I’ll be the first person to admit that I can be a luddite. However, I’m a luddite in my personal life. I’m fully aware that my profession demands that I not only keep up to date on technology, but embrace those technologies which have been proven — or perhaps need to be tested — in the education and information fields. I promise you I get that. But in my personal life… well, I’m one of those people who thinks that it isn’t a real vacation if you have to drag your phone and computer along to get work done. Wanna take your phone so you can communicate with people? Cool. Wanna take your laptop so you can write blogposts in airports at 5 AM? Cool – been there done that. But I really don’t like the idea of technology becoming an appendage instead of a tool… in my personal life.
That said, I’m taking IST 611: Information Technology in Educational Organizations this semester. So far, it’s been both interesting AND informative. I’m interacting with new things I’ve never heard of – Stixy, anyone? – and testing/analyzing tech that is still in beta mode. Fun! But… I might have a comment to make, and that’s this: I’d much rather experiment with technology to learn it, as opposed to read about it. That’s probably surprising if you know me well — I love reading before doing — but not when it comes to tech. If I’m going to spend an hour or three of my time… I want to emerge with a product – with a satisfactory experience – with a sense of “yes, that’s useful; no, that’s not useful; I’d have to play with it some more before deciding”. For me, reading about technology is just… not that fun.
But I do it anyway. You never know when you’ll read something informative/new/interesting/exciting/mindblowing/mindboggling, after all. A few thoughts on this week’s reading for 611:
When you’re as well-versed in twitter as I am (I have multiple accounts, spanning multiple purposes, and I may have sent upwards of 40,000 tweets at this point) reading about it is almost painful.
- The advice to lock/protect your twitter account? Not nearly as cut-and-dry as Linda Braun makes it sound in her article. Perhaps with time (there’s no date on the article) she has changed her mind. My advice, however, would be to have an open account especially if you’re using it to represent your organization or school library. Nothing says “open and accessible” like a protected twitter account! (Yes, that’s sarcasm.)
- But why that advice? Because thus: if your account is open, anyone can go to http://www.twitter.com/YourOrganizationName and read all your tweets. If your account is locked, they need to create their own twitter account (which requires giving personal information) just to request to read your tweets. Is what you’re saying that personal that the thought of it being accessible bothers you immensely? If so, I’d recommend…
- Have a twitter account for your organization/library/etc that you use to speak personally and professionally. Respond to questions the way a human responds, for goodness sake! But keep a separate account for your own personal interests, and if you wish, lock/protect that account. make sense?
If you’re not quite up on twitter yet — or you find it cumbersome/too complex/etc — just try to spend some time every day using it. Download a twitter app like Tweetdeck or Janetter or HootSuite, and spend a little time just getting comfortable with it. Your organization/future library may not need a twitter account… but if they do, you can get to work immediately setting it up or taking over the existing account!
One last note: if you want to see how some organizations use twitter incredibly well to share information and handle questions/requests/inquiries/comments, look at:
Wegmans Food Markets on Twitter. Hands down, best example I can give you.
If you’d prefer to read, pick up a copy of “The Thank You Economy” by Gary Vaynerchuk who tweets as GaryVee. Reading that book changed how I approach my relationships especially on the internet and social media… as well as just how I interact with people. You won’t regret it!
On that note, I’m off to read the Junco, Heigerbert, and Loken piece on “The Effect of Twitter on College Student Engagement and Grades”. I’m certain I’ll have something to say on this later… 🙂