Twitter – a search engine and a networking tool – Tech Talk Tuesdays in review

Twitter was the topic of  conversation for this week’s Tech Talk Tuesday session. With a mix of prepared slides and application sharing, twitter was introduced to those who may be new to its use. It was great to welcome a global audience with participants from Austria, Honduras (Central America), Moscow, Russia and Australia.

Doodling while we waited to begin!

There was a full range of participants from experienced users of twitter through to newbies. A google document was set up for sharing and for further questions both during the webinar and after. There are two major uses of twitter:-

  1. as a social or professional learning networking tool
  2. as a search engine

People can be active participators or passive lurkers (or somewhere in between!). Here are some basic suggestions to simply get started! Twitter as a social or professional learning networking tool:-

  • look for people to follow. Follow the twitter handles on the collaborative  google document – Twitter Tech Talk Tuesdays. Whilst logged on, click on their twitter handles or id’s and see who they follow (ie following link up near the top of the page). Click on some  and choose pnes of interest. Check out some  organisations too eg museumvictoria Look at who they follow  and click follow on appropriate ones. (Note: these organisations are unlikely to follow you  back.)
  • Learn what @ # DM RT FF shortened links etc are
  • Twitter should be a two way conversation so encourage people to follow you back by setting up an informative profile that makes you interesting for prospective followers, sharing a link to your online space or blog etc.
  • if you wish to tweet to a particular person or  draw attention to an individual tweeter use the @ and their twitter id. eg I am alerted to tweets that have @murcha in them.
  • Private conversations or ongoing conversations between individuals, are better as direct messages (DM)  where only those who receive the DM will be able to read them.
  • If you really like a tweet and feel you can push it out more, then choose the retweet option. This will acknowledge that it was someone else’s tweet by having RT, the tweeter’s handle and the tweet itself.
  • Start with twitter, get comfortable then move onto some of the twitter clients to help with organisation and richer research.

As a search engine:-

  • twitter makes a great search engine. Last night there was a second earthquake in Melbourne within a month. Look for the search option (up the top of your twitter page), key in earthquake and any tweets referring to the earthquake can be read. There are details, feelings, queries, links etc to extend knowledge.
  • Look at the trending topics on the left hand side of twitter. Click on the link and read further those that interest you. These change regularly. These can often be useful with the classroom on world wide events. The Olympic games will be of high interest soon.
  • Take care with searches in front of young classes as some tweets may not be suitable for reading.

Listen to the recording to see the ‘walk through twitter’, suggestions etc The chat from this session will be summarized and added to this  google document – Twitter Tech Talk Tuesdays. Feel free to add your twitter id’s and any resources that you can recommend. Do you use twitter? Do you use it as a search engine? If so please add your ideas and impressions as a comment below. What further suggestions would you make? There will be a follow up session on twitter in four week’s time to see what issues people faced and talk more about using it effectively.

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