The Philosophy of Twitter, Why we are on Twitter and other matters


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This presentation by Malarvizhi.J, Program Officer, Publications and Communication, NFSC, for the #buzz140 unconference in Chennai on June 21, 2009, describes the philosophy of Twitter, what NFSC has learnt through its Twitter stream and introduces the connections between Twitter and folklore

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The Philosophy of Twitter, Why we are on Twitter and other matters

  1. 1. OMG! Not another Powerpoint Presentation... [[Take the corporate out. Put the people back in with all the asymmetry, colour, uneven lines. Also all large text on slide will be 140 characters max. The small print is not in my control]] Some Art [[Folklore, as NFSC defines it, is a tradition based on any expressive behaviour that brings a group together, creates a convention and commits it to cultural memory. Ancient or contemporary. Folklore is created open source, and often, open access as well. Uber cool in fact. Some folklore is niche, some publicly accessible]] Random Link 1: (Visit this link, this is a good link, an extremely fine link, quite a well-behaved link) [[Some folklore is now part of the system: the hero monomyth described in the above link for instance – LOTR, Shivaji, Terry Pratchett even use or play with this myth in various ways.]] #followfriday + art of familiar story [[#followfriday is folklore. Created by communities and retained in memory, shared freely. Hashtags are user-generated. The power of the hashtag – for the first time since social bookmarking we have the ability to sort information in categories we choose – not one from a dropdown menu. So we can create #iranelection, #inaperfectworld. Someone complained that many hashtags are superficial. Much of our lives are that way. Much of folklore feels that way – ordinary, mundane to the creators. It brings unbelievable value to others. Looking at my Twitter homepage can be overwhelming some days. Other days it gives this warm comfort of being tied to the world, listening to it chatter, an asynchronous world, people making dinner and going to work and ranting and blowing kisses and putting out links, and being people. All this knowledge is created as co-operative, collaborative content creation. That's why this is on Impress. That's why we use Linux on several systems at NFSC. That's why our website is a wiki. That's why we have our portal of open access journals, archival photos, videos on YouTube. You can find links to these on our website]] Random, unrelated link 2: (what a super-awesome link, oh gosh, this link's gonna change my life) [[Or you can find them here]] [[That's why we are on Twitter – to make the work that we do openly accessible. Why is it better than our website? Well that is so Web 1.0, wait a minute that's a wiki. So, Twitter provides us the functionalities of social networking & bookmarking, wiki, photo/video sharing sites. Clever Twitter.]]
  2. 2. Art of clever animal [[It allows you to provide a network with status updates. This status update is magical animal. It can take many shapes – from 'just made pasta' to an invitation to a programme, a link to a journal, photo or documentary. A set of such updates can act like a wiki, with the information set changing dynamically thru hashtags. Oh yes and another reason for NFSC to be on Twitter - The aim of the Centre is to integrate ..... digital technology with applications to voice the cultures of the marginalised and historically disadvantaged communities. We're doing that through our archives that are based on the same philosophy of the hashtag]] Random, unrelated link 3: Link – history of the status update [[Why am I showing you random unrelated links?]] Pic of Jackal teaching Baby Deer [[Ok. I'll show you a picture instead. Two of the twitter feeds that I enjoy the most are @prathambooks and @anthropologies. These people are consistently passionate about their fields – publishing and anthropology - and are consistently tweeting links to content, news, projects and ideas that they encounter and write about. I love the content they put out – anthropology is closely allied with the study of folklore and publishing is one of the things we do and one of the things I'm curious about. I love that I can learn from them. I love that they let their passion show, I love that they are human about it. Pratham Books and NFSC have also set up a mutual admiration society and are constantly complimenting and retweeting each other. Cute. But we do talk to other people as well]] More Art [[That's mostly because I cheerfully address whoever follows or gives us some RT love. That's one amazing thing about Twitter – people you don't know and who don't care about your existence particularly, you can still follow and stay updated with the information they put out. This means two things to the tweeter: You have to write to the world, you don't know who's going to find you there. You think much more about how what you write will engage your following, in Orkut or Facebook it is still a network of friends or cousins for the most part. In Twitter, these are mostly strangers. Most of us still cannot explain Twitter fully to friends, What am I doing? Why would I want to publish that to the net?]] @JoanofArt profile [[Twitter offers the potential of engaging/with individuals and institutions. Joan of Art answers your art queries. You can offer discounts like Dell. You can engage writers and publishers like @creativepenn. @arjunbasu and @twae write 140-character short stories. It's amazing what one little status update can do.]] Some More Art [[People are discovering that alternatives and commons-based approaches offer practical solutions for protecting water and rivers, agricultural soils, seeds, knowledge, sciences, forest, oceans, wind, money, communication and online collaborations, culture, music and other arts, open technologies, free software, public services of education, health or sanitization, biodiversity and the wisdom of
  3. 3. traditional knowledges. –From the Reclaim The Commons manifesto. Found this link via @glynmoody Tried to retain the feel of the Twitter stream here, some delayed followfriday recommendations, a few links, little text, some pictures and some vetti conversation. The point I'm making is that Twitter thrives on the philosophy of the commons. The philosophy that's ok with leaving the question of ownership of tweets deliciously vague, the philosophy of sharing and collaborative content creation, the philosophy on which most of social media is built, the philosophy that NFSC works with. That's why we're on Twitter. Follow us @indianfolklore]]