The Strength of Weak Ties

Everyone participates. Everyone contributes. Leveraging the power of digital networks to connect people, resources and ideas to drive creativity and innovation forward...and actually accomplish something!

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Evolution of Twitter...at least for me

When I first saw Twitter, I said big deal. Who wants to know that I'm going to the grocery store, taking a nap, doing whatever. So I didn't pay any attention to it. At NECC in Atlanta, I signed on and started using Twitter to keep up with what my colleagues were doing at the conference. So, several weeks after the conference, I now am following 59 people with 72 following me, and I have posted 154 tweets.

My Twitter account is filled with people that matter to me. Over the past several weeks, I've seen an evolution of what takes place in my Twitter account. It's much more than the grocery store tweets (but who can resist ijohnpederson's tweets?), it's about an almost synchronous network where people can share ideas, test ideas, ask for support on workshops, share resources and do it very, very quickly. And for the people that are in my account, quick and having access to others is a necessity...

For example, in my Twitter account you would find
  • David Warlick posting a question: " i wonder what a literal classroom as "social network" looks like?"
  • Brian Grenier asking for an opinion on a software package, Miguel Guhlin responds and gives him feedback.
  • Steve Dembo asking the Twitterverse to tweet him on a boat somewhere off the Bahamas. Dembo also asks for help on Skype and receives it.
  • Will Richardson hooking me up with a mobile texting singles Web site...
  • Chris Sessums letting everyone know he has a new post up on his blog, which I like because it alerts me to something that I know will make me think. Just don't miss his stuff...
  • ijohnpederson with a cool request for music to play at professional development events, check out the wiki.
So the tweets now have a different flavor to them- less about what someone is doing at the moment and more about serious questions and ideas, ideas and questions that need asking now.

With Twitter and Skype, I have access to immediacy. My aggregator and my del.icio.us network (18 people I follow, 80 who follow me) are more asynchronous, and not as immediate. I need both types of networks.

Twitter is not for everyone, but I would encourage you to try it- the ability to tap into some great minds when you need to can be very addictive.

Simply put, it helps me be better at what I do.

tags: twitter



4 Comments:

  • At 11:35 PM , Anonymous Brian Grenier said...

    David,

    Great summary and I like how you summed it all up..."it helps me be better at what I do." I just so happened to read this article right after reading Matthew Tabor's recent post about Twitter at http://tinyurl.com/35s4hy, talk about coming at the topic from two opposite ends of the spectrum, though both posts are valuable and enlightening.

    By the way, thanks for the link, I'm happy to see that the RSS feed into my EduSpaces blog is still active, as I post most of my thoughts first over at Bump on the Blog.

    Brian Grenier
    http://bumpontheblog.etowns.net

     
  • At 5:36 AM , Blogger David said...

    Brian: thanks for the comment, changed the link for you. David

     
  • At 6:14 AM , Anonymous Alice Barr said...

    David:

    Thanks for putting in to words what I have been thinking about the past few days. Like you I was wondering what the value of Twitter was. Last week I was planning two graduate classes and while watching Twitter got some great new ideas. I find it's the first thing I want to check everyday. Now about those RSS feeds... I'll get to them someday!

     
  • At 1:47 PM , Blogger David Warlick said...

    David, the more I think about it, the more Twitter is like micro-blogging. Now the task is to describe -- what micro-blogging is ;-)

    Later!

     

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