Twitter: What’s the Point?

I have been saying for some time that Google+ has supplanted Twitter as the network I turn to for my self directed professional development. A few days into Connected Educator and I am realizing it isnt about supplanting but augmenting. Twitter does some amazing things for connected educators and that is where most of the connected educators I know reside.

The following is a cross post from a Google+ conversation in the #ooe13 Community on Google+

From Roz Hussin

+Debbie Morrison +Brendan Murphy +Debbie Fucoloro +Michael Walker +Rhonda Jessen +Greg Mcverry +Jeanette Melee +Eric Sheninger +Christina Hendricks +Karen Young +Julie A.C. Balen and I think there are a bunch of other names that I totally lost count.

OK folks… help me out here.

Six months ago, I decided I was going to learn this thing called G+ and Connectivist Learning. Then, it turns out, I found out that I was already a Connectivist, but didn’t realize that what people call “Connectivism” today, is what I called “Osmosis Learning”, way back when I wrote my thesis. Same stuff, different title. So anyway, six months ago, with the help of people like +Laura Gibbs and +George Station , and many others, I dived deep and binge learned everything there was to learn about G+. I did a 48-hour non-stop no-sleep immersion, and an intensive 2 month no-barriers no-limits full throttle. Blog post that described my G+ binge learning experience:
Discovery Learning

Today, I think I’m pretty comfortable in G+ and can coach others how to maximize its benefits for applied online Connected Learning.

But this thing called TWITTER….
I feel like such a Neanderthal!!!

Someone… please help me… I’m a “Cognitive Refugee” (Hussin & Kim, 2013) who needs someone to give me ZPD coaching (Vygotsky, 1978)… Pray tell… WHY is my brain NOT comprehending the LOGIC behind this thing? FYI, my thesis was a human interface study on SMS (short messaging system) -ie text messages. So I’m pretty good at the syntax shortening. So that is NOT my Cognitive Handicap with Twitter. Instead, what I don’t get is the non-linear non-sequential random dialog stream….

How do I respond to all the pings that flood my email inbox? How do I re-route those to somewhere else so that they do NOT flood my email inbox? How do I access what I want to access, and not have to scrounge around? What do I need to do to be efficient?


My Reply

Roz I use a metaphor from @paulbogush to guide my Twitter experience (well I learned his metaphor captured what I do).

Twitter is a large flowing stream. Most of what happens when you come to the bank happens in real time. Most of the time you do not care about the water that flowed before you were there or after you there.

Yet you may need to redirect the stream to water your plants or you might identify folks who you want to join you around the water hole.

Irrigating your Thoughts

This comes about from taming the stream. To do this use #hashtags and do not use the native twitter clients or website. On chrome I use tweetdeck and on Android I use Plume. This allows me to set up columns following specific hashtags. I currently have 18 irrigation pipes in my hashtag filtering down only the content I want.

Gathering Around the Watering Hole

You should follow people. In fact I reccomend looking at the lists of followers of people you respect. Yet edventually and very carefully the stream starts flowing fast. You need to decide who you want to join you for a cool sip of knowledge. This is the point of lists. I have list of literacy researchers, funny people, news sources, etc. Another strategy is to identify the people you interact with the most and create a list just off those.

Notification and Emails.

Simply put you can just shut these off. I leave them on when I am on Tweetdeck and Google now filters them all to my social tab so I can ignore them.

Still Paddling Upstream?

Who cares. You are awfully skilled at Google+ and Google+ does what Twitter does but better. You can cross post from Google+ to Twitter using Friendsplusme.

You would miss out though on a rather large community. This is especially true during conferences and live twitter chats.

During conferences I see Twitter as a collaborative and distributed tool for note taking and reflection. I often attend conferences I am not physically at or interact with people in other sessions.

I do live Twitter chats a few times a week. Even though they have an echochamber effect I find them reinvigorating. The key to these is again let most of the stream flow by. Choose a salient idea a few folks and discuss the topic more indepth.

If you do never get that is okay. Google is for me becoming a better differentnaffinity space for self directed PD.

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