A colleague a few months ago asked, “so how do I know when you have send out a message on Twitter”?
Good question – especially if you are new to Twitter.
It’s interesting to watch ‘newbies’ develop their own online etiquette and management of their Twitter use. Lots of options, but there are a few key tips that we could all keep in mind as we ‘tweet’ away.
1. Profile: Decide on a private of public profile (I keep my public, as I am happy to share my information finds with anyone who is interested). Make sure to put some key information into you bio – nothing worse than non-information!
2. Discuss and Collaborate: Use the @ symbol to reply to anything of interest, or to have a conversation on a topic. Using the @ symbol lets you know if someone has tweeted a message to you, started a conversation, or replied to a general query for help. Ah hah, here’s the answer to my colleague’s question.
3. Direct Message: I set up my DM to come to my email anyway, so I know if I have received an important message that I might want to jump right over to Twitter to respond to. After all, I don’t share my email with everyone but it’s a communication tool that is always at my fingertips – especially at work!
4. Keeping the Conversation live: Each time you jump onto Twitter (some people keep a steady stream open in the background using TweetDeck or a similar tool) be sure to click on your @messages and your DM (Direct messages).
5. Favourites: Nothing beats the knowledge power of the crowd. There are many good things to follow up at a later time. Just “favourite” the tweet – and when you have time later (weeks later sometimes) you can revisit all your favourites for thorough investigation!! I have to confess this gets away with me a bit – so the school hols are a good time to regroup and clear out your list
6. Digging deeper: Use the power of search to find tweets of interest on your area of interest. Of course, trending topics can be interesting too.
7. Bend it to your purpose: The power of the hashtag means you can keep a theme going, or focus on a workshop or conference presentation – sharing information with others. For example #necc09 brings back all the wonderful thoughts, ideas, reflections and information links from the NECC (National Education Computing Conference) Washington this year!
8. Pushing the information further: Of course one of the wonderful things of interconnected personal networks is the capacity to distribute and share information. The power of RT is one to watch – “re-tweet” – and Twitter etiquette encourages us to attribute to the original message. For example deangroom@heyjudeonline thanks for the link http://blabberize.com/ – is so funny – love the demo!
Is this all for real?
You bet! Organisations the world over are communicating to educators and librarians with relevant and important information. Libraries, Tech organisations, the Board of Studies NSW and other organisations, Tertiary libraries, publishers, media news and more. I have a huge collection @heyjudeonline – feel free to browse.
I think it’s fab when schools begin to use the power of Twitter. St Peter’s at Tuggerah @spcct are sending out updates to their school community.
I am running a Twitter account for our library at SimplyBooks – Promoting reading and good literature, as well as providing links and information about quality approaches to boys reading education.
My school, Joeys, is trying out Twitter for Live Sport Results on Twitter. Results will be updated regularly each Saturday throughout the season. The page will also include any last minute changes to fixtures and wet weather information.
Follow JoeysSport on Twitter and make sure you get SJC’s sports results as they happen.
For more insights into twittering for educators and librarians check out :-
Using Twitter to develop a PLN
Twitter Collaboration Stories
Nine Great Reasons why Teachers should Twitter
A Teacher’s Guide to Twitter
Twitter for Teachers
Top Librarian Tweeters
Twitter for Libraries and Librarians
I use HootSuite to manage more than one account – saves the login logout saga! Use the secret weapon – a Hootlet! to send a tweet to one or more accounts as you surf the web! Just use Tweetie on your iPhone to track and tweet!