Week 1: Twitter

6 May

Welcome to the 1st mobile thing: Twitter.Twitter

As a long time twitter user, I was under the impression that I knew it all.  All about how to use hashtags, search, messages and more.

I was wrong.  I found various things I didn’t know and am encouraged that it is a great sign for how much more I am going to learn over the next 23 weeks.

Many of you will be using Twitter for the first time, welcome.  We would love it if you would follow us on @anz23mthings and use the hashtag #anz23mthings on your posts.

So let’s talk about twitter.


What is Twitter?
Twitter is a real-time information network sharing short messages called “tweets” that are just 140 characters long.  Twitter is a social network which allows people to choose which accounts they will follow and what information they wish to share with the people that follow them.   A lot of organisations, including libraries, also use Twitter.  Some examples include the National Library Australia, Auckland Libraries,  State Library of Victoria and Massey University Library.

For an introductory video please have a look at this video from Commoncraft, or check out this visual guide to Twitter.

A lot of individuals also use Twitter, including astronauts, celebrities (eg. @wilw,@algore), authors (@maureenjohnson@anitaheiss), sports peopleroyalty  and parody accounts.   There are also verified accounts as it is easy to imitate a person on Twitter (see the many accounts posing as Aung San Suu Kyi for example).  If you’re still not convinced that Twitter is for you, Ned Potter addresses some of the concerns people may have about Twitter in “7 reasons people don’t use twitter, and why ‘It’s a conversation’ is the answer to all of them“.

What is a hashtag and how does it work?
One of the features of Twitter is the use of hashtags.  They act as hyperlinks connecting conversations.  The use of hashtags to link conversations together has also carried over into other social networking tools like Instagram, Google+, Pinterest and Tumblr.  Hashtags are particularly useful for regular conversations such as ours #anz23mthings, natural disasters#eqnz,  sporting events and teams #cricket, events #ifla #tedx and conferences#sxsw.

What is Twitter etiquette?
Just like any community, there are accepted ways of communicating and behaving.  Here is a guide to Twitter etiquette.

How can library workers use it for professional development?

  • following conferences and seminars eg. #LIANZA
  • building a personal learning network (PLN)
  • keeping up with trends and industry news #npsig  #mtogo
  • sharing links to research and reports (eg Pew Internet)


What can I do to become a confident twitter user?

Go to the explore section on the 23 Mobile Things blog, they have a great list on what to do, starting with create your own account!!!!

Here are my 3 most important things to do once you have set up an account.

  1. Change your profile picture from the egg into one unique to you.  As someone said to me, ‘eggs are great to eat but not to look at on twitter’.
  2. Put something in your profile: having it blank makes it harder for people to know if you are real, and what your interests are.  For now, just putting in Librarian, or Library Student will be enough.
  3. If you are going to lock your account (keep it private), make sure you remember to check your followers regularly and follow people (like us) back.  Also private tweets do not show up in twitter captures or at conferences even if you use the hashtag so you what you say will not appear in any of our wrap up posts.  You can always lock and unlock your account, but if you do that, anything that is posted while the account is public, will stay that way.

But how do I do this successfully?

Here are some tips from long time twitter users on this very point:

  • Joining is 1st hurdle. Find interesting ppl to follow. Then leap into convos!
  • Don’t give up! Check regularly. Follow real people.
  • Don’t be an egg, butt in to discussions ppl don’t mind, be yourself.
  • too many celebs and brands/companies = boring timeline
  • My personal Twitter rule: Don’t tweet anything I don’t want my boss or mum to read..
  • follow people you know. follow people they follow. follow peeps who follow you. repeat
  • Check who other people are following. Don’t be afraid to block spam accounts
  • Don’t feel obliged to follow everyone that follows you

What is your advice?  Tweet it out with both the hashtags #anz23mthings and #thing1


We are having a google + hangout on Wednesday 8th May with Mylee, Kathryn and Jan at 8PM (NZ time) and 6PM (Australian Eastern Time).  Think of a question and put it in a tweet.  Don’t forget to use the #anz23mthings hashtag.

Have a think about how you or your library can use twitter to build up a community?  Interact with other Librarians or patrons?  

Developing a strategy for using social media to promote your library services or a major event like a conference requires planning and coordination (eg. Social media and ALIA Biennial)  How can you use it to promote an event at your library. like storytime or a workshop for undergraduates?


