When I speak to groups, I often talk about how I use Twitter as my main source of rich professional development and as a transformational PLN builder (Personal Learning Network).
I don't use Facebook personally or professionally at all. If you've been reading my blog or follow me on Twitter you know that we broke up a few years ago. Read Dear Facebook, We Need to Talk.
I think every Twitter user has some kind of formula for their Tweets. For me, (and this SO not scientific though I did have to get my calculator out!) I Tweet 82% ed tech & library, lesson ideas, curation and content building, being a shameless sharer and giving back to my community. I want to give more than I take. I try not to Tweet in an echo chamber. 8% pop culture - Doctor Who, Real Housewives, Sherlock, etc, 4% personal - the random and oft times inarticulate sophomoric thoughts going through me heid, my travels, Oh and weird dreams.
Don't be a Funpire!
I'm gonna linger here for a min and get on my soapbox. If you use Twitter to vent, moan, and complain about every little thing that sucks in your job or your in your life, if you focus on the toxic rather than the transformative - I doubt you will get many followers. And certainly not me. What is a Funpire? Someone who sucks the fun out of any occasion, Tweet, or situation! In my real (and online) life, I distance myself from toxic people. I like to think that I am an annoyingly optimistic person by nature, and though every one has a need to kvetch now and then, it does little good and really, no one wants to hear it. This goes for the staff lunch room, too! Don't be THAT teacher. Don't join in on the moaning brigade - just like bullying - you can do something. You can say "Hey, but you know at the end of the day we have the BEST job in the world, what are you doing this spring break, summer, or next snow day?"
I vent to my friends over a pint in real life and keep it off the Interwebs. This way your parents, principal, or administrator can't see it!
Don't Tweet yourself out of a job!
Skim quickly through your Tweets - see how many are sharing good info, encouraging another educator, positive, or how many are just whining or whinging. Human nature, perhaps, but not inspiring. Also, if you want to use Twitter as a professional platform, this is perhaps not the place where you Tweet over and over and at length about your children and their every cute thing or their poops, please keep that for the mommy chat on Facebook. There...[hops off soapbox] I know that's gonna be unpopular but that's my opinion.
Geekery & Zombies, Oh My!
5% of my Tweets are Geekery - gadgets, new techie toys, memes, tropes, and geeky stuff. There's a long time Geek inside me - I've been a member of the SCA, many time periods of Historic Re-enactment, I've gone to Pennsic, I've hand-sewed garb, I lived a Steampunk Virtual Victorian Second Life, I've even.....yes..I'll say it - I've LARPED! There, it's out. Hi! My name is Gwyneth and I'm a Geek.
1% of my Tweets - Zombies! Of course if you add that to my Pop Culture & The Walking Dead...well, that's like 9%? Look! If you've not prepared for the ZA (the Zombie Apocalypse) then you're just taking a big chance! Prepare! I'm heading north west - maybe West Virginia - find myself a high mountain with a spring fed stream and a good vantage point. I have a 6 foot hand forged Iron Age copper spear - I need to get a machete and a bug out bag - with my bad knee I don't know how long I'll last but I know what to do....and what NOT to do. Have I thought about this way too much? Maybe - or maybe you've thought about it way too little! [grins and winks] Ya never know!
Twitter is a Conversation.
Now, this is again my opinion - but I consider Twitter as a conversation. Some people do just Tweet OUT to the world.
@GuyKawasaki is one of them, and he's AMAZING! My friend & mentor the astoundingly smart and generous Dr. Joyce Valenza is another. She rarely banters back and forth on Twitter - that's just not her style. She does provide thousands of curated and selected resources for educational practice and growth in her Tweets. And that's, OK! Heck, that's Brilliant. But for me Twitter is a conversation. I do try and answer questions (but do Google first, please!) and I try and pitch in with brainstorming and I try to stay human. Imperfect. Snarky. Sophomoric. But you know, that's OK, too!
What's YOUR Twitter Formula?
I'm working on a long term blogging project, a Slideshare preso about Twitter - it may be a while in coming - but I thought I would release a part of it here and there as I go along - to get your feedback!
Thank you for your awesome thoughts & opinions! If I use your additions I promise to use attribution! Cheers!
Twitter quote graphic made with Recite This!