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Twitter is effective, but I don't think I need it...

Twitter is interesting Web 2.0 application that I had heard of, but never actually used myself until this class. The main reason I have not used it until now is that I did not see much use for it. When I first saw Twitter about a year and a half ago I just shrugged it off as being exactly like the “status� option on Facebook. I thought if I had Facebook to tell my friends what I’m doing, why do I need Twitter?

After reading the articles and watching Jen Wigham’s video, I can see that there are some potential positive uses for Twitter in the workplace. As Jen mentioned, It helped the Uptake team stay coordinated and get feedback from there user base such as the instance she mentioned where their reporter got arrested.

The Anywired article also mentions how Twitter can be used for workstreaming. Skellie defines a workstream as, “a live updated record of work you’ve completed. When doing group work with remote colleagues, it allows you to keep track of what everyone else is doing. When working solo, it helps you keep track of your own productivity� (Skellie). Twitter makes this easy because it is easy to update and concise (under 140 characters) so it is easy to follow as well.

The Connect! article mentions Twitter as a substitute for email, which from my experience with Twitter this week and Jen’s video it seems like a very effective substitute. For instance when I updated my Twitter, all I had to do was go to Twitter.com and type something quick into my home page and everyone following me could see what I was doing. It would have been much more complicated for me to send an email addressed to everyone in the class to tell them what I’m doing. Twitter is a faster and easier alternative.

But as Jen mentioned, there is some downsides to Twitter as well. The ease and ability for people to post information allows them to post virtually anything whether it’s factual information a lot. Also on a personal basis, I don’t feel that I have too much use for Twitter. I’m OK with not knowing what my friends are doing every second of the day. To me it seems a tad creepy to know where my friends are at all times or to let everyone on the internet know where I am at all times (Yes, I know there is privacy features that can avoid that). It just doesn’t seem like that necessary of a tool to me right now, but if I had an actual use for it such as the Uptake team then I would consider being a full time Twitter user.

Comments

I really like how you focus on the positives of Twitter, explained by Jen Wigham. I agree with you that it does force you to focus and it keeps everyone on the same page, hopefully.

Even though you mentioned that you don't feel you need Twitter, you really did a great job of seeing both sides to it before making your final decision. Kudos!

I agree that it is a tad creepy to have someone know what you are doing or thinking all the time and that you don’t always want to know what your friends are doing or thinking. There are definitely some privacy issues with using Twitter like the potential for some serious stalking to take place (just like Facebook stalking). But after using it this week, I was excited to hear about what people were doing. I think it is especially useful for this class now in the first few weeks because it gives us a chance to get to know each other. As the week has progressed and more members of the class have joined Twitter, it’s been fun to go to the page and see what they wrote. I think Twitter provides us with a basis to get people on board together and move forward with the class.

I agree that at first I felt like having a whole site dedicated to something as simple as the Facebook status seemed a little crazy. I couldn't understand why it would be useful, but in Jen's context, it seems like a really powerful tool. I do feel however, that the limitations Twitter imposes (e.g. word count) should be lifted a little bit even for people who use the site effectively as Jen does.