To Twitter, or not to twitter?
The most public use of Twitter these days has been microblogging celebrities: Ashton Kutcher and Britney Spears duking it out for the most followers, B- and C-Listers making every banal thought public, all kinds of celebrities saying goodbye to one of their own. But the White House and the Library of Congress are doing it, and so are an increasing number of Senators and Representatives.
Athletes, politicians, writers and more are using Twitter to send 140 characters out into the world, as many times a day as they like. But in my rounds around the teacher-tech world, it also seems like more and more teachers are hopping onto the Twitter train, both for their own use and as a classroom tool. You can find teachers by subject area, look at a twitter for teachers dictionary, follow Teachers 2.0 or join in on EdChat. Dana Huff and Jim Burke of English Companion and Ning fame are twittering, and I’m reading about other great reasons teachers should use Twitter. I’m working on a digital writing workshop project this summer, and so my thinking about Twitter may end up in the mix. I did a texting activity with Catcher in the Rye this spring, so I’m open to using Twitter in a similar way, but also I’m intrigued by the “backchannel” possibilities.
I also have some non-athlete, non-celebrity friends who use Twitter, the kind of friends who also use Foursquare and are usually on the early-adopter edge. Some of my favorite bloggers are also Twittering, and even some of my favorite writers. I like a good smart parody Twitter as much as the next culture geek.
But will I be twittering? I just don’t think so. The form itself doesn’t appeal to me as a writer–I’m still in the shallow end as far as texting goes, for that matter–but as an observer, it’s definitely intriguing for how it breaks down the public/private wall between celebrities and fans, and also how it captures real-time thinking and communicating for posterity.
Your thoughts about Twitter?