways.

I’ve always shared a lot of personal stuff on Twitter. I’ve always had lines in my head that I won’t cross. I probably share things that a lot of other people wouldn’t, but I have found a support network in Twitter. A lot of the people I am in contact with now I have met through either side going through bad times. I have tweeted, and seen people tweet, through bad withdrawals from antidepressants, through bad depressions, through breakups, through anxiety. Sometimes when you think you’re completely alone support can come from the most unexpected people online. 

My tweets have been silly and drunk and personal, but there are things I won’t talk about and I don’t. But since I have more followers I feel less comfortable about talking about things, which is kind of a shame. It can be an excellent way to communicate with people and I have an excellent network of people but I miss feeling like I can share anything. While anything you say online is out there anyway, when you KNOW 2000 people are watching it’s a little disconcerting.

At times I’ve walked away from Twitter for a break, and I’ve certainly considered deleting my account. Apart from wondering if I’d be quite left out sometimes, the thing that has kept me coming back is the professional development opportunities and my personal learning network. As a librarian I know so many libraries and librarians who are on Twitter. I love being able to reach out to them for help, but also to follow what they’re doing, keep up with their work and social lives, and bounce ideas off them. But my interests extend beyond libraries into the wider GLAM community, and research, science, politics … where else can I easily track and monitor all these industries and communicate with the people involved?

Twitter drives me crazy at times. I think it can be used any way you want it to be these days. There are so many different tools and guides for etiquette, you just have to find what works for you. I use public and private lists to try to keep track of everything, but I really need to update those really soon as well. 

I was enjoying being over at app.net because it was so quiet, you could talk to everyone, see the whole timeline, but I also missed the constant stream of communication. Now when I go there I feel a bit left out. I think part of the not being able to post stuff during the work day thing makes me wonder if I need yet another place to be sharing content and talking with people. But I should come back to there as well.

Really this was just a giant, unedited brain dump. So yes. Twitter. There you go. My thoughts.







23 Mobile Things

On the heels of the successful 23 Things for Professional Development program that got librarians around the world actively learning and participating in internet and web 2.0 technologies, Jan Holmquist, Pernille Saul, Stine Grabas and Sigrid Kjøller at Guldborgsund-bibliotekerne developed a 23 mobile things program.

Now Jan Holmquist has collaborated with Mylee Joseph and Kathryn Barwick from the State Library of New South Wales to create an English Language version of the course. The ALIA NGAC (Australian Library and Information Association New Generation Advisory Committee) and New Professionals Network NZ have combined to offer an Australian and New Zealand contingent, that started with an introduction period last week.

While the ANZ group has a timetable for each ‘Thing’, this is all really self-paced learning and a chance for librarians or anyone else to actively engage with 23 mobile things in their own way, but sharing their learning and achievements through social media.

The 23 Mobile Things are:
1. Twitter
2. Taking a photo with a mobile device:  Instagram / Flickr app / Snapchat
3. eMail on the move
4. Maps and checking in
5. Photos + Maps + Apps: Historypin / What was there / Sepia Town
6. Video: YouTube and screencasts
7. Communicate: Skype / Google+ Hangout
8. Calendar
9. QR codes
10. Social reading: RSS / Flipboard / Feedly / Goodreads / Pocket
11. Augmented reality: Layar
12. Games: Angry Birds / Wordfeud
13. Online identity: FaceBook and LinkedIn
14. Curating: Pinterest / Scoop.it / Tumblr
15. Adobe ID
16. eBooks and eBook apps: Project Gutenberg / Kindle / Overdrive / Bluefire / Kobo, etc.
17. Evernote and Zotero
18. Productivity tools: Doodle / Remember the Milk / Hackpad / any.do /  30/30
19. File sharing: Dropbox
20. Music: last.fm / Spotify
21. Voice interaction and recording
22. eResources vendor apps
23. Digital storytelling

Given that I’ve already explored most of the things on the list, I’ve volunteered myself over at ANZ 23 mobile things as a mentor and I’ll be writing a blogpost for them on  Photos + Maps + Apps: Historypin / What was there / Sepia Town. No doubt I’ll write something here on each of the other Things as they come up.  I won’t necessarily write in the same vein as learning about them, but I can share my thoughts, ideas, and experiences with them. This week has kicked off with Twitter, and I sure do have plenty to say about that.

Incidentally there is a new ALIA Social Media Group on Facebook that might come in useful, but for the moment I’ve decided that yet another distraction in my life cannot be helpful so I’ve left for the time being.

I’ll be interested to see what comes out of these projects, but it’s good to see people wanting to be engaged, play, and experiment, and I’m tracking  #23mobilethings and #anz23mthings over on twitter.