Microblogging

I only embraced Twitter this past fall, but I confess that I am well on the way to becoming a true-believer,  I have been with Facebook, but have always struggled with posting “Updates”.  While I admit that I do admire my friends who post regularly, I cannot seem to muster enough to bother.  I do seem to genuinely care what people are up to but have little desire in providing similar updates.  On a few occasions, I have family members and far away friends chastise me for not posting enough; they appreciated knowing I was at least up to something, if it was (in my mind) trivial chatter.  Still, however, I rarely stop by my Facebook profile – other than to send a message.  Which, in essence, might make Facebook a more glorified email account.

But, I do check Twitter throughout the day.  I might not care much for the Facebook status updates, I find Tweet massively useful.  At first, I was reticent to engage Twitter.  So much discussion on how successful Charlie Sheen or Ashton Kutcher have utilized the application – and I have little interest in receiving celebrity news via social media.  Of course Twitter also received a great deal of attention during the Iran/Libya and Egypt protests.  To connect quickly, through smart phones, laptops etc, Twitter seems ideal.  However, I am with Prof. Neal , who suspects that Twitter is more often used as a one-way communication tool (rather than an application that facilitates direct discourses).  

Twitter’s information dissemination appeal is what I really like about Twitter though.  At times I have felt overwhelmed by the simple amount of information on the internet.  I’m an OKAY surfer at best and always appreciate when someone directs my attention to something I will interesting.  I think that this is where Twitter succeeds: it offers a succinct connection to many internet points.  The “here – look at this link” method is immensely effective and appealing.  Yes, this happens in Facebook, but I find Facebook has too many layers and distractions.  Twitter distills the updates into simple posts.

Who do I follow?  I like following news reporters and technology bloggers.  My main criteria: in a tweet, ensure that I have a link to follow.  Jokes are nice and pithy observations can be diverting, but I tend to want more bang for my buck.  Help me explore what’s out there.

This – I am convinced – is what will help me as a librarian.  Any tool that aids in information seeking should be something librarians embrace.  One thing that has been on my mind – particularly during our skype chats – is our strict focus on how social media serves our client bases.  Of course, client services are (the most?) important facet to our profession.  And of course, we should have many, many discussions on how social media can enhance client services.  However, we have not discussed how social media can enhance the librarian experience or the librarian profession.  Perhaps only 5% of internet users embrace Twitter.  I might argue that 100% of librarians should be using Twitter.  And Facebook, for that matter – I am with Tagtmeiter: if any patrons are using Facebook or Twitter at this point, libraries should meet them there.



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