March 16, 2010

This week’s interactive journalism assignment was to set up a twitter, start tweeting, and get a bit of a following. All of this was very easy. Remarkably easy, actually. Finding folks to follow is pretty easy – especially with a blogroll to loot and a keen interest in the PAX writers. Followers were also pretty easy to come by – most individual tweeters that I followed, with the exception of the PAX writers and a few classmates, started following me.

The most difficult part of tweeting was coming up with something to tweet, and remembering to put in the correct hashtag (for the most part, I forgot, which resulted in a bunch of re-tweets with additional hashtags). I didn’t want to be one of those people that tweet about what they’re thinking about wearing, what they had for breakfast, whatever mundane thing they’re doing at the moment. And, being the sort of grad student that’s consumed by a constant influx of homework, I find it hard to come up with meaningful posts – I don’t get out much. But, the requirement was 10 posts over the course of 5 or 6 days, so it wasn’t that difficult. If anything, it made me think more about what I was doing, what I was thinking, and whether it might have any value to anyone else who happened across my twitter feed.

That, I suppose, is what I liked about twitter. Having to evaluate what you say, what it might mean to others, before posting it up for all to see, is never really a bad thing. Granted, not everyone does this when tweeting, but depending on who you follow, you can filter that stuff out. I’m not particularly fond of having to constantly check the site to find out what’s going on. It feels like I’m missing something if I’m not checking up on the feeds I follow, but, even with the 140 character limit and the meager collection of feeds I am following, it’s almost impossible to keep up. It’s too much information too fast. In a way, it’s a good thing to recognize right off the bat though. If I learned anything, it’s that keeping track of who you’re following, and limiting the feeds you follow to those you’re actually interested in, is key to getting what you want out of twitter.


One comment

  1. I’ve found Twitter’s much more manageable if you just treat it like a pure info stream, and don’t worry about what’s flowed by when you’re not paying attention to it. Major stuff will get re-tweeted enough that you’ll see it eventually, minor stuff is minor and not worth stressing about missing. The few things that are important enough that I want to track (my username and mentions of Norwescon) I subscribe to RSS feeds for those search terms so I see them whenever they’re mentioned no matter what.

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