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1,002 Followers: Still Lame at Twitter
March 28, 2011 - 9:45pm

I am lame at Twitter.

The Twitter EDU world is divided into (at least) 3 categories:

Awesome Twitter People: People like Eric Stoller (see below) who authentically leverage Twitter as a new medium for communication, collaboration, and community.

Lame Twitter People: Folks like me. We use the tool badly, don't take advantage of Twitter's ability to forge new connections and provide real time intelligence and analysis, and basically violate and subvert the cultural norms of the platform.

Non-Twitter People: Twitter is just not your thing. You don't Tweet, read Tweets, etc. etc.

The best Twitter person I know is fellow BlogU contributor Eric Stoller @EricStoller (16,931 Tweets, 1,181 Following, 3,698 Followers).

Evidence That I Am Lame At Twitter:

Following/Follow Ration: I am following 1,760 people, but only have 1,002 followers. I don't know what proportion of the people who follow me are happy to get a link with a new IHE Technology and Learning post (I'm hoping many of them!). I suspect I have many of my 1,002 followers largely due to the social norms of following back.

Bad Tweeting: I've Tweeted 627 times, but almost all of these are bit.ly links to one of my blog posts. Each morning I share my IHE post through bit.ly, sending the shared link automatically to Facebook also (which is also the only time I post to Facebook.

Lame Reading: When I started out on Twitter I really enjoyed reading the Tweets. But then I fell into the trap of using Twitter as a promotion tool for this blog, started to collect followers, and before I knew it I had way too many Tweets to read. So I gave up.

I'd like to get better at Twitter. From what I can see from the Awesome Twitter People, Twitter is a powerful (even transformational) tool. I'll never be able to incorporate the flow of information that Eric can deal with, and my fingers are too fat I'm afraid to Tweet while mobile, but I'd like to at least bring back Twitter as an information channel and platform to connect with other learning and tech people.

But I need a new technology. I need a Smart Twitter Filter. Does a Smart Twitter Filter exist? Seems like some company is going to make lots of money on this. A Smart Twitter Filter would do 5 things:

1) Prioritize: Tweets I want to read would end up on top. Maybe we would have train the system, going through a couple of days of the Twitter stream amongst our followers until the system figures out what we like to click on. Or maybe it is smarter and prioritizes Tweets from people in my LinkedIn network, or Facebook network, or from folks that I've linked to in my blog or have linked to what I've written.

2) Filter: Tweets that I'll never click on get filtered out. Commercial Tweets and advertisements. Repetitive Tweets. Tweets that don't have anything to do with ed tech (if I set the Filter that way).

3) Meter: The system has to be smart enough to only send me the number of Tweets that I can deal with. This would be different for everyone, and may change over time, but a smart system will limit my options so I'm more likely to choose to read smoothing.

4) Learn: The Smart Twitter Filter will learn from my behavior, and constantly adjust its algorithms to improve the order and content of the Tweets that it shows.

5) Socialize: A Smart Twitter Filter will serve the goal of connecting me with my ed tech community. People I know, and people I should know.

Many people will hate a Twitter filter, even a smart one. They can do all this on their own. They can curate their "Following" list, and use existing platforms to organize their Tweet streams. I started using Seesmic when I first started getting into Twitter and it seems pretty great. Maybe I'm just using the existing tools badly. Can someone help?

Oh...my Twitter thingy is @joshmkim

Where do you fall on the Twitter spectrum?

 

 

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