Friday, October 17, 2008

more on twitter

So I was cruising through these sites of ed-tech people, all of whom had great sites; I can't remember at the moment which ones. But several of them had been at a single ed-tech conference, listening to a speech and playing on their mobile phones at the same time. Mobile phones these days are all connected to Twitter, which allows people to make short comments and respond to each other quickly. So anyway all these tech denizens are in an auditorium and start "backchanneling" which of course I might be completely misunderstanding. But I take it to mean that a very lively conversation erupted entirely on Twitter, starting from or at least happening because of their proximity to this speech, but entirely independent of the speech.

Twitter for some reason is immensely popular with the tech crowd, who like to have a virtual roomful of friends at their fingertips when any given tech problem arises, and thus take advantage of a huge collective wisdom pool instantly as the need arises.

It is loathed by others, however, since a superficial look at the volumes of "tweets" that are happening all over show that Twitter is keeping a written record of all of everyone's movements, here, there, left, right, whatever you're doing. It scares people; they can hardly imagine wanting to know, in writing, so much about so many. I don't know, really, what to make of it; I myself get up there once in a while, but forget, often for weeks at a time.

The first link below, I believe, shows a movie of Michael Wesch actually using Twitter in a classroom. The second expresses the kind of ambivalence I feel about the whole enterprise. The third is an amazing little expression of how social networking has become a world of its own- and, whether in Facebook, Twitter, or Meebo- everyone's doing it, it seems. At every conference, in every classroom, I would guess.

Twitter handbook (2008, August 9). Using Twitter to make history... and create the future. Twitter in the classroom. Accessed 10-08.

O'Kelly, C. (2008, Apr. 17). Twitter: Smart networking or reputation disaster? Accessed 10-08.

O'Kelly, C. (2008, Apr. 2). Gauge your social media IQ in real time with HubPages. Accessed 10-08.


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