Last February I joined Twitter to see what this new social media was about. I wasn’t sure of what I would do with Twitter, but at least I knew it’s a good tool to access news. So I followed the New York Times official Twitter account. Reading a newspaper from Twitter is quite convenient because I can quickly see a headline of news on my timeline without visiting newspaper websites. When I find any interesting headline to read on my timeline and want to read a full text, I click a twitter post and it opens a webpage of the newspaper article. But I have long used Google Reader to organize my news sources and read news, and using it is as convenient as using Twitter, so I haven’t found a compelling reason to switch to Twitter in my news reading behaviors.
Late March I made my first tweets with ‘#SI643’ hashtag by posting some interesting articles from my favorite librarians’ blogs. The assignment was to follow 25 Twitter accounts. I first thought it would be very easy since I have been subscribing to way more than 25 blogs in my Google Reader. I assume that given the popularity of Twitter they all have their Twitter accounts. But it was not the case. Clearly the familiarity with one type of social media does not necessarily lead to the use of other social media. Especially among 20 librarian bloggers I follow, only 5 are using Twitter. So I used Twitter’s discovery search function to find 20 more librarians. When I typed in “librarian” in a search box, Twitter shows Twitter accounts of over 100 librarians and various libraries and publishers, so I chose and followed more than 20 librarians among them.
In class discussion, I learned that people prefer Twitter when they want to share information, while other social media (e.g. Facebook) are used more for communicating with people. Of course, many use Twitter to post what they eat, what they feel, and where they go, but, to me, it’s less interesting to know what others’ lifestyle seem like. There are still many Twitter users who focus more on finding and sharing information. I chose and followed such users. They provide me with updated news about information literacy or and interesting news related to other library services.
I was not a avid user of social networking service and did not actively use any service. But the class assignment of using Twitter is completed but I am still using it. I have occasionally tweeted and retweeted information I found interesting. I may keep using it since I think I find the benefit of Twitter as an information-sharing tool.