AV Hearts a Twitter

Yes, I am going to talk about Twitter. Yes you should read this, because you can learn a lot about our industry with it. And if you aren’t the sort constantly on the lookout to learn something new, you made a very odd career choice.

I know, you are thinking: Twitter? Isn’t that where millions of people drone on incessantly, generating inane streams of completely irrelevant information, all of it in obnoxious 140 character bursts? Well, yes, but only most of it is like that.

There are some very smart people on Twitter, and if you find them – and follow them – you can learn a lot. You don’t need to say anything. And you can follow or unfollow anyone at any time.

The first thing you really need (after an account) is a “Twitter client.” The actual Twitter interface page, in a word, sucks. (Ah, see, the sort of detailed and insightful technical perspective you have come to expect here at AV-1.)

There are a number of fine ones out there, I happen to use and like TweetDeck. Aside from just being a much nicer interface with which to follow others, they really simplify your ability to follow “hashtags.”

Twitter “handles” begin with “@” – I am @AVGreg for example. Twitter hashtags begin with “#” and are how Twitter allows users to create groups around a common interest. If you tweet and include a hashtag everyone following that hashtag sees that tweet. In a Twitter client like TweetDeck you can add these hashtag groups and they just appear in new vertical columns.

That brings me to my whole point tonight. (I know, about time.) There is usually an AV Chat at “#avchat” (Go figure huh?) every Thursday at noon Pacific Time. This week the topic is classroom technology – the common thread most of us share.

If you tweet – or have just been thinking about it – jump in and check it out. Come spend some time with your AVTweeps.

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3 thoughts on “AV Hearts a Twitter”

  1. Yes, #AVTweeps and #AVNews are two of the best. Those will give you an idea of who is out there and what they tend to tweet. Look at their tweet history and you can get an even better idea if they tweet info you want to read.

    The higher-ed world has #highered – but it is a very popular tag. Following everything on it would be a full-time job.

    Most people will follow you if you follow them. The big professional twitters and bloggers – with thousands of followers – are the exception.

  2. On second thought, you may not want to use TweetDeck.

    Twitter bought TweetDeck last year. In December, Version 1.0 was released, the first post-buyout update. It seems TweetDeck fans have been in an uproar since.

    The last pre-Titter TweetDeck was Version 0.38.2. That is the version I was using when I wrote that, and will continue to use after reading the reviews for the newer versions.

    Look up TweetDeck on download.com and you will find these and other diatribes:

    Pros: It won’t give you a virus.

    Cons: Downloads successfully, which means you may be able to use this piece of crap.

    Pros: Decreases the likelihood of getting fired from work for using Twitter, since it sucks so hard you won’t spend any time on it.

    Cons: Anonymous hasn’t crashed the site yet.

    Plus this gem of an analogy:

    “If old Tweetdeck was a 70″ hi-def LCD Internet-capable flat panel TV, complete with smartphone-compatible all-in-one remote and user-defined programming, then Tweetdeck 1.2 is a black-and-white 13″ tube tv that shows “The Paul Reiser Show” in a constant loop, and shocks you if you try to change the channel.”

    I’m not feeling the love.

    If, however, you search for TweetDeck 0.38.2 you will find any number of sites people have setup to continue access to the older version. I’m not sure what the long-term ramifications are of that, but I’m sticking with 0.38.2 myself for the time being.

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