Friday, February 20, 2009

Four Twitter Reads

Curious about Twitter? As I noted in Serendipity , I'm into it for a specific reason. The great majority of my professional reading is derived from "tweets." I dip into my Twitter stream three or four times a day and usually reel in a blog or two. I generally tweet once or twice a day, recommending an article or offering up personal tidbit.

The following short articles are recommended reading for anyone curious about or experimenting with this red hot micro social media phenomena.

Twitter? It's What You Make It . I was amused by this New York Times piece, because David Pogue was as puzzled by Twitter as I remember being three months ago. B
ut Pogue has already correctly determined that Twitter provides different strokes for different folks. If you are patient, in a few weeks, you can easily mold it to fit your needs. It requires far less attention than Facebook, but is a fascinating way to connect to strangers with common interests.

Well Connected Parents W
hile teachers may be able to stave off technology because their job security does not depend upon it, many of our students' parents have become adept at using social media. As this Washington Post article indicates, they are already effectively employing it to lobby the schools. A 21st Century school should be interested in getting ahead of the curve with a social media design which includes parents. Schools should be friending, blogging and tweeting to stay ahead of the curve (see Staff Development, part 3).

GOP Is All Twitter. Anyone who followed the Obama campaign realizes that he absolutely smoked all comers with "Netroots" deployment of Social Media tools. This article indicates that Republican bigwigs already are determined to play catchup. I discussed the article with my AP Gov class and they felt that outreach through Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. would be absolutely essential to Republican cultivation of youth vote.

Text Remains King For my fellow English teachers out there who are rattled by the tech onslaught, Steve Rubel reassures that "Text is still king of the Web." The kind of text he rates important may not warm a lit lover's heart, but he certainly values facility with words, pointing out that Twitter is 100% text.

"My Social Network . . ." Flickr Creative Commons Photo by luc legay

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