I joined Twitter years ago, after attending a conference that lauded its potential for professional connection. I signed up, trolled around for a while, got confused by all the @s and the #s and promptly forgot about it, only checking it once every few months. Then my twitter account got hacked and I had to change my password and it was too difficult and too time-consuming (it would have taken me all if five to ten minutes to figure out my password- can’t possibly spare the minutes!) for me to bother.
I don’t know why I’ve had such a block with this social media. Perhaps it was because I didn’t want to have to go check another site. I mean, I already had all my RSS feeds plus Facebook and now linked in. How many social media sites does one have to be on anyway?
Another reason, is that though tweeting is all about brevity, the people who do tweet seem to do it with a frequency that rivals rabbit reproduction rates (try saying that 5 times). It was daunting- I didn’t have that much to say or share.
Then, last year, Mr. P. wrote a guest blog post on this here blog. I dutifully, edited it and read it, but the idea that I could use twitter not just as a method for communicating with my peers, but as a research tool did not sink in ( sometimes I am slow on the uptake).
Now, my slow awakening to twitter has been precipitated in the last few days by the imminent demise of igoogle. At the risk of sounding like a tech dinosaur, igoogle is (but soon won’t be, going the same way as the google reader and the dodo) a page where you can add as widgets, the sites that you most frequently visit. On my igoogle page (which was my default home page on my browser) I had my email, my RSS feeds, the weather, my calendar, and my newsfeeds, which included NY Times most emailed, CBC news, etc. I loved my igoogle page. I could scan all this stuff, check out the things that interested me and then move on.
But igoogle is on its last legs and I needed to find an alternative. I opted for Netvibes, another app that allows you to gather all your important widgets in a visual display (aesthetically not so pleasing as igoogle, but beggars can’t be choosers as the saying goes):
One of the default widgets they had on the page when I signed in was, lo and behold, my twitter feed (how they knew how to access it is a bit of disturbing question, but I can only imagine it is because I use the same email for both). It came to me then that my main problem with twitter- that I would have to actually go to the twitter site to view the feed – was now solved (I know- I could have done this long ago). I could scan my twitter feed along with my news feed and not be more bothered than that. Only problem is, I had neglected my feed for so long I was only following a few people. And also, how the heck do the hashtags work?
So. I spent a few minutes bulking up the people I follow. I also tried searching different hashtags. Here is the results of one of my searches:
I clicked on the first link to see if it was helpful, and lo and behold, a whole new way of viewing information popped up at me:
So far so good. I feel like a whole new batch of innovative ideas just arrived at my doorstep!
By the way, there are many apps on the iPad that allow you to view all of your social media , from Facebook to the NY Times in one place. Flipboard.