Welcome to the 1st mobile thing: 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 people, royalty 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.
- 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’.
- 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.
- 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?