I hope that we’ve had a great first #diffimooc week! I noticed as we went through the chats this
week, there was a little frustration and maybe concern that we weren’t able to read through all of the postings. We aren’t accustomed to a non-linear communication tool like Twitter that depends on crowdsourcing to “push” the most important information to the top. Therefore, we are feeling the pressure to read everything!
As we gain more followers, I’d like to reassure you that you definitely need not read every tweet in our feed. I would not even recommend that you try! Instead, I’d like to share some strategies with you (several of these emerged from your suggestions in the chats this week) for managing Twitter.
1. Use Tweetdeck, and take the time to customize your columns
Tweetdeck is a great tool for following Twitter. With Tweetdeck, you can see Direct Messages sent to you and Mentions made of you during the chat. You can arrange your columns in Tweetdeck by clicking “Edit” at the top of the column you wish to move and then clicking arrow left or right under the “Notification Sounds” and “Notification Popups” check boxes. I like to arrange my own columns in the following order: “Timeline”, “#etmooc”, “#diffimooc”, “Interactions”, “Messages”. This way, I can see any Interactions (often replies to a tweet I posted) or any Direct Messages to me. I can also keep an eye on my favorite feeds – front and center.
2. Don’t feel that you need to read every post
You need not read every post in a Twitter feed. If a posting is good, you should assist others in finding it by “amplifying” that post. That means you will retweet it, so that it goes to the top of the twitter feed. This increases the chance that the posting will be seen. Also – you might add your own take as you retweet, enriching the post further. If we all retweet those posts we see as important the probability greatly increases that people will see the posts we think are valuable.
3. Take focused conversations into the “Interactions” column
If you start talking with someone in the feed in a linear way, you will wish to reply to their posting so that the @handle appears as you post, and your reply will display in their Interactions column. When they respond to you, they should do the same. This insures that if someone is actually talking to you, you will be able to see what they’ve said, and you can carry on a conversation without the additional channel chatter interfering. I would emphasize that you should continue to use the #diffimooc tag so others may contribute to this conversation as well. If they contribute, they will reply to you so you will be able to follow their replies, again in the “Interactions” column.
4. Add your perspective through original and discovered works
As we become a part of a twitter community we have a responsibility to share the resources we create and find. We can retweet the resources of others, but without YOUR resources, your blogs, your videos and your social bookmarking tags, the feed will be incomplete. It will be lacking your perspective! We need your perspective to complete our experience in a chat, in a given week, or for a given topic.
I hope these tips will assist you as you continue becoming Twitterliterate! I hope to see you as you connect connect and connect this weekend!
Lee Graham is the Coordinator of the STEM Department at the University of Alaska Southeast, and serves as a tutor for the University of Liverpool EdD Program. She is currently working to wrap her head around a MOOC for teachers which is currently offered on the #diffimooc feed. She may be reached at email@example.com