Friday, July 11, 2008
Another Tweet From NECC2008
The picture on the left was taken at NECC2008 during a facilitated discussion at the Bloggers' Cafe, "Blogging and Twitter Etiquette: Are there rules that govern the way we should interact in this wild west of the web?" (Watch the stream here.) While the conversation provided me with valuable insight, I still came away with a few unanswered questions, particularly about how people manage their use of Twitter.
Here are some questions I have with my answers as well. I'd like to hear from others about how they use Twitter.
1. How do you choose who to follow? When someone wants to follow you, you get an email letting you know. Do you click through to see who they are? Or do you ignore it? For me, depending on what my inbox looks like at the time, I may or may not tend to my Twitter mail. My intention is to click through to check out who the person is. Then, I look at their tweets. I also look at the # of people this person is following. If this person is following over 1000 people, typically that prompts a click to close that tab.
2. Jeff Utecht asked for a show of hands for everyone who ONLY followed other educators. Only a few people raised their hands. Raise YOUR hand if you only follow other educators. I follow people in all sorts of professions. Learning and FUN happens at the most unexpected times. For me, Twitter is not just about teaching and learning. Hey, I have a life too!
3. Do you feel obligated to follow someone if they @ you? This came up during this discussion and I said, "yes if I respond to the person and have a discussion back." I also offered that I have had times where people will carry on discussions with me when I @ them (over multiple instances), but they still do not follow me, which is ok. I understand that some people who follow their Twitter streams closely might find it distracting with too many people's tweets scrolling through, however... sometimes (often, actually) these people might DM (Direct Message) me. Since they do not follow me, I can't DM them back. So, although I don't really care who follows me or not, I do find that a bit frustrating.
4. Have you ever blocked someone? I have blocked a few people but not many. The only people I block are people who have crossed the line on being creepy. Truthfully, blocking people is silly anyway because it's so easy to create accounts. If someone wants to follow you, they can just create another account. But, it makes me feel powerful. So, there you go.
5. Have you ever received an email from someone asking why you are not following them or why you unfollowed them? How did you respond? How should you respond? I received an email from someone and I responded very nicely, but I should have just ignored it. I have an issue with trying to be nice to everyone. I'm working on it. :)
6. Do you think there has been a natural evolution of etiquette on Twitter? Clearly Twitter was not intended for the "conversation" tool it has become, yet people are actively enjoying the networking benefits of using it that way. What etiquette has emerged and what do you think is still needed? I think people have realized that others get annoyed with too much personal chat in Twitter so they move the conversation over to Skype or other IM clients. I also think people are using more DMs for personal conversations. My suggestion for etiquette "rules" are these: Heed the two mentioned above and do not DM someone who you do not follow. They can't DM you back and it calls attention to the fact that they follow you and you don't follow them. If you aren't sure, it would be a nice gesture to check before you reply. -just my opinion and since it's my blog, I get to give it. :)
6. Have you changed as an educator since using Twitter? I have. I've become much more aware of the many professional networking opportunities. I've also had much easier access to many people who have helped me grow professionally and personally. The way I view education has changed and the way I structure staff development has changed. For me, Twitter was the gateway drug.
7. If you are not a Twitter user, after reading this, are you inspired to give it a try?
I'm looking forward to reading your comments. Thanks for visiting my blog.