I came to Twitter a couple of months or so ago. Initially I was sceptical - now I think it is a really interesting development.
I use it to broadcast top of mind [but try for well structured sentences] to promote a bit of discussion. I also thrown in light relief.
There is also a lot of mileage in ending each post with a web link to the resource.
The big thing for me is how it can then be used as an RSS feed to my blog - so that in addition to the longer more episodic blog posts, the Twitter feed offers a more immediate trail of my thoughts and web encounters.
I do it from my mobile, so there is little effort in writing the posts - thinking up good ones is of course an entirely different kettle of fish.
I think the stream of action/conciousness potential of Twitter could be really leveraged in Museums, Galleries, Libraries - especially if it could be used as a way of broadcasting the pulse of intellectual and cultural energy that is going on inside the insitution.
I also think the potential of Twemes is totally up for grabs - especially around events - conferences etc www.twemes.com
Twittervision also creates a map - during an event, eg the inauguration.
I agree that the challenge of Twitter is that it reflects the quality of thinking and engagement you have with your work/collection and how you can share that. Anything that challenges people in charge of cultural collections on that front must be a fantastic thing.
I avoid following orgs that use it to cut and paste their newsletter or promotional guff.
I'm a web developer who's interested in how museums might use social technologies to embed themselves in their communities, and give people the sense of place whch can have positive social benefits and I'd not have found this network without Twitter...
So, while it's not a concrete example yet - I'm grateful to it.
The network was mentioned on the profile page of someone who started following me on Twitter - I'm already on a number of other Ning-powered networks, so it's pretty easy to join the conversation here. (Or at least listen to what's being talked about if I can't make any useful contribution myself...)
Harry - I'm a museum writer interested in museums' public currency, and I know social networking will be a big part of any improvements museums make for their integration in public lives. I encourage my clients to see how Twitter fits into the exhibit promotions and the public's discussions about the exhibit. But it's new for them all.
Harry if you get more info on this topic, let me know. I am a graduate PR student concentrating on museum studies and am wanting to write my thesis on this topic and in general how museums are needing to find ways of adapting to the changes in social media technology.
I've been watching this conversation and am quite intrigued by it. I have yet to get to Twitter myself. I'm a 'lurker', following some conversations but not adding comments just yet. It took me quite a while to become comfortable with blogging so the idea of updating my movements and thoughts is still a bit daunting to me. I think I want to avoid a concrete record of how similar my days are!!!
I'm also a little unclear or how to introduce myself to conversations that I do follow. It feels a little bit like listening in to a conversation on the train. I think the other problem is that I don't actually like being able to be followed - call it an unusual uneasiness with strangers knowing my movements...
Yet apart from my own anxieties, it is clear that this network is turning up on a number of Twitter feeds and I get the sense that the various discussions are not related. Certainly, those that I have followed have led to some interesting posts. Having moved around a lot for work I can see how the Twitter feed can keep you in constant contact with colleagues and peers but I am still unclear about the value in business. I thought the UK snow Twitter feed was excellent and I can see how we could produce something similar in fire season in Australia.
Thanks to Paul for the limk to twemes.com. I think I mights spend some time on this in the next few weeks and see if I can get into it! Thanks for starting the discussion Lynda!
Sounds like you won't be opting in for Google's new Latitude software to share your whereabouts with 'family and friends'! Like Bluetooth, Latitude's privacy implications are an issue but there are angles of this geo-location feature that museums might be able to exploit - marketing obviously but possibly also wireless onsite access to info about exhibits. Released yesterday, Latitude is currently the No.1 Twitter trending topic - a quick look at some of the posts gives an idea of the pros and cons and alternative tech options.
This seems to be the real value of Twitter - reporting breaking news from eye-witnesses (whether some world event or newly released technology or in the case of museums maybe reports from the field such as Te Papa's squid or the world's biggest snake fossil found in the Amazon today) or reports from early adopters of the latest bit of tech gadgetry (issues with iphone and iphone applications have been trending topics on and off for quite a while now). But the usefulness of Twitter falls away very quickly once the news is old ( which can be hours or days) and the re-tweets start doing the rounds or the tweets degenerate to something too personal. Seems like there is also a need for some add-on software to improve Twitter's functionality by taking an abundance of information i.e twitter feeds, and breaking it down into more manageable bite sized pieces. Twirl and Tweetdeck are 2 platforms being discussed in the Twittersphere.
I am totally addicted to Twitter now and use the Firefox add on TwitterFox to manage viewing the constant flow of Tweets. I think the trick with these tools is to remember there are no hard and fast rules, just experiment and find out what works for you. I've been signed up to Twitter for a couple of years but never really paid it much attention until a month or so ago when I signed up for Brooklyn Museums http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/join/1stfans/">1stfans who have set up a members only Twitter account and every month a guest artist is featured tweeting in creative ways - detailed here. After a little trial and error I'm now following mainly American museum/gallery tweets - not many aussie cultural institutions there yet - some bloggers I like and a few friends. I find this allows me to follow many more conversations and ideas than I usually would. Finally I don't really Tweet that much, only when I have an interesting link to share, and that's ok!!