What is Twitter…..in 140 characters or less?
Twitter is a microblogging tool for sharing, tracking and conversing about topics of interest in short bursts of text no more than 140 characters in length.
No doubt you’ve already heard of Twitter. It’s been a phenomenon almost since its inception back in 2006. You’ve tracked the role it’s played in major world events like the Mumbai terrorist attacks, Egypt’s Arab Spring and Japan’s March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
In this module, you’ll to experiment with how Twitter can serve as a rapid-fire, quick interest bulletin board that consolidates and transmits your day-to-day, minute-to-minute library discoveries and initiatives of interest to your patrons. It can be another fun way of sparking conversation both in and outside the library.
- Because of Twitter’s hyper-short form of communication, there is no laboring over long communiqués. All you need to do is draft something short and snappy.
- Messages streaming out of, and in to, your library can be consolidated with the use of something called a hashtag. Hashtags are unique tags, or labels, that are added to a tweet to highlight its content as being part of an organization or addressing a particular topic. They often start out as rather informal, self-selected tags that sometimes catch fire with followers. The identifying feature of a hashtag is the # sign at the start of a short string of letters &/or numbers. For instance, #asij is ASIJ’s hashtag.
- You never know where Twitter might take you. Listen to the founder of Twitter, Evan Williams, describe how Twitter evolved in ways beyond his imagination.
Still not completely sure about Twitter? Watch these two excellent Common Craft explanatory videos:
Try it out!
Twitter Activity 1: Get Tweeting
1. Sign up for a Twitter account, if you don’t already have one. Follow the steps at How to Sign Up on Twitter.
2. Post your Twitter account username on this Collaborate2Innovate site under the Participants Blog and Twitter Accounts tab found along the top navigational bar.
3. Look for people to follow. Follow us! Follow each other! Follow other colleagues at ASIJ!
- Grant @GrantHayslip
- Maria @mpapanice2cu
- Rebecca @beccadonnelly405
- Ruth @ruthlesslyterse
- Michael Stephens @mstephens7
- Wouter @9wout9
Here are 2 helpful sites for finding people and organizations to follow on topics of interest to you:
- Listorious [Tip: Click on About to learn more about Listorious, their top tags, the Listorious 140]
4. Post some tweets. Report on what you are doing right now. Peddle the last best book you read. Announce an upcoming event at your library. Here’s a little help from Twitter:
5. Direct some of your tweets to a specific Twitter user by adding @username to one of your tweets.
6. Learn more about how to use Twitter in this infographic from social media guru, Cheryl Lawson:
Twitter Activity 2: Hashtags 101
1. Read about Hashtags:
2. Use #C2Iasij, our Collaborate2Innovate hashtag.
We’ve coined a hashtag for this project: #C2Iasij. Now all you have to do to give it some traction as a legitimate hashtag by using it on your tweets during the next 6 weeks.
Try it out by including #C2Iasij in a couple quick tweets.
Every week, you will be asked to post at least 1 micro-reflection about the week’s module topic. Please add the #C2Iasij hashtag to each of your micro-reflections. And, by all means, tweet beyond that minimum requirement. It’s the more the merrier when it comes to tweeting!
Twitter Activity 3: Adding an image your tweet.
Adding an image to a tweet is slick.
1. Watch this quick how to video:
2. Now, go ahead! Add some images! Remember to add the #C2Iasij hashtag!
Individual Reflection: Use our #C2Iasij hashtag to tweet about tweeting on your Twitter site!
Group Reflection: Post 1 group reflection on your group blog about your experiences using Twitter this week. Discuss Twitter’s potential in your libraries and how a unique hashtag for your library might be put to good use.
Delve into all that Twitter offers by exploring Twitter Basics in their Help Center.
This Learning 2.0 module was originally designed and implemented by students in Dr. Michael Stephens‘ Transformative Literacies class in the Fall of 2012. This class is part of San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science curriculum. It was authored by Ruth Larson Bender for The American School in Japan. It is available for use for other libraries or institutions. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.