October 20, 2009

I Deleted My Twitter Account: The Biggest Mistake of My Professional Life?

When Twitter started to become really popular, I created an account. I figured, if Ellen is talking about it, it must be the best thing ever. I soon found out that Twitter is just more of the thing that occasionally bothers me on Facebook (FB): The status update. I'm sure I'm not alone here. Do you have a friend who is constantly updating their status with mundane details? Does that person drive you nuts too? My account lasted all of two weeks.

For awhile I was enjoying linking to things and people I found interesting, but I didn't see how it was superior to FB. I was getting all the information I needed from FB, why did I require yet another social networking tool? I'm regretting my decision now as Twitter seems to be the library thing. At the time I deleted my account, I didn't see Twitter's potential to be a really interesting, and daresay effective, way to share information. How could I have been so blind?

With Twitter, the user is able to share links to interesting information they have encountered during the day. You tweet this to your followers and they have the opportunity to read further, but sometimes the headline will suffice. While initially I only saw the mild irritant that Twitter would become: friend would constantly be updating about mundane details and others would join in making my iPhone vibrate off into oblivion eventually causing me to destroy the piece of technology I love most. Yeah, that sounds like fun. Stupid Tasha and the pressures of social networking! - This is another blog I'm sure.

Although Twitter does have the potential to give the user a proverbial rash by spreading the useless factoids of the Interweb and otherwise, it can also be used as a powerful tool to spread quality information. You no longer have to tell your friends, "Hey, I read this great article, I'll email it too you", you can just tweet it and be done with it. This is why people use Twitter in their social lives, but herein also lies the library potential. Libraries use Twitter to promote programming, new resources, other libraries, anything really, to their patrons and the larger sphere. In many ways, Twitter is the marketing libraries have been waiting for. Partially because it is so far reaching, but mostly because it's FREE! We all love free.

There are many other uses for Twitter other than those mentioned here. Finally, I see Twitter's potential. Needless to say, I'm going to begin another account.

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