Thursday, May 15, 2008

Why Twitter Matters

Here is an interesting article from Business Week on Why Twitter Matters. Twitter is a microblogging website where users have 140 words or less to make a blog post. It is a way for people to easily stay in touch with their community at all times asynchronously. Many of the things people write in less than 140 words are quite silly and one might wonder how or why something like Twitter is becoming so popular. The following quote from the article reveals part of that answer.
"How could tiny Twitter ever become such a titan? It's not the core technology, which is simple, but instead the community. Twitterers find and follow the people they care about on the service. Late in April, following one of Twitter's outages, TechCrunch's Michael Arrington wrote: "I realized that in the last two months a subtle shift occurred: I now need Twitter more than Twitter needs me." Arrington, who has nearly 17,000 people following his Twitterstream, continued: "It is now an important part of my work and social life, as I carry on bite-sized conversations with thousands of people around the world throughout the day." It's a huge marketing tool, and information tool. But it is also a social habit that's hard to kick."
On a side note, one of our English Instructors, Amanda McGuire Rzicznek, at BGSU had her entire class use twitter to cite and share their sources for their papers.

Another thing I found very fascinating is something called Twittervision. Basically, you can see live posts that people are making from various countries on a Google Map. For example, here are new Twitter posts from people living in Ireland

What do others think of Twitter? Is it a useful technology for educators?

1 comment:

AMR said...


Thanks for the props about using Twitter. Sadly, it was the one Web 2.0 tool that my students whole-heartedly resisted--to the point I had to make the Twitter assignments optional.

I'm not sure what the resistance to Twitter is in academia among students and profs, but I have a feeling this emerging technology is going to make it's way into the classroom very soon. It can be a valuable resource; a few of students informed me it really helped them gather their thoughts and keep track of their writing.

I adore Twitter for many reasons and I definitely plan on using it again in my classes.