Things 10 & 11 - Social Networking - Twitter

This week we are looking at 2 social networking tools, Twitter and Facebook. These are online services which allow you to connect and share information and ideas with others on the web. Things 10 & 11 involve Twitter, and you will set up an account and interact with others. Thing 12 relates to Facebook, and while we are not asking you to set up a Facebook account (though you may already have one) you will get to see how libraries are using Facebook to communicate with their users.
This blog post covers things 10 & 11, thing 12 will be in the next post.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a microblogging tool which allows people to post short (140 character) messages, reply to other people’s messages and follow the messages other people are posting.

Is Twitter relevant to libraries?

Twitter is used by libraries and library staff alike. Libraries use it to get information out to their users, receive and reply to enquiries and publicise projects and events. Library staff use Twitter to share ideas and communicate about projects and resources, they also use it to post live updates from events and conferences and find out, in real time, what is happening at events and conferences that they are unable to attend.
Libraries are also interested in the kinds of information that can be found on Twitter and how this might be useful to researchers in the future. Because of this the Library of Congress is now archiving all publicly posted tweets so that they can be accessible to others in years to come.

Thing 10 - Create a Twitter account and find some people to follow.

If you already have a Twitter account and are familiar with how Twitter works, you can skip the instructions for Thing 10 and instead check in to your Twitter account during this week, and track down some fellow participants to follow - of course you will still need to write a blog post with the lable "thing 10", but perhaps outline how you are already using Twitter and whether you managed to find other 23Things people.

If you are not familiar with Twitter you can download the step-by-step instructions and get started. We recommend you leave your Twitter account public, rather than adding privacy settings, so that other 23 things participants can find you, ready for Thing 11. Once you have set up your account and found people to follow, write a quick blog post about it using the lable "thing10".

Thing 11 – Use Twitter to interact with other program participants.

Once you have your account set up and are happy with how to find and follow others you will need to interact with other participants on the program. You can send them public messages by tweeting them and including their Twitter username in the tweet (for example including “@jess_humphreys” in your tweet will send a message visible to all but that Jess can pick up on when she logs in).
Also try retweeting messages posted by another participant, and sending Direct Messages – messages which are only visible to the person you send them to. If you are not familiar with Twitter please download the step-by-step instructions.

Once you have tried this write a blog post about your experiences using the label "thing 11".

Optional extras

1. Read about the Follow A Library project and maybe find some libraries to follow yourself.

These extras are examples of you how you can link your social networking sites together and help people find you in different places on the web.

2. Add your blog address to your Twitter profile.

3. Add your Tweets to your blogger blog (if you are using a different blogging system this is usually still possible but more complicated - contact me for help if required).