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Whither Twitter
 

Whither Twitter

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    Whither Twitter Whither Twitter Presentation Transcript

    • Presented by Roman Koshykar Liaison Librarian to GCCIS, Wallace Library in conjunction with the Center for Professional Development April 28, 2009
    • Today’s agenda  Crash course in Twitter  What is Twitter good for?  Some examples of Twitter use at RIT  A little bit about blogging (Twitter’s big brother)  Explanation of RSS – the technology that makes all this possible
    • What is all the chatter about?  What is ? 1. A free, web-based social networking service 2. An annoying, time-wasting fad 3. The fastest growing social networking site of 2009 4. The best-known example of a micro-blogging system 5. A great way for mobile computing users to communicate
    • Twitter is all of these things!  Yes, even the “annoying fad” part  Let’s look at these characteristics one by one (in no particular order)
    • Twitter is a social network  The premise of Twitter is that each and every Twitter user is to answer the same question over and over again  WHAT ARE YOU DOING RIGHT NOW?  Twitter is highly social, and every Twitter user can follow other users’ posts  Twitter is NOT instant messaging – it is not a real-time conversation
    • Twitter is a micro-blogging system  Micro-blogs are just what they sound like – short-form blogs where content is posted in very small chunks  Twitter limits you to no more than 140 characters in a single post (that includes spaces and punctuation)  Twitter has been called the Web’s equivalent of the Short Message Service (SMS) – more commonly known by cell phone users and teenagers everywhere as “texting”
    • Twitter is mobile  Mobile computing is huge – even bigger outside the United States  People with iPhones or BlackBerries can post to their Twitter accounts and read other people’s Twitter posts using their mobile devices  Laptop/desktop Twitter users interact with Twitter’s Web site; mobile phone users can get Twitter posts via text messages; smart phone users download a special interface (called an “app”) to their device to use Twitter  The most popular mobile Twitter app is called Twitterific
    • Twitter is growing exponentially  Twitter was only created in 2006  The Internet demographics firm Quantcast tracks Twitter usage – let’s look at some stats  End of February 2009 – 6 million users  End of March 2009 – 15 million users (estimated)  Twitter’s user population grew 2 ½ times in one month!  Twitter has become so popular, there are many examples from this year and last year of the site crashing due to heavy use  Most famous example – Macworld 2008, when Steve Jobs gave his keynote address
    • Twitter is an annoying fad?  Well, decide for yourself…  One of the articles on handout – the Psychology of Twitter  Twitter pros: its popularity shows that it fits a niche in the world of online communication; it’s a public conversation medium  Twitter cons: it defaults to public conversation (you have to turn on privacy features yourself); since it’s continuous and nonstop, you can easily feel like you have missed something – like walking into the middle of a conversation
    • What is it good for?  According to Twitter’s own site, Twitter is good for real-time updates to your friends and family  New York Times tech reporter David Pogue has a good example of Twitter’s usefulness  More from David Pogue (short video)  Twitter’s been all over the news this year – read all about it on your own!
    • Let’s talk Twitter  Twitter users have developed their own terminology  Twitter (n): the name of the world’s most popular micro-blogging service  Twitter (v): to post something on Twitter – also has the infinitive form Twittering  Tweet: a post on Twitter  Someone who posts on Twitter is a Twitterer or a Tweeter (I’ve heard both)
    • Let’s talk Twitter (advanced)  Hash tagging: the practice of tagging Tweets (that is, assigning them an identifying keyword called a tag) with a hash mark (aka pound sign). Twitter users can search these hash tags on the Twitter site to find Tweets about some particular topic (#rochester or #rit, for example)  At replies: @ sign followed by a Twitter user name identifies a Tweet directed at another Twitter user – helps you have conversations with others via Tweets
    • Time to have a look!  Test Twitter page set up for today’s session  http://twitter.com/SampleForTest  I’ll log in and show you some of the basic features
    • Time to have a look!  A couple of personal accounts from my co-workers  http://twitter.com/Chrislerch  http://twitter.com/bizlibrarian  Updates on Twitter from RIT departments  http://twitter.com/RIT_InfoSec  http://twitter.com/RITNEWS  You’ll end up discovering others by looking at who is following these Twitter feeds!
    • Try it for yourself Beginner’s guide to Twitter (listed on your handout)
    • Really, Twitter is blogging?  Blogging is a much more established practice than Twittering – been around for roughly a decade; probably caught on around five years ago  The idea is the same – you set up a personal site (they provide the framework) and you write about and post what you are interested in (you provide the content)  Blogging sites often offer more features – commenting, ability to post images, embed video or sound clips
    • Really, Twitter is blogging?  Biggest difference between Twittering and blogging – short form (only 140 characters!) vs. long form  Twitter users have come up with creative ways of getting around the character limit  Use of link shortening sites like TinyURL – allows you to take a very long link and shorten it, so as to use many fewer characters  “Serial Tweets” – post things in chunks – there’s no limit to the number of Tweets, only to the length of each Tweet
    • Some popular blogging sites  Blogger – Google’s popular blogging site  LiveJournal – oldest blogging site, structured like an online diary  WordPress – another popular blogging site  Movable Type – rather than a Web site, Movable Type is software you install – example is Business Resources Blog from the Library
    • How do they work?  The technology that powers Twitter, blogging, and other social web sites is called Really Simple Syndication (RSS)  RSS is a technology used to create “feeds” on the Web; these feeds allow for continuous publication of news, blog posts, Tweets, podcasts, and many other types of Web content  Brief video (about 3 ½ minutes) will serve as an introduction to RSS
    • Tying things together  Is your head spinning yet?  It’s ok – Social Web technologies are largely about having fun, but most importantly, they are about staying connected  Any one site (say, Twitter) may not be around forever  But the idea of short, rapid status updates has found its way into other Social Web technologies  Facebook’s latest redesign has a suspiciously Twitter- like home page when you log in!
    • Thank you and stay connected!