One of the hottest internet trends of the past few months is Twittering. I have a friend who is about to go on a tour of the US visiting friends, making music, and twittering. It seemed that a bunch of my friends were twittering away on election night.
What does it mean to Twitter, and can librarians use it?
Twitter.com was started several years ago as another social networking experiment. The basic idea is to write short updates to let your friends know what you're doing. These updates are limited to 140 characters in length and can be displayed on the Twitter site or through other services such as Facebook.
Twitter updates can often be identified because they often start with the person's name followed by "is". The idea is to twitter as often as possible to give your friends an idea of what you are currently doing.
Ted is writing in his blog.
Ted is really looking forward to dinner tonight.
Ted is making home made lasagna for dinner right now.
Ted thinks the lasagna smells great and can't wait for it to be done.
Ted is taking the lasagna out of the oven and is about to eat.
Ted is really full of lasagna right now.
These are all examples of typical Twitter posts. As you can see some people's lives may be more interesting than others!
When Twitter first came on to the scene it quickly exploded with popularity as people found it a great way to keep in touch with what their friends were doing. Some people however have found it to be a bit of a bother. Always getting messages from friends at all times of the day can be a bit overwhelming for some.
Can librarians and libraries use Twitter as a communication method? To be honest this cutting edge librarian has trouble thinking of practical applications for the average library. Perhaps a community affairs director of a library could use Twitter as a way to advertise, promote, and raise awareness of library events? It seems that there are other internet applications that would serve these sorts of purposed better however. The cutting edge librarian should be aware of Twitter and twittering as it is a very popular social networking tool that a number of their patrons may be using.