I’m afraid this post is a bit of an ode to Twitter. But I can’t help it. Twitter, I love you.
I love using social media, and in particular Twitter, to keep up to date with the library world. I follow quite a lot of library and info pros, so it’s very handy for news, links, and blog posts, among many others.
When using Twitter, I’ve tried to bear in mind that it’s a conversation – that’s why it’s social media. It’s very tempting to just make announcements, rather than interacting and engaging with others. When I first started using Twitter, I probably did tweet too often about my lunch. But now that my Twitter feed has more of a focus, I engage more, and as a result I get more out of it! I feel part of an online community.
I’ve also been very aware, since Thing 3 on my online brand, that people on social media can only build their impression of me from what I put out there. By interacting, rather than just having opinions on topics but perhaps holding back from getting involved in discussions, gets my name out there and people interacting with me too. I tend to shy away from voicing my opinion on topics on the Internet (because this), but library people do tend to be a good bunch!
Interestingly, there was this Guardian article recently, asking whether Twitter is just an echo chamber. It can be to an extent, but I’d much rather we were discussing library/info issues in a potential echo chamber*, than refraining from exploiting and engaging with such a rich medium.
*The concept of the echo chamber, by the way, is very frustrating – once you start thinking about it, you start to see it everywhere!