[Introduce myself]The story of Twitter starts with Jack Dorsey, the creator and chairman of Twitter. And the story of Jack starts in St. Louis, where he grew up in the Compton Heights neighborhood.By the time he was 14, he was writing dispatching software to route messages for taxi companies.He started working on Twitter on 3/21/2006 (almost exactly four years ago). Twitter’s tipping point (when it blew up big) was the 2007 South by Southwest festival in Austin (which is going on right now). Twitter put plasma screens in the conference hallways to stream tweets about the event, and during the media frenzy that is SXSW, usage tripled from 20,000 tweets per day to 60,000.
Platform for sharing short messages (public text message system)70,000 registered Twitter applications created by third-party developersCan use Twitter without ever going to twitter.com after you set up your accountTweetDeck (desktop application)CoTweet (web-based)Twitteriffic (iPhone app)Can also post and read messages using text messages on a regular cellphonePlays into biggest trends on the web: social networking, mobile, location aware_______________________________Fast, up-to-the-minute, the web right nowPosts are indexed by Google and BingInterconnected because you can reply to and forward messages (viral meme spreading machine)Examples that show how Twitter is different from blogs and other things online:2008 presidential election, #mobius09, plane that crashed into the Hudson_______________________________Open-ended serviceYou can use Twitter to gather news, share information, communicate with friends and colleagues, enhance classes, serial novellas …-> A lot of people are using it for a lot of different things
50 million tweets per day600 tweets per second
Demonstration (how to use Twitter):Twitter front page without logging in: trending topics, searchWUSTLlibraries page without logging in (don’t need an account to follow us)What we post: New resources, server outages, this day in history / current events related to items in our collection. What’s New blog posts feed in automatically, and tweets are automatically posted as status updates for our Facebook fan page.WUSTLlibraries page after logging inTweet: noun and verbUser innovationsTo send a direct message to someone, that person has to follow you.Lists (fairly new feature):A way to aggregate and segregate feeds (organize them into different groups).It can be overwhelming to follow everyone in one timeline.Example: Add someone to one of our wustl listsYou can follow lists created by other people.Listorious is a directory of Twitter lists.
We all know what primary source documents are in traditional formats. Using Twitter as a source document might be considered to be thinking outside of the box. There are issues to be raised dealing with validity, truthfulness, and misinformation (however you might have those same issues with traditional primary sources such as newspapers and diaries) but if we take tweets at face value, we can learn quite bit about how people react in real time to current events.As you may know, Twitter became a focus this summer in Iran. During the highly contested Iranian presidential elections and the fallout from the results of those elections. This summer millions of Iranians took to the streets to protest. They were also denied internet access and foreign press agencies had their hands tied. However, Twitter was the medium for what was being called The Green Revolution. Millions of Iranians of all ages used Twitter to send out information to the world on what was happening. As a result the Iranian government tried to shut down mobile phone communications and Twitter accounts with the location setting for Tehran. A call went out for people all over the world to change their locations to Tehran to throw off the governmental officials trying to stop non-violent protests. Twitter was where people were going to get the most up-to-date information about the revolts. Twitter even postponed a large scale upgrade of the program so that they would not interrupt the flow of information coming from Iran. Some of you may know Prof. Keshavarz in Asian and Near East Languages and Literature. She regularly writes her Windows on Iran newsletter and blog and some of you may be her readers. You may not recall but she was also using information found on Twitter to spread news to a larger population of readers who are likely not twitter users.Trending topics: What are they? These are the most tweeted about things on twitter in a given day. The homepage of twitter, before you log in, will show you the most popular topics of the minute, day, and week. You are able to localize your trending topics based upon where you live, although St. Louis is not currently an option. I think this will change soon with the new add tweet location feature. You can see our current United States trending topics and you can see that there might be several you dismiss out of hand, like Justin Beiber who apparently is some 16 year old singer. You can click on any of these topics to see what the discussion is about. If you want to join in you just type the # and the topic. To be a trending topic you generally have to have several hundred thousand tweets on a given topic. Searching: there are a variety of searches that you can perform in Twitter. You can search for people or entities. Click on the Find People Link. Then type away for some one/thing you would want to follow. Does anyone want to search for someone? You can also search based upon your email contacts or by topical suggestions. To search for topics, you do that from your home page. Unfortunately, there is no advanced search feature so for now, all search is done via # or keyword. It’s not very sophisticated but it can get the job done.
