Deepening the Conversation

thinking about questions of authority, technology, learning, and 2.0 in academic libraries

Can twitter do it all?

4 Comments

My good friend from library school called me out this morning for not including his blog in my blog roll. And I was stunned that not only had I had never added OpenStacks to the sidebar, I hadn’t noticed the absence! I’ve been reading it since Greg started the blog (and he was an early innovator! I don’t know if his stand-up early attempt at a photoblog is still available on the site. I hope not…)

And then I realized: I rarely read blogs anymore (other than posts announced from twitter). Since I started twittering (and then blogging myself) I spend very little time in my other social and professional online networks. I even commented to Tim S. about this at Computers in Libraries, that my twitter time has eaten into my LibraryThing time…

Which raises the question of quality: am I getting more quality out of a sense of community and a hive mind I tap regularly to resolve tough and easy questions, recommend readings, and otherwise support my work and fun than out of the biblioblogosphere in general? Is twitter robust enough to replace all the rest of the digital library ‘verse? Am I depending too much on 140 character missives??

How about you? Have your social networking habits been changed lately, and if so by what force? Am I part of a trend? Or am I just so thrilled to be following zappos shoes (not to mention the House and Senate floor!) that none of the rest of it really matters?

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4 thoughts on “Can twitter do it all?

  1. Tough questions, but good questions. I still find great value in reading the voices of the biblioblogosphere in chunks greater than 140 characters. But the conversations I have with those folks are largely taking place in Twitter and on Uncontrolled Vocabulary. I find them complementary. That said, I spend more time than is probably healthy staying on top of both streams.

  2. My blog reading is down somewhat, but Twitter hasn’t really eaten into that activity or much else. When I first started twittering I slowly let it get out of hand in terms of eating up my work time in a way that I decided wasn’t good.

    I went cold turkey off twitter for 2 weeks and then started using it again in a more balanced thoughtful way. I don’t twitter if I’m really busy. I don’t check it and post to it throughout the day so much, but try to relegate my twittering to lunch and maybe the last 15 brain dead minutes of the day.

    I’m sure that affects my ability to become part of the twitter community in a deeper way, but that’s a trade off I’m willing to make if it means I’m more effective and focused on my work.

  3. My blog reading is kept up only because I use rssfwd and send it to my email. I get frustrated and overwhelmed by feeds, whereas for some reason email doesnt seem so daunting and I can get to it when I want to. (Am I too old fashioned for my own good?). I rarely use FB and Myspace – those profiles are up for people who want to find*me*, but I don’t use them as networking tools. LibraryThing I also never used as a social tool, but more to keep a handle on my unwieldy personal collection.

    I do tend to drop Twitter when I get busy with RL projects and such, but it’s such a good way to see what’s the Topic of the Day among the inforati that I don’t see myself dropping it anytime soon.

  4. While my blog reading isn’t down (even though I still struggle with getting TO them, but that’s just a time issue.

    Like Peter, I let twitter get out of hand for a while, especially at work. What I’ve started doing to control it there is turn off updates to my phone while at work. MUCH less distracting, but I keep TwitterFox running for if I want to pop in, and I can always go back in and see what topics have popped up. The only times I have updates going to the phone now are when I’m on the bus or at home.

    To answer your question: no, twitter’s not replacing the blogosphere for me, but it’s supplementing it. I actually enjoy the “new blog post” tweets from some people with a little description, so in some ways, twitter is helping me keep up a little more.

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