Archive for the ‘Thing 7’ Tag

Twittering on (with added footnotes)

Ah Twitter.

Facebook was the start*. The start of the feeling that I was getting old. Twitter confirmed it. It’s the name I think, the whole vocabulary (tweeple, tweets, retweeting, hashtags). Suddenly I felt that maybe things were passing me by. I’m Generation X and Facebook and Twitter feel very much Gen Y or Z**.

So I tried to ignore Twitter at first. A few months ago, though, it became harder to ignore and I started looking and lurking. I realised how useful it is to follow conferences/seminars using hashtags when you can’t attend. Just this week, I’ve been reading tweets with the hashtag #exeter10*** to see what’s happening at the CoFHE/UC&R conference. Lots of other Cam23 bloggers have already described the value of Twitter for this kind of professional development and networking and I can only agree. If I had a smart phone, I would see the value even more. In terms of professional development for individual librarians, it has huge potential and the only problem is finding the time to keep up as things move so fast (again a smart phone would make a huge difference).

Twitter screenshotI know “it’s a conversation” and you should get involved, so I have tried tweeting and replying to people. However, I can’t say that I have found that gives me a huge amount more than I was getting from being a Twitter lurker**** to be honest.

On an institutional level, I remain to be convinced. Particularly for the smaller libraries, where there are always pressures of work and only limited amounts of time, I’m not sure that Twitter is worth it. This seems to be borne out by the experiences recounted by many of the Cam23 bloggers on this question. If, as a library, your users are primarily undergraduates then it seems that Twitter might not be something they use very much. Of course, this might change over time. I’m following quite a few libraries and related institutions now so it will be interesting to see if my feelings about this change with experience.

* More about this in a later Thing, I’m sure
** Where are the generations going after Z? Are my children Generation AA?
*** Figuring out how to type a # hash sign on my Mac required a desperate Google search when I first started actually tweeting
**** Doubtless called a “twurker” [shudder]

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