I am still amazed at the amount of educators, who believe that Twitter holds NO VALUE for their professional learning. Many hold on to the belief that Twitter is a waste of time, used to follow celebrities, listen to gossip and bad hair day complaints.
If YOU were able to get past that initial Twitter reputation, diving into the Twittersphere can be scary, OVERWHELMING and participating in this global conversation platform does not necessarily come naturally to everybody.
Keeping in mind that tweeting and becoming part of a learning network is a PROCESS , there are a few steps you can take to conquer your fears, dive in and swim with the best of them
As with anything, there are a few disclaimers, before you dive in.
- Twitter is NOT easy.
It does take time and effort to build a network that you can trust, learn from and count on. You will not wake up the next morning and have 5000 followers.
- Give and demand QUALITY
If you are not willing to invest the time to learn about quality contributions, Twitter will become what you feared most: a waste of time.
- There is an etiquette specific to Twitter
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Twitter is a GLOBAL country! People from all over the world come together to discuss, learn with and from each other, share and also disagree. Pay attention to best practices, the grammar of a Tweet, politeness, acknowledgements, being a citizen, red flags or specific “no-no”s in your network.
- There are also bad guys
Yes, Twitterlandia has them too. There are the ones, who will spam you, hack into your account, steal you passwords, send out nasty notes to all your followers, use foul language, are offensive, rude or aggressive.
With all this being said, learning how to stay safe, navigating the “stormy waters” and steering clear of potential problems… becoming part of Twitter is MORE THAN WORTH IT!
I created the following RU Ready4Twitter Checklist to get you started in becoming a citizen of Twitterlandia:
You can also download the Checklist as a pdf file.
The slide deck below is from a Twitter workshop, I recently facilitated for the LEAD21 Academy at the CMI2012 conference in Saratoga Springs, NY.