A Quick Hello

ETC, Twitter and Me by Jessica Knott
“That sounds useless.”

“I don’t care what a bunch of teenagers are eating for lunch.”

“I just don’t have time for it.”

I’ve heard all of these arguments (and then some), and could not disagree more. Hello, my name is Jessica Knott, I work as an instructional designer at Michigan State University, and I love Twitter. Since I signed up for the Twitter service in 2007, I have watched it (and myself) evolve from “I just ate a sandwich” to “Does anyone have good resources for marketing my online course?” When used well, Twitter is so much more than a status update service, it is a wonderful communication and information gathering device.

From conference back channels to blog post sharing to chatting with friends, the greatest thing about Twitter is that it can be whatever you make it. I have had the great fortune of making friends and valuable contacts from around the world, and fervently believe that the opportunity to network is one that educators should take advantage of. We’re all doing such fascinating things, why not share them?

Twitter

That said, I understand that Twitter is not for everyone, nor will it meet the needs of all. I hope that, in my time here, I will provide information and resources you find useful to improve your Twitter experience, or help you in your implementation decisions.

I would love to hear from you. What do you want to see? What do you struggle with? What are your concerns? Let’s start the conversation! If you’d like to start it on Twitter, I can be found at http://www.twitter.com/jlknott or http://www.twitter.com/etcjournal.  Otherwise, don’t hesitate to e-mail me at jlknott@gmail.com. I look forward to “meeting” you.

2 Responses

  1. Hi, Jessica

    Great to have you onboard – we already follow each other on Twitter ;-)

    On Oct. 1, 2009, Lynn Zimmermann started another discussion on Twitter here with Twitter Could Drive You Cuckoo.

    When I first created a twitter account, I thought it was just a gimmick for silly egocentric exhibitionism, but why not? Who never has had a silly egocentric moment? I just wasn’t much into the exhibitionism part, personally, but if others liked that…

    Realizing that, as you say, Twitter “can be whatever you make it” took me a couple of years in which I never used it – actually forgot about it. Then I found out I could tweet my bookmarks, and started noticing the twitter links on several interesting blogs I followed.

    That lead me to ask if we couldn’t do the same here, and when the other blog authors agreed, to the ETCjournal twitter account. So far it has been one-way – i.e. just automatically announcing new posts and comments of this blog. Paradoxical for the use of a social application, but time-saving: the RSS feeds do the job. But maybe we could use this
    account more interactively?

  2. Hi, Claude!

    Lynn Zimmermann is absolutely right, Twitter CAN “drive you cuckoo.” It’s certainly not a tool that all will find useful, or a good fit for their goals. To reap the benefits of Twitter, it takes quite a bit of work which, in reality, has the potential to outweigh the benefits of the site.

    For Twitter to be a good fit, the person running the account should be social, collaborative and curious. They should respond to those who ask them questions while at the same time be on the lookout for new people to reach out to.

    Also, one should be cognizant of their demographic. I run into snags occasionally with my @jlknott account because of the number of audiences I interact with and am a member of. I’ve found that just being authentically myself has been the best way to address this. Trying to put forth several different personas on one Twitter account can be a recipe for disaster. :)

    For me, the power of Twitter is in sharing and networking. I’d like to hear what others are using it for!

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