Friday, 21 December 2012

Thing 7: Twitter

Picture from Flikr Creative Commons, Daniel Moyle's photostream

Twitter is something I've looked at before and have been a bit dismissive of: 

'So far, a bewildering maze of hashtags and retweets that resembles nothing so much as nauseating computer code. Not sure it's for me.' (Get chartered! 28 May 2012)

Six months later I am a daily if slightly tentative user.  I find it useful for following professional opportunities and openings, and the latest buzz talk in my profession.

This is all valuable for Continuing Professional Development which I'm very focused on, especially now, when chartership is one of my short term goals.

And the cacophany of Twitter began to sort itself out more meaningfully after Kate Lindsay's (@KTDigital) presentation on Twitter for Academia, part of the Oxengage.

I'm rather constrained by the fact our organisation does not want it used to publicise our Library (we use Facebook). To be fair, I can see the sense in this, as our students seem by and large much bigger users of Facebook than Twitter.

However, I do feel a scattergun approach to short bits of information is useful: you will catch some people via Twitter whom you'll not be able to catch via Facebook or emails. Also, as our student base is 'mature', many of them will have had jobs beforehand where they will have used Twitter and have an open and ready Twitter account.

And there is that 'keeping up with the Joneses' thing: I don't like to feel our library might fall behind all the other Oxford libraries which do use Twitter.

An extremely useful helpmate for Twitter I've found is: which helps me discover more about specific Twitter hashtag uses, so I can search specifically for topics of interest. 

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