This page is an updated version of a blog entry I made (‘Twit’ical thinking – a personal ‘philosophy’ of interaction on Twitter) to reflect my current thinking about how I use Twitter now. Rather than continuing to update the original blog post, I feel it would be more interesting for those who are interested in such things to compare the original blog entry with this page.
If you have arrived here because you followed the link on my Twitter profile, then thank you for taking the time to check me out. If you arrived here because someone else directed you, thank them too! If you are here just because you are poking around in my blog, then welcome! The blog is still in its initial stages, so please come back later and poke around….
It seems like a good idea to set out some guidelines about how I use Twitter and how I choose who I follow and what I post.
For advanced/experienced users:
I have a number of interests. I usually post my music quotes using #acappella and/or #music. As the founder and one of the moderators of #mathchat, a lot of my tweets will be devoted to that on Mondays and Thursdays especially. I am also a fairly regular and active participant in #edchat and #musedchat. My education-related posts usually go to #edchat and/or #ukedchat, sometimes to #edtech, #esl, #jalt and #scichat and/or other specialized/specific tags at the time of posting. If there is no #hashtag, and I have not replied or referred to someone using an @person, then it’s just me having a mind-burp…
For new users/people new to following me:
I am not a marketing opportunity, I do not automatically follow people just because they follow me. I also stop following people whose tweets becoming persistent or annoying for me.
If you are new to Twitter, I strongly recommend getting something like TweetDeck or HootSuite to help you organize your Twitter experience. TweetChat and TweetGrid are also very useful web-based applications. If you are interested in taking part in one of the scheduled online Twitter discussion using a #hashtag, there is a guide on the #mathchat Wiki which might help give you some ideas or pointers.
I usually only follow #FF (#followfriday) people recommended by those I am already following. I don’t always follow all of them, however.
I check my followers’ profiles and websites, if listed. I would expect you to do the same with me. If you don’t have a website and your past tweets seem totally irrelevant, I will probably not follow you. If you seem to be concerned with selling stuff I may even block you…. be warned.
I have charities or groups in which I am interested and about which I make occasional posts. If you decide to support them too, that’s great, but not a requirement.
I believe in interacting with people when I am monitoring tweets. I will send out comments to people and if they choose to respond that’s fine. If they choose not to, that’s ok too. Some of my tweets are going to be social interactions, not ‘serious educational issues’, and not everyone wants to interact with me socially. I try to adjust my engagements accordingly — it is a difficult balance to achieve. Just because someone is my friend on Facebook or elsewhere, I don’t get all huffy or have a hissy-fit because they don’t follow me on Twitter. I understand they have their accounts for different purposes, as do I.
I think more people should explain how they want/expect to use Twitter, and Facebook etc. to help improve their use as a means of true social interaction.
I retweet anything I find interesting, useful, supportive or helpful. I try to personalize retweets and always make an effort to include the original Tweeter. I also try to remove any #hashtags which have already been included, especially if the RT is only one or two minutes after the original. It gives me more space to personalize or redirect a Tweet to other Tweet-streams or people I am following or who follow me and may have missed the original. I always check links before I retweet, and I have a low tolerance for any retweeting which seems to have been done without any thought…
I don’t expect thanks for RT, but it is appreciated when people do, by the same token I will not always thank or follow people for RTing me. I think RT is probably most effective if you are operating in a different time zone i.e. after about 4 or 5 hours. I appreciate anyone who takes a minute or so to consider and edit Tweets before they RT. I always try to respond to anyone who takes the time to interact with me, even if it’s only once for one particular problem – we are all here to help each other.
If you don’t understand anything, ask on Twitter, #ukedchat #edchat and #edtech are great for educators generally… If you are new to teaching #ntchat is great. For primary or elementary teachers, use #elemchat. Last, and by no means least, #mathchat for anyone who loves (or hates!) mathematics – whether a teacher, student or parent.
And if you read this far, bless you! I’ll see you online, maybe!