Information and the Future

This is the blog of the Information and the Future task force of the Rolfing Library at Trinity International University. The IF task force exists to explore the role of libraries in the future of Christian higher education.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Thoughts on Twitter

So far I've not set up a Twitter account and generally been a skeptic about micro-blogging. In my mind I've thought of Twitter as basically a different way of sending Facebook status updates - a feature of Facebook that I don't use particularly well.

But as I've talked to twitters about their tweets (what a fun sentence fragment that is!), I've learned they don't think of them as status updates. Instead they tell me that Twitter is best used to send out interesting links preferably with snarky comment attached. Seldom do they actually try to communicate much in the 144 character limit other than point to useful information or reply to people who've done that. One of the big advantages of Twitter thus far over Facebook is that you can search Twitter for info you want.

I'm sure others use Twitter differently but this use makes sense to me. A common mistake with new web technologies is to use them to do the wrong thing or to try and make one tool work like another. If we are going to use Twitter, Facebook, or even blogs I think it is important we try to understand what the technology does well and use it for that.

Twitter might be a good way for us to send out suggested link of the week (or more often) to the TIU community.

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