14 Responses to “Week 1: Twitter”

  1. bookmankimKim Salamonson May 6, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    Like you Kate I thought i knew Twitter very well. But I have learnt some new things about Twitter too. I use twitter in a number of ways

    keeping in touch with colleagues
    Using colleagues in industry to help recruit staff
    tweeting colleagues for reference help
    promoting a service
    Promoting change of library LMS
    advertising an event eg may music month events #MayMusic
    following conferences and seminars eg. #LIANZA2013
    building a personal learning network (PLN)
    keeping up with trends and industry news #npsig #mtogo
    sharing links to research and reports (eg Pew Internet)

  2. Susannah Peareth-Kinston May 6, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    I am a heavy consumer of Twitter and use it for professional and personal purposes.
    My personal Twitter account is updated almost daily and I regularly “retweet” postings by other users. I also utilise images and links, as well as the checkin maps utility where appropriate.
    The professional account that I am an administrator of is used regularly for marketing and promotion purposes for the library that I work at.
    One thing that I do find to be a disadvantage with this tool, is the inability to prevent certain users from following my account. It is possible to block these users, but only the more “savvy” of users would be able to find this utility. It is possible to delete posts that have been made, but it remains a bit more complicated to delete any “retweets” that have been posted.
    Ultimately, I find Twitter to be an excellent communication tool because it is not only more succinct than Facebook, it also negates the need for a “clogged up” newsfeed like Facebook.

  3. Jennifer May 6, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

    I’ve challenged myself to make 10 new twitter connections this week. Maybe thats a good challenge for others too. 10 individuals with similar interests, no institutes, companies, celebrities, no-one you know. You can start with me! @Flugeldar

  4. Jordana Lory (@iona34) May 7, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    I first joined Twitter in 2009 – and quickly let it go. I have now been back on for 2 weeks and have made a real effort to follow and to comment. I think I might hooked! I am using it mainly as a professional tool, but I have a list just for my peeps and a list for pure entertainment (which I keep as private lists). I now have 6 or so lists, which helps me manage my time on Twitter.

    • Kay Saunders (@ksaunders0) May 9, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

      Hi Jordana – I too joined in 2009 and never got involved apart from occasional lurking. Twitter as a professional tool can boost your personal learning network (PLN) – as commented by others here. I recently suspended my FB account (almost 2 months now) and I’m finding Twitter more relevant and mentally stimulating. It has also reignited my passion for the librarianship profession and that is a good thing!

  5. Freya May 7, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    Like others, I am an avid Twitter user, checking out posts at least once a day. Since Twitter is my primary social media platform, my account is a mixture of professional and private, and I really value the connections I’ve made during my Twitter journey.

    I think the temptation can be strong sometimes to keep Twitter “on the screen”, but some of the most valuable professional connections I have made have been eased into through Twitter. Having already established a virtual connection, I have felt more comfortable to approach people in real life, and having real life connections has enhanced the experiences I have with people on Twitter. Double win!

    Looking forward to exploring a bit deeper this week. Jennifer, I like your idea, and have headed off to follow you 🙂

  6. Alex May 7, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    I opened a tweeter account long ago and did not use it. Now I need to use it. What sould I do? What should I put in the wesite field?

    • Bonnie Mager (@BonnieMagerNZ) May 8, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

      The tips in the blog should set you up nicely to begin using twitter again. The website field is not compulsory but is a good way to link the account to your blog or facebook.

  7. Alex Gwada Yosia (@llokojonabura) May 7, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    Twitter seems to be an excellent tool for keeping in touch with family and friends. Am I right or wrong?

    However, How and why is twitter better then face book and other social networks?

  8. Ann Murphy May 8, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

    Hi there
    I have been lurking on twitter for just a year and have found it a great personal learning tool. It also feeds my Dr Who addiction. However last week when I actually had to do something, I discovered I really don’t know much. Including how to send a tweet. So far I don’t think I can from my phone (2 Degrees & cheap and cheerful). I’m still investigating.

  9. Chris Arthur (@ChrisJArthur) May 8, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    I’ve been using Twitter on and off for a few years now but have never really “got it” (as of today I have sent a grand total of 29 tweets and I have 24 followers). The tips this week are definitely helping me to look at it from a different perspective, and especially with organising the incoming flow of tweets. Still figuring it all out. Feel free to follow/tweet me.


  1. Mobile Thing 1: Twitter | Karen's 23 Mobile Things - May 7, 2013

    […] The link to ANZ 23 Mobile Things is here: Twitter […]

  2. #anz23mthings – Thing 1 Twitter | L-Plate Librarian - May 12, 2013

    […] This week I signed up for ANZ 23 mobile things. […]

  3. Evaluative Report | Peta Campbell - October 7, 2013

    […] ALIA NGAC (Australian Library and Information Association New Generation Advisory Committee) and New Professionals Network NZ. (2013). Week 1: Twitter. Retrieved from https://anz23mobilethings.wordpress.com/2013/05/06/week-1-twitter/ […]

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