I signed up to Twitter in…a long time ago. A friend at work had joined up and she was quite the savvy person, jumping into social media and all things Web 2.0, so I quickly followed!
Twitter has been a lifesaver, a saviour of my sanity, comic relief, a honing of my communication skills and developed my ability to LOLspeak 🙂
I have always seen Twitter as a conversation- it can be private, using Direct Messages (DM) or a private conversation in public where people can interrupt and add their own 2 cents, or a group conversation where people will be talking and casually add you to the conversation. Sometimes I can hop in and try and make pithy and witty remarks, and other times I will lurk, listening in to arguments, conversations and banter. I try and get on every day, but owing to work and family, I’m not on it permanently.
I’ve used my twitter handle as both a professional and personal tool, and the 2 spheres will often collide. I try and follow the maxim not to tweet when I’m angry, as I don’t want to say something on the public record that I will regret.
Professionally I use it as a collegiate, networking tool, sucking up information from article shared, blog posts, and conversing with all the librarians on Twitter- and there are lots!
Personally I use it for news gathering, following my own interests, other bloggers and interesting people. I have followed quite a few Ballarat people, which has been great for meeting new people, and discovering good Indian takeaway in Ballarat :).
I have learned the power of a hashtag, which makes it an easy way to follow conference proceedings from afar, or keep abreast with what is happening on a trending event, or in politics (something to which our library is quite attuned).
Exploring Twitter in a mobile capacity though is quite a different matter. Tweeting from your phone is good for deft fingers, though much of the functionality of the desktop is lost on the phone applications. Much of the functionality of Twitter is best configured on a desktop, rather than from your smartphone, though there are a few tweaks you can do from your desktop to make your mobile experience an easier one.
1. Under Settings -> Mobile, you can customise Twitter for your phone. This is where you can select Text notifications for mentions, if people have retweeted your pithy tweets, or if people have replied to you.
2. Under this setting you can also put Sleep Settings. That way you are not getting bombarded late in the evening or early in the morning with replies or mentions.
If your library or greater organisation is somewhat reticent to use Twitter in an official capacity, please don’t let it stop you from engaging with the broader community yourself, or your users. Twitter ought to be seen as a way of being another avenue of reaching out to them. With any luck they’ll talk back to you.