Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I was wrong - Twitter is cool!

One of the things about being a tech type is constantly evaluating and re-evaluating the tools and resources that are available. At first some things look great but they either don't catch on or there are serious issues. Some other things don't look so great at first but catch on.

Twitter is becoming more and more popular every day. While it's still nowhere near as "big" as Facebook the number of people using Twitter growing quickly and it's becoming a part of the internet 2.0 scene.

What has been interesting to me is how recently Twitter has been used to provide very instant, real time reactions to events as they unfold. Because the length of Twitter messages are short it's perfect for these sorts of democratic, quick, voice of the people sort of applications. For instance, during Rod Blagojevitch's recent impeachment trial, people were able to post their Twitter responses and reactions to a web site while the trail was going on live.

So, several months ago I posted in one of my first blog entries that I didn't see many practical applications for Twitter in the library world. I was wrong and I'm fine with admitting it!

I can without a doubt see Twitter being used in a Teen library setting for instance. Perhaps you could have a web site with several possible events and the teen patrons could Twitter in their votes? During a summer reading program you could have kids Twitter in short thoughts about what they're reading. Perhaps short answers to specific questions to get them thinking about the books?

It turns out that there are a number of creative things that can be done with Twitter. It's a great application if you want a quick and easy way to interact with your patrons.

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