Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Twitter - It's All About the Conversation

In light of today's #140conf (nyc.140conf.com) I thought it would be timely to bring back Jeff Branzburg's witty Twitter Comicstrip. Enjoy!


  1. I've asked this before and no one has yet to answer reasonably ...

    What can twitter do that a BBS can already do more efficiently, if "sharing ideas, thoughts, opinions, experiences" is the primary goal?

    Plus, a BBS doesn't limit one's thought processes. Personally, I find the 140 limit ridiculous and catering to those with limited attention spans. It compels people to write in this subliterate "netspeak" style as well, which is maddening to have to try and read, to say the least.

  2. Unlike a bulletin board, Twitter provides a social hub that is easily searchable. As Jeff states, it's a great idea starter and conversation builder. Great for folks to get succinct points across and also lead folks to other places where they can have deeper conversations online or in life.

  3. I have to agree with Lisa. For quite a while I saw no purpose in Twitter. I still think it is frequently inane. However, in certain circumstances under certain conditions it serves a purpose and fills a niche quite well. Here's an example - when Chris Lehmann's SLA hosted its annual conference this year, I could not attend. But it was broadcast on Elluminate. Many people who viewed the sessions on Elluminate also 'tweeted" about them. I was trying to take copious notes, but of course missed many salient points. Viewing the Twitter feed helped me to gather those points that I missed. The real time, live aspect was invaluable.

  4. I guess I have a different idea of being "sociable." To me, the act of sociability must include being among flesh and blood people in real time, being able to hear their voices and the nuances of their speech patterns, observing their body language, or put more simply, concrete vis-a-vis contact. The internet represents for me a far too abstract means to socially interact, which is why I don't do facebook, twitter, etc. I'm on LinkedIn, because that serves as my on-line employment portfolio. I could exploit the network features but I don't see the point when I'll likely never meet in person the strangers I could connect with.

    Jeff B. has a point, this twitter app can be applied to absurd ends, what I consider the "I'm feeling like Sugar Pops right now" kind of drivel. Remember this study? 40% of tweets considered to be "pointless babble."


    That's a rather stinging indictment on our society, but not an unexpected one.

  5. Jeff: I'm taking the liberty of quoting some tweets here while trying to figure out how they qualify as part of a true "conversation." To me, these samples are no more than incomprehensible and incomplete thoughts, quite impossible to follow, much less read. Is this what we we consider to be "innovation," to trivialize meaningful conversation and the English language? Do people actually speak this way? No, they don't, and nor should they!

    The authors below sound like sufferers of attention deficit, quite frankly.

    @XXX: re: Animoto pt 2: student making movies (service learning, public announcement). Tchrs get edu acct (full access)

    RT @XXX: @XXX: Tilt-Shift #tutorial to create 'miniature model' effect from a normal photo. http://bit.ly/16JUyd #photoshop

    @XXX: W00t! Thanks for both info! I'll bkmark it this time :-)

  6. Mark - it took me over a year to "get twitter". Once I did, wow, it opened connections to people I would never have met face 2 face. There are people on twitter that know stuff or other people that you need to know. You just don't know it yet. There is no other tool available today that can help you make those important connections. It truly does facilitate building a professional learning network from which you can learn so much from, quickly. Yes some people, in my opinion, misuse it as a social tool mainly - they should move that to facebook I think. But you can always unfollow those people - I do.

    So essentially, think it as your conduit to virtual people you need to meet. This supplements your "real world" network of colleagues and friends.

  7. Brian: I am all for information and opinion exchange with other professional people. For example, that's what we're doing here and it's great! What I can't support is an app that's going to limit me to some arbitrary limit that forces me to resort to either multiple posts or "netspeak." As mentioned before, I can't lower myself to using "netspeak." Netspeak is not representative of proper professional communication. If kids want to use it with other kids, fine, but adults should hold themselves to a much higher standard.

  8. Mark: I certainly agree with you regarding the couple of tweets you quoted. Not much there. I think, though, when I look at a focused exchange (such as the example I mentioned in a previous comment) there is something to be gained. I look at it as one more way to communicate and converse. Not replacing other ways, but in addition. Just like this interchange of comments on this blog is one way to communicate and share thoughts and ideas. To me, it all helps.