Spectator -> playerDefine microblogging, link bloggingScott McLeod, Associate Professor at Iowa State University, focuses on educational technology for administratorsGary King, Harvard Professor, social scientist and statisticianList of other academic tweeters: andrewcallahan/academics[sales pitch]#1 objection: It’s a bunch of people posting what they ate for breakfast or a funny thing their cats did.Best antidote to all of the junk out there is to post good stuff.Faster and easier than blogging. Can post from your phone.Separate professional life from personal life (hard to do on Facebook). Mindcastingvslifecasting.Share what you’re reading, new research as it unfoldsEstablish self as a thought leader in your field.Establish WUSTL as a leading institution on Twitter. One of my main interests in teaching this class is to try to recruit 6-12 high-profile faculty members to tweet regularly. Beneficial for recruiting and PR.Be yourself (people want to get information from a real person), be funnyPromote your Twitter accountRespond to people, follow thembackMicroblogging (one-way) -> Collaboration (multi-way) @ responses, retweeting, direct messages-> Dos and Don’ts of Twitter etiquette
Make sure that if someone contacts you in private that you respond in kind. Often, this will happen via a direct message which only you can see. Never respond to a private message with an @ reply for all of Twitter to read. To have a fresh dialogue on Twitter, you may want to post questions on a regular basis. These questions could start a discussion that may not only continue on twitter but also be incorporated into class or subsection discussions.Frequency: Tweeting regularly is important but you also don’t want to tweet too much. It’s a fine balance between too much and too little. You also do not want to post just to post. This is why posting questions or possibly links to interesting articles may be a good idea when you get started and are testing the waters of Twitter. Questions and links are staples of many of the most interesting twitter accounts.
It is likely that you will want to create a community with your students and other scholars.Creating multiple accounts: once you get the hang of twitter and decide to use it in the classroom setting you will likely want to have different twitter accounts for your different classes. So for example, you might have your personal account jaleh_f. But for your various courses you might make some variation on your name and add the course number or a key word from the title. So I am working with Prof. Canfield on a couple of his classes. If I were set up a twitter account specifically for his students, I might make an account like jaleh_f_anth4243. Then I would know that these tweets correlate to this course and are not just general tweets. You will not want to use the website Twitter to manage these accounts. I would suggest using a third party client like Co-Tweet or Tweetdeck, which allow you to monitor multiple accounts simultaneously.How do you create a scholarly community? You start by following others in your field. Then you want to follow libraries, conferences, publishers, news sources. To get the community going you will want to ask questions, start discussions, and use #hashtags. Hashtags will let people stumble upon your conversations.At conferences, have tweetups, which are meet ups of twitter users. Have tweetups with other local scholars in your field who you might not directly work with like local businesses and other academic institutions.
Summarizing: have students summarize an article in 140 characters. Conversely, have them tweet you a thesis statement for a paper. Using twitter can teach students to write in a more succinct manner.Word usage: use the search feature to have students follow the usage of a word throughout the day. Was the word used correctly? Was it used in an imaginative way? Play telephone. Have the students create a short story by playing telephone. You can start the story off or pick a student at random to start the story and have each student tweet two additions to the story. Discuss it in class.Timeline and trending topics: Following the public timeline can show you trends in a given day. What is the world talking about? Following a trending topic over the span of a day or week can also show you how a discussion might evolve and change. Also, look at how people, who may not know each other in daily life, interact with each other in the Twitterverse.Follow a professional: Many academics and other professionals are on Twitter. Make you your students follow one that interests them. What did they learn from the professional? Recreate history: This site is using twitter in an interesting way. Students assume roles and then tweet based upon primary source documents. An interesting and fun way to look at historical events. A local teacher conducted this using the Cuban Missile Crisis as her topic. This site also offers tips on how you can implement this in your class.
Why Tweet? Learn How Twitter Can Help YOU!<br />Presenters: <br />Jaleh Fazelian, Islamic and Near Eastern Studies Librarian<br />Brian Marston, Library Web Services Developer <br />#whytweet<br />
Twitter: A Bit of History<br />Jack Dorsey<br />St. Louis native<br />@jack<br />SXSW 2007<br />
What is Twitter?<br />Free social networking and micro-blogging service for sending and reading 140-character messages<br />Real-time communications medium<br />Twitter is what you make it<br />