Friday, April 6, 2007

Twitter - Just a start

I have been playing with twitter now for a couple of weeks. Although it is still in the toddler stage (I believe there will be a host of enhancements), it has the potential to change how we network with existing teams. I encourage you to explore it. Here are my first observations.. and remember I am a newbee..

- Instead of seeing it as a tool for meeting new friends.. expanding my network, I now see it more as a tool for enriching existing relationships. For example, in June I will go to a huge conference.. There will be 1000s.. of people there, many sessions.. Twitter will help me keep in touch with all my friends and yet, allow me to be where I want to be when I want to be there.

- There is a certain level of vanity in telling other people what your doing. It seems there are way more productive uses of this technology. Areas like group learning, shared understandings of a speaker, and other knowledge areas come to mind. With so many people online.. it will be interesting to see if norms evolve... if group theory also applies..

- I have a small number of friends so far.. I am wondering what happens when your numbers increase. The structure of other ways I work seems to drive me to compartmentalize my friends into working groups. To share revelant information with certain groups so I do not overwhelme others with content. Still wondering about this one..

Well.. I invite you to join me on Twitter. Join and then make me your friend.. see you there...


Anne said...

Mitch this is exactly exactly what I have been thinking about the value of Twitter. Many describe Twitter as a waste of time and few can articulate its usefulness.

Yes, it can be a waste of time. However, after only a few days of using Twitter and have only a few friends, I realize that one of the potential advantages of using Twitter is building relationships.

Though I have known you and my Twitter friends professionally for many years, there is plenty I don't know about you folks. Reading a few updates from each you periodically, I have learned more about you as individuals. These small peepholes into your lives will help me "connect" with you better the next time I see them.

Most of your posts had little to do with work, but each post provided a small bit of information that leads to a better understanding what is important and what strikes your fancy.

Learning about individuals who are your colleagues, your professional peers, and your clients can be extremely helpful in educating and providing services.

As far as compartmentalizing my friends into working groups, do not worry about dividing up friends to into work areas. Use Twitter loosely. Twitter allows for snippets of information (How much can be said in 140 characters?).

I am ready to expand Twitter friends with other people outside of my physical domain (any within my own organization are welcome to join too). Watch for a blog post for an Extension-target invitation.

Beth Kanter said...

I have about 150 "friends" and it hasn't gotten too noisy yet. I find that I dip into to twitter for information. I've found it useful to pick up breaking news or when friends have just blogge something.

I'm working on a web2.0 presentation for people who work in Extension and I discovered your blog. I wonder if you could share some of your thoughts related to these questions: