Tag Archive | twitter

A final ramble up and down the SMDL

Hurrah! This is the final week of the Social Media Driving Licence, 8 weeks of intense and fun learning.  We ventured into the obscure and unknown world of social media, and guided by the hand of super savvy online gurus we’ve been enlightened and given a solid grounding on the use of the most popular applications.

I joined the programme with one clear objective in mind; I wanted to stop being only a visitor and become a resident on the different platforms. I’ve been using social media for some time, both personally and professionally, but always lacked the confidence to interact with people I didn’t know. What this course has given me it’s the perfect motivation to be more active, mainly on Twitter, and to reinforce my understanding of social media in general.

Am I a Twitter resident now? I’ve definitely stopped being an observer, I’ve tweeted more on these last 8 weeks than what I tweeted in the 3 years since I signed up. As a consequence, my number of followers has gone up and I have even had conversations, how exciting! Having more followers me gives me a kind of (good) pressure to keep tweeting and also a motivation to be out there. I’ve learned to enjoy Twitter, and I feel a lot more confident and a lot less apprehensive when tweeting on behalf of my team. So, maybe not a full-time resident yet, but I’m a Twitter resident in the making.
What have I enjoyed the most? First of all, listening to other participants’ experiences and views on the different tools.  The Lego Serious Play session was a great opportunity to unite our experiences, fears, learnings and views on the course. I also enjoyed learning new tricks or tips on using the different tools, i.e. Twitter etiquette, live-tweeting. And loved the opportunity to explore new products, such as Google+ and Storify. I might no be adopting these tools, but I’m glad I tried them and now I know how they work.

The SMDL has helped me to realise that, at least for me, sometimes it’s ok to be a visitor. Some tools suit my personality and working style better than others, and I’ll be a resident on those that I feel comfortable enough to leave a trace. What’s important for me is not to be afraid of social media, to be aware of its pros and cons, and learn how to use it for my personal and professional development.

Finally, a BIG thank you to Ange, Andy, Georgina and all the people that helped to put this course together. It was an awesome experience!

Image credit: peddhapati via Flickr Creative Commons

Live reporting… or maybe not

We’re on week 4 of the CJBS Social Media Driving Licence and this week we’ve been tested to the limit with a Tweet-a-thon. For most of us, this was our very first live-tweeting experience and reactions came in a wide variety of tones.

The tweet-a-thon left me with mixed feelings about the whole idea of live-tweeting. Yes, it was my first time and I didn’t particularly enjoy it. I felt overwhelmed trying to do hundred things at once: listening, processing the information, writing an interesting tweet,  don’t forget to include the relevant hashtag and Twitter handles, follow other tweets and reply to those that needed your attention, keep listening and if possible, take pictures to add to your tweets. All of this amid the frenetic tapping of 20 colleagues… I’m exhausted just by thinking about it! Live-tweeting goes beyond the simple concept of ‘multitasking’.

But leaving aside the brain-draining first experience, I’m still unsure about the benefits of live-tweeting, other than for personal reasons. I’ve tried following live-tweets before, and even when I trusted the people tweeting and the quality of their tweets, I couldn’t really understand what was happening.   Live-tweeting to me is like when you look at a presentation that only has images, but unless you were there to listen to the presenter, the images on their own don’t make any sense at all.  I also realised that live-tweeting is a massive distraction and that you end up missing part of the session.

Having said this, I believe that live-tweeting can be useful as a note-taking practice, a place where you can reflect on the event and keep your thoughts in one place. And that your tweets might lead to conversations and connect with other people.  It can also be useful to promote your institution and showcase your events.

Will I live-tweet again? I’m glad I’ve done it as part of the CJBS SMDL. I’m not sure I’ll try again anytime soon, at least on a personal level. But I had exactly the same reaction when I first tried Twitter a few years ago; chances are that I may change my mind about live-tweeting in the future…

Image credit: Laurie Pink via Flickr Creative Commons

Rambling down Twitter Lane

Using Twitter hasn’t really been a pleasure walk in the countryside, but more of a bumpy ride in the city. When I first signed up a few years ago I just couldn’t get it at all. All I could hear was noise, lots of [useless] information travelling at a super speed and without any control. However, I wasn’t oblivious of Twitter’s huge potential as marketing tool, the power it had to provide instant communication, and the possibility of reaching masses of people with one single tweet.

Has my opinion changed? Yes, it has! Why? First of all, both Twitter and I have changed. I believe that Twitter’s population has matured, there’s a lot less people tweeting about their lunch and more twitterers sharing valuable information. From my side, I decided to give Twitter another try a few months ago, this time without the pressure of having to use it in order to complete a social media course (the same course I mentioned on my previous post), and also when I had to start tweeting as @CJBSInfolib, our library account. I started this new Twitter experience with a thorough cleaning of the list of people I was following, mainly  librarians and random people I had felt obliged to follow in the past.  I found new people and organizations to follow that could make my Twitter experience more enjoyable and fun. My new list covers all kinds of topics, from breaking news, to business and economical issues, comedians, sports, parenting tips, cooking and even fashion. And of course, a good selection of librarians and leading people on my professional field.

And secondly, I learned to enjoy Twitter by using it on my own terms, a mixture of professional and personal interests. On Twitter I can choose who to follow, and they don’t need to follow me back. There are no awkward friend requests and I don’t have to follow my friends, unless they have something interesting to tweet about.  And finally,  that I’m lucky enough to work alongside Twitter experts who finally converted me.  Having said this, I’m not a Twitter addict – I can perfeclty live without it – and I’m not a ‘resident’ yet, but I’m in the process of moving away from the ‘visitor’ side.

This ride is not over yet, there are still a few more paths to explore such as learning how to filter all the noise and useless information on there, how to compose engaging tweets and join in conversations. All of these mean that somehow I’ll need to pluck up the courage to stop being an observer and more of a participant.

Image credit: dullhunk via Flickr Creative Commons
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