Networking is a lot of work

As requested last week I created a Twitter account and oh man is it a lot of work! I already have a facebook account that I check regularly and actively participate in but I guess somehow this has become apart of my daily routine because I no longer notice that I am “wasting” time on the site. However, Twitter has become sort of like a job to me. I jumped in wholeheartedly and started following people and looking for interesting leads to read and found myself more than overwhelmed very quickly. When I log into the site there are so many updates to read that I get lost trying to catch up on what I have missed in the last few hours since I have logged on. In fact I have only followed one actual thread or lead or link or whatever it is called and the rest have fallen by the way side. I am sure that there are a ton of interesting things that I am missing but I feel like I dont have the time to be shifting through all of it to get to the good stuff. Now I totally agree that these networking sites can be valuable tools for both personal and educational purposes but I think you have to be very familiar with the technology in order not to be overwhelmed and also not to overwhelm those students who may be less technologically advanced than some of the other students, especially for returning adults. I have started looking into lesson plans that incorporate these networking sites and the salient factor is that you have to know before you do.

I am curious what some other have experienced with these sites, please share!

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3 comments on “Networking is a lot of work

  1. I agree about Twitter! And really, every time I start an account for website, I feel that pressure. Even though I love my Google Reader, when I first set up the account, having all of the unread posts glaring at me freaked my shit out. I’ve been thinking that when I incorporate new media into my classes, I think I’m just going to use one-per-semester because of that overwhelming factor. Depending on the intention and/or assignment, I can bring in a blog, RSS feed, OR wiki, but never all of them at once.

  2. Hey April — I agree with what you said, and I think these are definitely important issues to be raised and tackled. I hope that you’ll find the Howard Rheingold article on Twitter literacy (which I’ve just posted on this Twinada blog) helpful and informative — I certainly found it to be useful and important for getting an idea on how Twitter can work for us.

    I do often find myself inundated by the feeds on Twitter… sometimes it can get frustrating and I don’t want to feel like I am missing out. I have learned, though, to not be stressed out if I’m missing out on some of the important posts that some of the people I follow have posted throughout the day… (I think we could compare it to a dynamic online forum with hundreds of participants — it would feel like a burden and heavy task to have to read every single comment/post on the forum, but ultimately it’s okay to just comment on one thing that you find useful in the forum). I have found Twitter to be a great tool for the same reasons that Rheingold spells out in his article — I’ve found myself making real connections with other graduate students and scholars interested in similar research interests (people who I’m sure I will one day connect with in real life via conferences or events), and I’ve also found lots of great information and content via Twitter, and it could actually be a great research tool. It is also nice to be able to follow some authors, scholars, and professors whom you admire 🙂 (if they happen to have Twitter accounts).

    I guess what I’m saying is that, yes, Twitter can seem like a bit too much to handle, and we’re all busy enough as it is, but as Rheingold says in his article, Twitter requires new kinds of literacies, and if we’re open to trying out these skills, I believe we will all have much to gain and learn from the open community on Twitter….

    I’ve also found Twitter to be an awesome tool for when you go to conferences that are peopled with folks using Twitter, as Prof. Ching had mentioned in our last class… the use of hashtags makes it easy to follow what’s happening at the conference — great way for people unable to attend the conference to still be able to find out what’s going on.

    I didn’t mean to ramble so much — sorry! 😛

  3. Twitter has taken a bit of adjustment for me as well. I only access it via my iPhone and sometimes, actually all the time, this prevents me from clicking on the links that people have posted because I grow tired of looking at the tiny little webpages on my little iPhone screen. It is so much easier to navigate the web from my computer but, for some reason, I feel like Twitter lends itself better to mobile updates…

    What has interested me about Twitter is the way in which my Twitter community has formed. I have a fraction of the same people as people I follow on Twitter as I have as friends on facebook. The majority of the people who are in my Twitter world are people who had submitted work over the years to my literary magazine — creative writers. Most of them I don’t know and have never had a personal interaction with, but I feel somehow connected to the world of writing by quietly stalking their tweets. The majority of these people post links to articles or blogs rather than personal status updates, which has been a complete surprise to me. It may be for that reason that I don’t visit my Twitter app very often — it might be too academic, whereas my facebook account is primarily social. I use these portals as a means to connect and relax, not necessarily to do research or learn something. Not that there is anything wrong with that application, it’s just not how I envisioned using these things. I think because I am a celebrity trash junkie and because E! reports celebrity tweets, I just assumed that the application was predominantly personal (and I use “personal” loosely to describe celebrity tweets only because they are usually defending some aspect of their “personal” lives).

    Shameful as it is, I would LOVE to receive celebrity tweets, I find them endlessly amusing, so how is it that I’ve ended up with such serious people to follow? It will definitely take a lot of work to remedy…

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