Thursday, 3 April 2008

Tweets or Blogs - A Personal Perspective (1)

Introduction

I found the use of twitter and blogging interesting, challenging, informative and sometimes addictive. I had being using twitter in the last few weeks or so and equally started blogging not more than six months ago. Whether following Crossing the Chasm theory for adoption of new technology or not, the use of web2.0 tools started when I considered setting up a charity/NGO website. This was partly driven by Google tools. Before then I thought the use of these social networks were for teenagers having fun in their own world. Apart from that, technology was not advanced for the ease use of these tools without having to consult a specialist. Another reason for the wait was the all important question on start ups. Will it scale? This piece is in three parts. The first one is about twitter and how it had been doing as a social network tool. The second is about blogging, the different blogging platforms and it use as a social network. The final one compares twitter and blogging, entities that use them and how it is shaping the world.

Twitter

I joined twitter when I was forced to follow other bloggers after commenting on their blogging posts. Interestingly, the response was phenomenal and I was not alone. Beth was able to use twitter to collaborate responses to discussions on a conference and other users on twitter. This activity can come at price though, when things go wrong. Ray Sims highlights the learning experience from the twittering that has enabled him to offer that knowledge for money.

Linking twitter and blogging is another way to engage others in discussions. I had most of the time used twitter to announce my blog posts. Twitter can also be linked to cell phone so messages can be sent and received. One important thing about tweeting is check out whether your target audience is twittering or whether twitter users are potentially interesting for your work. Twitter has a network effect for mobilization, internal communications, and extra organizational activism for the non-profit sector said Christian Kreutz. Examples include the twitter Kenyan news service, Ghana elections, afritwit, kumasiproject. Twitter could also fill the gap where radio is used for mass communication in developing countries. Ethan Zuckerman' describes how people broadcast news of deaths and funeral announcements - using the radio like a telephone in Africa. This is also highlighted by Soyapi Mumba on twitter in Africa.

Language is not alien to twitter either. For example Google is now being used in 48 languages and twitter is not an exception. Kreutz have an extensive discussion on the multilingual social web as key to collaboration. Ray Sims also has an in-dept discussion on uses, likes; dislikes, tips and the nitty-gritty of twitter. There are tools within twitter that enhances its use. These include friendfeed twhirl, twurl, tweeternotes, tweeterboad, quotably etc. Surprisingly twitter is also measured. There are others who think it is measured by the number of people following you rather than who you are following whiles others think it is vice-versa. Stoweboyed had been trying to digest this measure.

Before the conclusions here is a two and half minute explanation.

Conclusion

There use of twitter in social networks has increased collaboration on different issues than ever before. However there are others who disagree on the collaborative effect. There is another issue of flow as stoweboyd describes how he is able to make his point across. Tweeting can be challenging as most of the top tweeters spend most of the time behind the computer screen. It can also sometimes be addictive and takes away human interaction. There are other who discuss its effect at the workplace. This is subject on my next blog on twittering. Despite this it is an effective communication tool if used purposefully.

Further reading:

11 comments:

Christian said...

Nice post! Always interesting to read an individual perspective. Thanks for some more links.

kanter said...

What an excellent summary of the thinking about Twitter! Thanks so much for leaving a comment and pointing me here. I had been on vacation and missed this .. but glad to discover it in catching up.

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