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Twether or not to twitter?

Getting used to Twitter was a bit weird for me. Although I'm an avid user of some networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, I found that Twitter was really cut and dry. Only 140 characters can be used in the space provided, so you are very limited to what you can say about your current project, setting, feelings or mood. And I do love the idea of being able to communicate to people in a moment's notice, but I have also been pretentious about too much communication. (I don't like the idea of having to always carry my phone around with me to every room in my house.) I do feel that if I had a mobile device with access to mobile web, I would probably utilize Twitter and other "webifying" communications more readily.

In Connect!, they list chatting, Instant messaging, status updaters, wikis and voice chat/videophoning as great ways to "webify" beyond emailing. (Connect! p.143-150) In today's hectic world, one can get too caught up in all of these simultaneous multi-medias. I sometimes find it hard to talk to one person in the middle of a project because I'm trying to write a concise, yet meaningful sentence. Imagine if I was trying to type a conversation while doing that too...disastrous!

However, I can see how Jen and her colleagues used Twitter to their advantage, by getting the word out on important events in a very precise and quick manner. Thus, I think it matters what you are focusing on or where you are working to determine if you can utilize these webifying applications in your job setting. I find it hard enough to finish a piece of homework without finding someone else's Facebook profile to look at or some article to read on MSN. So where it may work for some people, I just don't think that Twittering is for me...

Comments

I agree with you in the fact that if you are going to use Twitter it depends on what you are working on or where you are working. You would need everyone that is working on the project to have an account, otherwise it's not so effective. I personally think it is easier to call or text someone to give them a quick update since it is more likely that they would have their cell phone with them rather than a laptop. I don't even have a laptop, so if I'm not home sitting right next to the computer, I'm not going to get the update in a timely manner. It is also a lot easier to get side tracked while using these types of sites.

I think I understand what you are saying about Twitter. I am also an avid fan of social networking sites like facebook and myspace so I signed up for Twitter after reading an article about it in Wired magazine. I only found four people so it wasn't that much fun for me originally. Now that I'm following the class I find it more interesting.
I also sympathize with your opinion on how technology can interrupt the progress you are making. When I worked for Hennepin County many years ago, they used an awful chat system. You would be working on a document and suddenly the chat box would appear right in the middle of the screen! It was very distracting.

It seems like everyone is having similar feelings - we can all see Twitter being a powerful tool, but personally, we don't have much use for it. I think if we were all in a really close knit job, even such as our class, it could be much more effective.